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Ask Your Interviewer

Author: Mike Scaletti

A good interview should be a conversation, not an interrogation. That means that the questions should be going both ways. There is a lot you can learn about a potential employer by asking the right questions, and a good set of questions also goes a long way towards shaping the impression you give. Here are some of our favorite questions to ask your interviewer.

What do the average day in this role look like?

It's important to know what your average day will look like, because that is how you will spend the majority of the job. Asking this allows you to evaluate whether you can be happy with that routine long term. It also sets a baseline for what the expectations of you would be in this role. Finally, it shows the interviewer that you are interested and engaged in getting to know the actual nitty-gritty of the job.

What are your company's values and how should an employee best embody those values?

Company culture and an employee's compatibility with it is one of the biggest predictors of workplace happiness, so it is important to establish early whether or not you will fit in. This question is important to provide insight into both what type of company your prospective employer is, as well as the type of people it values.

What’s your favorite part about working at the company?

This question serves two purposes. One, it personalizes the conversation you are having with your employer, allowing you to show interest in them and their experiences. Two, it allows you to gauge your interviewer's enthusiasm for their company. If they struggle to find anything worth mentioning as their favorite part of the job, it might be time to reconsider your application.

What makes for a successful employee, and how do you measure that?

Understanding your path to success in the company provides you with a deeper understanding of what the job will entail, while having a detailed explanation of how that success is measured allows you to map out your near term future to achieve it.

Is there room for growth in your company? If so, how does one pursue that growth?

If being able to grow within your company is important to you, then this is a question you MUST ask. The important part here is identifying how pursuing growth happens within the company. Do they have a development program? Will they invest in your growth and learning? If not, you may find yourself stagnant within your role.

Who are my collaborators and coworkers?

Another key indicator of workplace satisfaction is the team you work with, so it is valuable to identify them early. Who are they, what are their titles, what do they specialize in? Knowing these things in advance will help you integrate quickly and seamlessly into your new team, hopefully while impressing them!

What is the most challenging aspect of this position?

No job is perfect. We all know that. Identifying any issues or challenges you may be dealing with early will help you be prepared to find solutions to them. Also, asking this question indicates to your interviewer that you acknowledge that this position will require your time and effort and that you are willing and ready to face any challenges that may come along.

Is there anything about my history or background that you might make you think I'm not a good fit for the role?

You want your interviewer to know that you are committed to the candidate process for this position. You also want to give yourself an opportunity to address any potential red flags that the interviewer has noticed. This question does both. If they have not seen anything that makes them question it, then great! If they have, it might be a concern you can address in the interview process in order to get your candidacy back on track. Either way, you want to know.

Employers are looking for engaged, motivated candidates, and asking your interviewer these questions, and questions like them, will signal to them that you are. Simultaneously, you want to make sure that this position is one that you will be happy in for at least the near future, and an interview gives you the perfect opportunity to evaluate the job thoroughly. Remember, it's a candidates market right now, and it makes no sense to take a job you'll be unhappy in.

Good luck out there, and if you need any further help with your job search process, The Job Shop is here to help. Don't hesitate to reach out!

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