With graduation looming for many young college students, it can be a stressful time to job hunt amid finals and last hurrahs.
It's no secret that the current job market is hot for young professionals looking to jump start their careers with 11.3 million job openings right now, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics data — but as you apply for jobs and go into interviews, it is important to make sure you're landing a job that fits your career goals.
After you've sent numerous resumes out, networked with peers and landed an interview, these are the two most important questions to ask recruiters and potential employers before snagging the job, according to experts.
Jackie Mitchell, a career and life coach at her own consulting firm, tells CNBC Make It, says the golden question to ask a potential employer is: What are the expectations for someone in this role? Then you can ask yourself — Are those expectations in alignment with what I'm looking for?
"Those are questions that we have to ask, so you're not in a position of, dare I say, desperation," Mitchell says. "You don't want to feel like, 'Oh, I need a job. I got to get it.' If you're coming from that mindset, a lot of times you're not going to pick up on red flags."
Mitchell says asking these questions helps you look bold, confident and assertive to the employer. One thing she advises is to be respectfully assertive because it shows you know what you want and you're not afraid to ask for it.
"You're not coming in as a typical job seeker, but someone who knows that they're coming in to provide a service but also providing an added value," Mitchell says.
Although it can be hard for young workers applying for their first jobs to not feel pushy, Deborah Grayson Riegel, a management expert who has taught at Wharton and Columbia Business Schools, says that you should make sure the job or company fits with your expectations of work culture to see if you would be a good fit.
She recommends asking a potential employer these specific questions about culture: Could you describe the culture here? Could you describe for me how the company or how you experience work-life integration? What are some of the strengths of the company? What are some things you wish the company did?
"Remember it is a two-way street. It is about the goodness of fit in both places," Grayson Riegel says. "If you're looking for a job, this is your market right now. You get to be choosy. But that won't last forever."