I don’t care how confident you are, interviews are uncomfortable. Nine times out of ten, if we’re interviewing for a job we either really want it, or really need it. As badly as we want to prove our candidacy, let’s not forget how important it is to make sure the job we’re interviewing for will be a good fit for us as well. Too many people walk out of interviews without taking the opportunity to ask any questions when the time comes all because they’re timid. Here are seven questions I don’t let go unanswered –
What do you enjoy most about working here?
If your potential boss doesn’t enjoy working there, it’s not likely you will either. We often confuse interviews as a time for employers to drill us about why we deserve to be there. You’re an asset, it’s important to know why you should want to be there. I understand I may be the one who needs a job, but I also want to be sure it’ll be a position that I won’t dread waking up to pursue.
How likely is growth within the company?
Because I need to know. Several people at my current company came in as interns and are now Vice Presidents; that speaks volumes. If we move forward with the hiring process and I excel in my position, what is the likelihood of me having opportunities to grow? What are the typical frequencies of promotions here? Is there a position above mine or would one have to be created? Let them know that you’re coming in thinking growth within your career path. No, you’re not expecting it immediately, but you’re taking into consideration how it’s generally organized.
Do you all offer any kind of training or continued education programs?
Whether this is your dream job or it’s offering $10K less than you originally wanted to make, this question can help you make your decision. If they offer incentives that will help you land a much better job in one year, it might be worth the sacrifice. Depending on your interest, will they pay for licensing or certifications? What about graduate programs? If these are things you think will be beneficial to your career but are pricey, consider how important they are to your position.
Who will I be working with?
Directly and on a regular basis. Will you be tasked with more independent projects or will you be dependent on a group of people to complete your tasks? Do I have direct contact with management or VP’s? Will you be dealing directly with clients or will you be in the basement with no contact to the outside world? All of this will help you determine the importance of your role and the kind of work environment you can expect.
What is the culture of the company?
Do they encourage family values? What flexibility do they have when it comes to work-life balance? Do they serve employees in ways other than a paycheck? Is it a very formal office or a more laid back environment? There are no right and wrong answers to this question, because the company culture you’ll enjoy most is based solely off of your preferences.
What qualities would make a candidate successful in this position?
This question is specifically for you, giving you the opportunity to be honest with yourself. If they’re looking for an independent self starter who pays close attention to detail and takes initiative while you know that you do better when you’re directly assigned tasks, you may want to be honest enough to admit you wouldn’t be the best fit. It’s important you know specifically what they categorize as success because their meaning could vary from yours.
How soon are you all looking to make a decision?
If you’re looking for a job, it’s likely that you’ll be interviewing at several different places. This question not only lets them know you’re not interested in waiting too long to hear from them, but also helps you gauge how much time you have to decide which position will be best for you, should you get more than one offer.
What questions do you normally ask before ending an interview?