In the excitement of landing an interview, you may begin rehearsing answers to commonly asked questions. However, don’t forgot a question you need to ask, “Is this job a good fit for me?”
Although many people view interviews as one-sided with a manager or committee asking most of the questions, the idea of an interview as a conversation is more useful. After all, you need learn about the company just as much as they need to find out about you.
These three main categories of questions, along with specific examples, can lead to a more successful and valuable interview experience.
Do I want to work here?
You don’t want to accept a job only to discover a few weeks later you made a big mistake. Use these inquiries to evaluate company culture and management style early in the process.
How would you describe the company culture?
What are the top three values of this organization?
How does this position advance the company’s mission?
Tell me about your most successful employees. What do they do differently?
What is the process for evaluating employees?
What is the ideal relationship between a manager and an employee?
What is the preferred method of communication?
Are employees encouraged to provide feedback?
Is innovation or risk taking valued and rewarded?
What are the opportunities for professional development and advancement?
What are some of the challenges your company faces right now?
How often, when, and why do people leave the company?
Am I the right person for this job?
Even if you are excited about working for a company, certain positions may not match your skill set. The questions below allow you to clarify expectations and avoid chasing down a job for which you are over- or underqualified.
What are day-to-day job responsibilities of this position?
What do you expect someone in this role to accomplish in three months? Six months? One year?
Does this role require travel, structured hours and/or overtime?
What about my background gives you pause?
What haven’t I asked that most candidates ask?
What are the next steps?
Asking “What’s next?” lets you establish a timeline. This can be helpful if you are considering multiple options or if you are trying to avoid unnecessary downtime.
Is there anything else you need from me?
When will you notify candidates who have advanced to the next round?
How soon are you planning to fill this job?
Finally, do your homework and ask specific and informed questions. Corporate websites and social media channels provide lots of basic information. Don’t waste your time or the interviewer’s time by asking about something you could look up yourself. Thoughtful, well-researched inquiries not only increase your odds of finding the best fit, but also help you stand out from the competition as a serious and insightful candidate.
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