I'm currently applying for a position with an IT service provider. This company offers a permanent position, but its employees work with one of their clients at a given project for the duration of that project, meaning I would receive my salary from the IT service provider while working for their client.

Now, after two phone interviews (one with the IT service provider, another with one of their clients) the manager of the IT service provider would like to meet me in-person. I would like to use this opportunity to have all questions answered that should be relevant for me.

Here are the questions that I consider relevant when working for an IT service provider:

  • How long will I be working on a client project, on average?
  • After working for a client for a few months or years, is it common to be offered a permanent job by the client?
  • When I skip from one client to another, may I assume that the new client is located near the previous client, or do I have to move?
  • Are there any company events where I get to meet coworkers who work for different clients?
  • General questions about the line of business of their clients.
  • General questions about vacation days, flexitime, wage, etc.

However, all of those questions were are already answered either on the extensive FAQ of the company's homepage, or during previous phone interviews. Nevertheless, I'm sure there are important questions that I should be asking, but due to not having any prior work experience (neither for an IT service provider, nor otherwise), I just don't know them.

Please note that I'm not looking for general questions that are asked for the sole purpose of faking interest in the interviewer's person ("how did you get started in this line of business") or pretending I'm the perfect employee ("What can I do to increase my value"), such questions are discussed elsewhere in abundance. I want to use this opportunity to gather the information I care about, so I'm eager to hear about the experience of others, especially those who (used to) work for an IT service provider: after having worked a few years for an IT service provider, is there anything that makes you think: I should have discussed this with my employer before taking the position?

  • meeting in a coffee shop is a red flag - indicates a small poorly resourced and/or poorly managed business – Neuromancer Nov 8 '17 at 13:11
  • @Neuromancer I have a "real" interview with one of their clients 45 min. after the coffee shop interview. The service provider has its HQ about an hour's drive from the client, so instead of having me drive to two separate locations on one day, he decided to just meet me at a coffee shop near the client's location. – Philip J. Fry Nov 8 '17 at 13:17
  • 2
    @Neuromancer I don't believe that's true in this case. This sounds like an informal get to know you meeting with a 3rd party recruiter. The last one I had in person, as opposed to over the phone, was at a nearby Starbucks after work. – Herb Wolfe Nov 8 '17 at 13:32
  • If this question will be closed due to being "opinion-based", I really don't understand why all those questions under the "related" section are not. My question is specifically about the interviewer being the manager of an IT service provider, so I would like to hear some advice by people who used to work for an IT service provider (experience-based, not opinion-based). – Philip J. Fry Nov 8 '17 at 16:35
  • You are seeking our opinion on what would be relevant questions to ask. There is no way to sugar-coat it, any answer to your question, would be our opinion on the mater. – Donald Nov 8 '17 at 17:45

"Coffee" generally means a quick, informal, conversational meeting. He wants to see what kind of first impression you will make on a client and to make sure you are friendly and polite.

Let him know you are excited about the opportunity and be prepared to tell him about your relevant experience if he asks.

If you have the opportunity to ask him a question, ask him about himself, his company, or his clients.

  1. How did you get your started in this business?
  2. What is the most important thing someone in this job should know?
  3. What advice would you give to someone like me, starting their first job?

You might find other question ideas googling 'informational interview.'

  • Just to avoid the confusion: I have edited my question and removed the "coffee" part, since my question is more about the fact that I'm interviewing with an IT Service Provider than the informal setting where the interview takes place. – Philip J. Fry Nov 8 '17 at 17:29

What questions can I ask the manager of the company who basically just pays my wages?

  1. Why are you looking to fill this role? ( new addition or replacement )
  2. How are the company sales tracking this year versus last year? (on target or stagnant )
  3. What are your plans to continue growing the business?
  4. How would you describe your companies culture?
  5. What can I do to increase my value to the client company?
  6. Is there anything I need to know before I start working there?
  7. Who will I be working for and what are they like to work for?
  8. What key feature am I expected to excel at?
  9. How can I improve on my predecessor's work?
  10. Are there any concerns relating to my application for this job that I might need to expand on for the next interview?

To add to the other answers, when you say

This company offers a permanent position, but its employees work with one of their clients at a given project for the duration of that project, meaning I would receive my salary from the IT service provider while working for their client.

I would ask:

  • Where are your clients typically located?
  • Do employees work at the client's site, or in the company office?
  • If at the client site, do I get compensated for additional travel time?
  • How long does a project typically last?
  • Do you move people between clients? Or do you try to keep them with the same client

Basically I would want to know about the stability of the workplace and whether working at a client's site adds inconvenience that you don't know about. EG the company office may be 5 minutes from your home, but it would suck if the client is 2 hours away and you have eat that extra commute time yourself.

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