No one wants to land their dream job only to find out 60 days in that they’ve landed smack-dab in the middle of their worst nightmare. But, when you don’t ask the right questions prior to taking a position oftentimes you set yourself up for that very scenario.
Don’t forget that interviewing is a two-way process. You need to be in an information gathering mode just as much as you are in an information giving mode. Consequently, you never want to relinquish your reigns to gathering all of the information you need. Asking thoughtful, informative questions is part of that process. You want as much information as possible so you can to make an equally informed decision about your next potential employer.
So, the next time you interview, tuck these 9 into your arsenal…
If you want to get a sense of whether the position has potential for growth or if it is one stop short of a dead end, ask the following:
- How has this position evolved?
- How long was the previous incumbent in the position and why did he/she leave?
If it is important for your values and goals line up with your manager or company’s goals, ask this:
- What do you like most about company? Is the interviewer highlighting areas that are top-priority on your values list? If work-life balance is a priority for you, you may want to take heed when the interviewer mentions that s/he has cultivated a lot of great friendships at the company due to the long hours and time spent together working on projects.
- How would you describe the corporate culture? You may not get a straight answer on this but, you’re not really looking for an answer as much as how it is answered. Does the interviewer appear uncomfortable with figuring out a way to answer it? RED flag. Do they appear to be struggling to say something positive? RED flag #2. This is one that many are tempted to overlook because it is less overt. I implore you not to make that mistake.
If you are looking for a company culture that will give you the opportunity to showcase your strengths and skills, ask the following:
- Can you give me examples of how I might collaborate with my manager and some of the projects we will collaborate on. Pay attention to whether or not there is a clear answer on this one or just a pat answer.
Want to get some clarity on what you would need to focus on if you took the job and how to make a great impression? Ask the following:
- What are the #1 priorities of this position?
- What responsibilities of this position need the greatest focus
Get a better sense of whether the manager really understands the responsibilities of the position AND find out if there are any issues you may be stepping into…. Ask:
- What are the challenges of this position? Every position has them. If nothing specific is shared or the hiring manager attempts to gloss over them or side-step the question, take note.
Is it important to you to know how your manager and the company measures success? Ask:
- What have previous employees done to succeed in this position?
Remember, as a candidate, if you are asked to interview- it’s almost a guarantee that you are already qualfied! So, the interview process is simply giving the hiring manager the opportunity to sort through candidates to find the shining diamond that will fit in best for their team. Stand above the competition and put your best foot forward by asking relevant, thoughtful questions like the ones above!
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