Interviews can have a strange way of unnerving even the most confident job seekers. There’s just something about being questioned and evaluated regarding your fitness for the job of your dreams that can put us all a bit on edge.
But interviews shouldn’t be a one-sided conversation just evaluating you. Savvy job seekers realize that an interview is their chance to question a prospective employer, learn everything they can about the job, culture, and people, and determine if, should an offer follow, this really is the right fit for them.
But asking questions of interviewers is often a point where interviewees fall short. They come in expecting to be questioned, never realizing the importance of asking good questions themselves of the hiring manager. But in addition to providing you much-needed information, asking insightful questions indicates to an interviewer that you are serious about not just taking any old job, but finding the right match for you.
As you prep for your next interview, be sure to commit to asking the important questions. Here are a few key questions that can help you decide if a job is right for you.
Question 1: What does a typical workday look like?
The old adage of know before you go can help ensure a better fit and a happier you in the long-term. Understanding what your day-to-day will look like, even in a loose way, can help you evaluate how it aligns with your interests, strengths, and goals.
Question 2: What does success look like in this role?
Success isn’t one-size-fits-all. Understanding how your prospective employer evaluates how you’re doing is vital to not only getting a headstart on being awesome if hired, but can help you determine whether or not their measures of success can accurately display your work and strengths to their best advantage.
Question 3: How would you describe the work culture?
Nothing can thwart a company and your happiness on the job like a work and personal culture that just don’t match. Companies are increasingly hiring around the culture they want to promote because they know that it’s the key to your happiness and productivity, and to achieve their bottom lines.
Question 4: What’s your (the interviewer’s) favorite part of working at the company?
If you’re wondering what it’s actually like working at a company, there’s no better time than during the interview to pick the brains of someone on the ground floor. Find out what your interviewer loves about the company and their job. A dismissive or methodical response or attitude may be indicative of unhappiness on the job, so listen to more than their words alone.
Question 5: What traits and skills would make a person successful in this job?
Unless this is a new position, there’s likely a track record of former employees who were either great at their job, or just not the right fit. Either way, past experience has likely given employers a good sense of what they’re looking for in their next hire. Understanding the traits and skills that lend themselves to success on the job provides you with the insights to take a deep look at yourself and see if you have what they’re looking for, and how you’d fare on the job.
Question 6: Why reasons do most employees leave the company?
If employees are leaving in droves because they’re looking for growth opportunities or higher pay, it might not be the place you want to be if those are your long-term goals as well. Understanding obstacles to employee satisfaction could save you years of being stuck in what may amount to a dead-end job that doesn’t get you any closer to where you want to be.
So go boldly into your next interview and don’t be afraid to ask the big questions. You just might find the answers that lead you to your next big career move.