The best interview advice I have ever received is that you are interviewing the company just as much as they are interviewing you. In other words, you should make sure to get the rundown on the company, its management and employees, and its operations just as much as the company wants to learn about you and your skills and goals. With that, I highly advise you to go to each interview fully prepared with a strong understanding of both the company and industry, as well as the expectations for the position that you are interviewing for.
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You will want to have a complete list of follow-up questions ready so you can ask them at the end of the interview. These questions will showcase your interest and investment in the company and they will show how you take initiative and want to understand how the position contributes to the organization overall. Here are five important questions you should keep in mind during a job interview:
How does the organization measure success in the short-term and long-term?
The question shows employers that you are thinking about the big picture and the impact of your work on both the company and their clients. Through this question, you are demonstrating that you work with purpose and you keep specific results in mind, striving to not only meet, but exceed the goals of the company. Additionally, you are highlighting the fact that you seek to improve your own personal goals while keeping the idea of growing the company in mind.
Can I have a tour of the office?
During office tours, you can analyze how well you would fit in with the company as a whole. The action of asking for a tour of the office illuminates your high interest in the position as well as the fact that you see yourself working there. Moreover, employers sense that you seek to understand the company’s history and growth, which paints a great image of you as a potential employee.
Why is this position available?
To understand the structure and dynamics of the company, you will want to know why the position is available. Perhaps the company is expanding and the position is brand new. Maybe the previous employee’s performance was subpar, so the position is vacant. Asking why the position is available will allow you to show your interest in the organizational process of the company.
What skills do you consider necessary to succeed in this position?
This question is a great one to ask because it demonstrates your desire to succeed in the position. By asking this question, you are giving employers the perfect time to expand on the responsibilities and skills needed for the position. With that, you can get a sense of your expectations for the role while employers see that you are already making an effort to utilize your strengths as an employee. Employers will sometimes take this opportunity to inform you about the training and development opportunities that are offered to employees. As a follow-up to this question, you can ask what the employee in this role will be expected to accomplish within the first 90 days, demonstrating the fact that you are already thinking about your first three months on the job.
Could you share with me the personality and culture of the company?
I consider this one of the most important questions to ask employers because it highlights your desire to work for a company with aligning goals and values. This question lets employers reflect on how the employees operate together and how the company is perceived. By asking this question, you are demonstrating to employers your ability to envision yourself as part of the team. Through this question, you are highlighting how you will fit in with the rest of the company.
Job interviews are tough, whether you are just starting out in your career or are a seasoned professional. Each job interview comes with a new set of research on the company. I consider it important to ask these five questions to any employer during a job interview in order to enhance your understanding of the company while showing your genuine interest in the company.
What questions do you consider important to ask in a job interview?
Sara Kim graduated with a B.A. in Journalism and a double minor in Health Policy and Management and Asian American Studies from Ithaca College. She currently works as an Event Coordinator at a non-profit. In her free time, she enjoys working out, reading, watching movies, and cooking. Fun fact: as a foodie, she loves to try new foods and travel to new places.