You must ask questions at the interview. The article reached by clicking on this post’s title takes you to a great article about what questions to ask. It gives you some ideas, such as:
1. Who was formerly in this position, and why did he or she leave?
The answer – or non-answer – to this question will tell you a lot about the culture, promotion possibilities, and expectations for the next person in the job. Just as a job description emphasizes vital things the previous incumbent did not do, so too will the answer to this question tell you what you’d be walking into.
2. What brought you to [insert organization], and what keeps you here?
You can tell a lot about a potential boss by how s/he answers this question. What are his/her values? What kind of culture does the organization have? Is it focused more on position, pay, people, or purpose?
A question the article doesn’t list that you can ask directly: What is the culture here? If they have an answer, they’ve thought about it and that’s a good thing. If they can’t answer, and culture’s important to you, that’s a major red flag.
One thing to remember is that your questions can be based on what’s most important to YOU. Use your Must Have List to identify your top priorities, and shape questions around them. Of course, don’t ask about compensation at all on the first or second interview. Let them ask, and then you get to respond and negotiate (if possible in this climate!).
Have a list of questions in front of you during the interview – even on an index card. Take some notes during the interview. Hopefully most of yours will be answered during the interview. Make sure to say “most of my questions were answered; I just have this one for you” and then I’d make sure to ask the one about why s/he joined the organization – that is one that probably won’t be answered. And then you can say “This has been so informative and I have so much to take in. May I contact you if I have additional questions?”