- Interviews aren't only about you as a job seeker impressing an employer for whom you'd like to work.
- Interviews also are important for you to ask questions about a company and its management, and whether or not you can successfully work in that environment.
You've been applying to many businesses, saturating the field with your resumes, taking some risks, crossing your fingers-and lightning strikes: You've been chosen for an interview. Good job!
Now don't worry about screwing it up. Don't panic, plan it. You want this opportunity to show exactly who you are, and that you are the best candidate for the position.
But how do you do that?
You ask questions of the employer, you query them about not just the job you are applying to, but about the company in general. Showing interest only in the open position you hope will become yours can ironically make you seem too eager to impress, when your concern should really involve being impressed.
So be smart, make the interview not all about you, but rather an exchange with the company and employees that you desire to be part of.
Start a conversation in which you interview them as closely as they interview you. Keep in mind that part of this process hinges upon them impressing you with the reassurance that they are worthy of your talent.
Given that, look into the following list of six questions you can bring to your next job interview.
1. Why did you choose to work for this company?
Ask the person interviewing you why they chose to work where you are applying. Are they admirable reasons or the same sorts of reasons as your own? If something sounds fishy or too-good-to-be-true, you need to be wary of whether you want to work there.
Get a sense of why your potential coworkers call this company home. They may eventually become the people you work with.
2. What impresses you most about this company?
Ask your interviewer what impresses him or her most about their company. Inquire about the company's culture, and any perks that are provided to its employees. What is the work-life balance like?
You will want to work within a pleasant atmosphere free of arduousness that can create a disgruntled workforce. Remember, the goal of interviewing those who interview you is for them to adequately sell the job and company to you.
3. How will the company grow in the next five years?
Long-term employment is important for any job seeker in today's workforce. When you commit yourself to a company, you will want to know that the company is in for as much of the long haul as you.
With that in mind, ask the HR representative or hiring manager what the future goals are of the company. Will they expand? How does the current economy bode for the company's business model? Is it sustainable, and will it be so in the future?
If the company isn't growing at all, or even fighting for survival, you might save yourself a career crisis and not jump aboard a sinking ship. Growth, on the other hand, means they need strong talent to keep increasing.
4. What makes this company a success?
Who and/or what is this company in its current business model? Is it a leader or follower? What is innovative about the company beyond the job you are applying to?
You need to know this information, especially if it involves the position to which you are applying. You would not want to see your hard work go unnoticed, or be wasted simply because there are other issues within the company that may hold back its success.
You also want to take pride in where you work. If this company is strong and outmatches its competition, you will jump on board with a clearer conscious.
5. What is most challenging in your business? And what is most rewarding?
Although you should already have a good idea about the industry the business you are applying to operates in, it is always a good idea to know what challenges the business faces. If your specialty is marketing, then you will want to know what adversities stand in the way of the business having a stellar marketing program. In fact, the same can be asked of any of the departments within a business.
Hiring managers and assistants are usually very candid about the improvements they want within their businesses, particularly if you are applying for a vacancy in which the business needs improvement.
6. What is most rewarding in your business?
This is the good part of the interview process and should be your last question to ask during the interview.
Find out through the person interviewing you what your prospective department deems as most important to their success. Is it winning a company-wide or industry-wide award for an ad or product campaign? Or does the most rewarding part of their business entail seeing the business become an industry leader?
Understanding company accomplishments, as well as future goals, is as important as comprehending the company's culture. Without goals (and without a culture for that matter), a business will quickly lose revenue and eventually shut down. And that's something you definitely don't want to be involved with on a professional level.
Interviews are tricky. Other than coming prepared, a vast amount of extenuating variables can introduce them into the interview process, which at the game's end, can make or break your chances of getting the job you seek. When you ask the above six questions, do so with genuine interest. Show that you truly want the job to which you've applied through your queries, and your chances of success will be that much better.
For more information, look into these articles:
- Your First Job Offer Considerations
- 15 Companies with the Best Work-Life Balance
- How Does a Company Decide to Hire?