Get the Most Out of Your Job Interview with These Questions was originally published on Firsthand.
During a job interview, you can expect to be asked all kinds of questions about your education, experience, and skills. At a certain point, the interviewer will shift gears and ask if you have any questions for them, which gives you the opportunity to learn more about the company and your potential role there. Knowledge is power, and knowing as much as you can about the company you’re interviewing for can help you make the right decision. Today we’re going to talk about a variety of questions that you can ask your interviewer. Let’s begin.
First and foremost, you should try to learn as much as you can from the interviewer about what you’ll be doing, what your team will be like, and who you’ll be reporting to. It’s important to be able to work well with the people around you, unless of course you’re looking for a miserable day-to-day experience, which hopefully you aren’t! In all seriousness, your daily tasks and your immediate coworkers have the power to make your day-to-day experience great, or unbearable.
So, what kinds of questions should we ask about our day-to-day experience? Here are some examples to get you started:
- Who will I be working with on a daily basis?
- What are some challenges that the team is currently facing?
- Who will I be reporting to directly?
- How many positions are you looking to fill in this department?
The Company’s Culture
A company’s culture consists of elements such as its work environment, whether it subscribes to any variation of the work from home policy, the events and activities it holds for its employees, or any traditions it keeps, among other things. Asking questions about a company’s culture can help you determine whether or not you’re about to find yourself in a toxic situation.
A company’s culture is one of the most important things to consider when you’re looking for a new job. Let’s say you’d like to work from home half the time, and you’re excited about the opportunity to hang out with your coworkers at events that take place after work. In this case, you should be looking for companies that foster this type of culture. Remember, when we’re happy in the workplace, we’re more motivated—this can only lead to good things.
If you’d like to ask an interviewer about a company’s culture, try using some of these examples:
- Would you say the work environment at [company name] is mostly collaborative, or mostly independent?
- What’s your favorite part about working at [company name]?
- What types of team-building exercises do you do at [company name]?
- How does [company name] handle work from home/hybrid employees?
The Company’s Values
While on your interview, try to gain some insight into the company’s values. This could include asking about employee resource groups (ERGs), diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I) initiatives, or the company’s charitable endeavors. When a company’s values align with your own, you’re far more likely to feel happy at work, which means not only will you experience increased productivity, but you’ll also feel way less stressed.
When devising your questions, always perform some research first. Often, companies will include at least some information about their values, ERGs, DE&I initiatives, or various volunteer or charity events they have partaken in. The bottom line is you don’t want to ask any questions that might have been easily answered with some basic research, as it will indicate to the interviewer that you haven’t done your homework.
And now, here are some sample questions about a company’s values that you can try asking on your interview:
- What are [company name]’s core values?
- Has [company name] created any employee resource groups? If so, are they employee-run?
- What kind of DE&I efforts has [company name] made in the last few years?
- What types of charitable endeavors has [company name] engaged in?
The Future of The Company
It’s important to know whether a company you might be working for can remain viable long into the future. As such, you should ask a couple questions about the company’s future plans and prospects. When a company is stable its employees will feel secure, and will be less likely to suffer from overwhelming stress and low job satisfaction. Additionally, a stable company will experience greater employee engagement and low employee turnover.
Here are some examples of questions you can ask your interviewer as it pertains to the future of the company:
- What are [company name]’s plans for the future?
- What new types of products/services is [company name] planning on rolling out in the future?
- Where do you see [company name] in the next few years?
By asking questions like these while on your interview, you’ll be able to decide on the job that’s right for you and your own unique life situation. The right work environment is an integral component to a successful and fulfilling career, and when you feel comfortable at work, you’ll feel motivated and experience increased productivity. Additionally, the right employer will offer perks and benefits that complement your lifestyle. As with most things, never be afraid to take the time to ask questions—the more you know, the better off you’ll be.