When you think about job interviews, you immediately start to wonder what the manager is going to ask you, if you’re going to answer the correct way, and are they going to like you? Truthfully, it’s really time to start thinking about if that job is necessarily right for you and if you’re asking the right questions to find that out.
Of course, it is important to understand that the interview process will determine if the company would like to hire you; but at the end of the day you are looking for a career and not ‘just another job’. When you really start looking for your career you should think about the things that matter most to you on a day to day basis. These could be what type of people you will be working with, what are the hours involved, what exactly does your position do for the business as a whole, and how do they measure success and reward that success? The next time you’re preparing for an interview, be sure to ask these top questions during the interview because that manager is going to want you to ask them!
1) What role will I fill and how will it affect the company?
This is such an important question to ask on several levels. The first level shows the hiring manager that you truly care about the impact you will have on the company and the second level shows you intend to do a job that is meaningful to the company. This is also a great question to ask to better understand the job description as well. Some roles may seem marketing focused but at the end of the day the job may be a sales position instead. Be sure to fully understand what you will be doing every day.
2) Why did you join this company?
This question is the polite way of asking, “Why do I want to work here?” Finding out why others in the company work there gives a bigger picture of the environment and the expectations. The hiring manager may have been there for several years and you’ll want to know if it’s because the benefits are outstanding, if the people are great to work with, or if the work is rewarding. Don’t be afraid to ask this question!
3) What can you tell me about the future of this company and what is its mission?
This can be asked in several different ways but at the end of the day you should know where the company is headed in business. Is it growing? What is it doing to grow in the market? And why would you want to work for this company to improve its growth if needed? Ask every manager you meet this question because every answer may be different.
4) How would you describe the work environment and culture here?
Most likely you are at work 40 hours a week, which is a huge portion of your life! You’re going to want to know who you would be working with and what it will be like when you’re there. Will you have time to make friends? Will you even work with others? Do they hang out after work or at lunch? Do they believe in “work hard play hard”? You don’t want to start a job you will despise going to just because of who you work with!
5) What are the next steps in the interview process?
You never, ever, ever want an interview to go cold on you. So how do you prevent that from happening? To start, be sure to ask at the end of the interview to every manager you meet, “what are the next steps”? They will let you know how long it will take to make a decision either on another interview or if you’re hired or not. The time frame they give allows you to follow up appropriately. Send a thank you email immediately and then a follow up if you don’t hear within the allotted time. You don’t want to be too pushy but you also don’t want them to forget you in a sea of faces. Make them remember you!