An interview is a two-way-street. Not only is the company interviewing you, but you are interviewing the company. Asking thoughtful and relevant questions will give you the opportunity to gather as much information as you need to decide whether to accept a job offer. Asking questions is also a great way to show your interviewer that you are interested in the company. It’s important to ask as many questions as you want at the end of your interview, but be sure to at least ask these four.
1. What is a typical day in the office?
This is where you can get a glimpse of the company’s culture. If a day at the office consists of running around the city to pick up and deliver coffee to all of the top bosses every morning, then this may not be the job for you.
It’s important to listen carefully as your interviewer describes the company’s core values, dress code, and attitudes toward success. It’s best if these aspects align with your own values so that you feel comfortable in the place you will be spending the majority of your time.
2. What is training like?
During an interview, your interviewer is looking to find out how well you work on a team, what type of leader you are, how you handle difficult situations, and many other attributes about you that have nothing to do with a technical skill. But just because your interviewer isn’t directly asking you about your technical skill set doesn’t mean that it’s not important. In most cases, technical skills can be taught. This is why it’s imperative to understand what type of training you will receive at the company for the position you are interviewing for.
Is it on-the-job training? Are you trained before you start? When listening to their answers, you should be thinking about what kind of technical skills you need to succeed and which way can you, and will you, learn best?
3. How will I be evaluated?
It is important to know what is expected of you as an employee because this will enable your ability to set goals and achieve them. If you are aware of what is expected of you, you will be more likely to succeed and grow within the company.
After learning how you will be evaluated, it is best to take it a step further and ask what will be expected of you in your first 2, 6 and 12 months on the job. Based on their methods of evaluation, they may require more or less than what you are capable of contributing within your first year of work. How challenged do you want to be?
4. How have you, both as an individual and the company, grown since you started working here?
This is an important question because it will give you an idea of where the company started and where it plans to go. Will you be able to add to the growth of the company as an individual? Has this person already? Are the company’s future plans something that you would like to work towards? Does the company achieve the goals it sets? Do the employees achieve the goals they set? If so, are they accomplished in a timely manner? Are there career advancement opportunities within the company and how attainable are they? While this may seem like a lot of questions, they are all essential to understanding which company will be the best fit for you and your future.
To truly get a feel for the company and understand if its culture and environment are a good fit for you, you should be asking these questions and others like them. A job is much more than a paycheck; it can determine your future and your own happiness. If the answers to these questions align with your needs, capabilities, and expectations, you may have found your next job. And hopefully, the interviewer feels the same way towards you. If not, then maybe you should pursue an opportunity with a different organization. A job should always be much more than just a job. To increase your chances of having a strong interview, read our article on how to answer behavioral interview questions using the STAR strategy.