A job interview is not just about you being assessed as being worthy to join a new company – it is a venue for you to determine if the new employer is worthy of you!
Sure – employers love it when you do the research – it shows them that you are keen. However, there is a lot of information that is not in the public domain that is very important for you to know.
Many times job interviews can become one sided – in that the employer discovers all they need to know about you, but you don’t really know much about the role or the company another than what you have been able to glean from internet research and or friends. The same can happen also in reverse – as in the employer sells their business and role to you so well that they forget to actually ask the pertinent questions to assess whether you will be successful in their role.
Following are some key questions that you can use in the interview that will not only show that you are serious, they will also help you avoid the nerves of the interview (as you have them under the spot light now!), and allow you walk away at the end of the interview knowing enough information to compare employers to decide if you actually DO want to work there.
“What are your expectations for the first 3 months and 12 months?”
Take for example a sales role – many companies actually fail to spell out what their expectations are for a successful probation and expect the candidate to hit the ground
running from the first week – as that is what the current sales person or owner is doing. This may be totally unreasonable if the desk has no warm leads.
“What is the career growth potential in this role?”
Careful here – you want to come across as being keen to grow within the company, but also keen to do the job they have right now. Best to phrase it as “If I was successful in this role – where would you see this role being able to grow into in the next 2-5 years?” Most employers know that 2 years in one role spells a high possibility of staff turnover, so they need to create new challenges.
“What tools are available to help me with meeting your targets?”
An employer’s role is to provide an environment where a person can achieve their demands. Not having good tools means that the employer is relying heavily on the expertise of the employee. This is fine – as long as that is defined. Having good tools helps you see how well the management invests back into the company. Having an in-house training course is also regarded as an investment back into the company.
“What personal qualities do you believe a person in this role would need to be successful?”
This allows you to compare your strengths to the role’s needs so that you can decide if it is playing to your strengths. Don’t kid yourself though if its not! This will create a much happier relationship.
“What do you consider are the main challenges for this role currently?”
Here you are pulling strings. In a job advert you may only see the shiny polished view of the company. So that you are not disillusioned – you need the full picture warts and all. Showing that you are seeking challenges sends a positive message to the employer and allows you to discover interesting elements about the role you may not have considered.
Framing these questions is important. Interviewing the employer puts you in the driver seat for your career. You know yourself better than the employer, by you gleaning this information you can now take responsibility for your career’s success – and avoid making the wrong choice!
Best of luck.