Job interviews, by their very nature, are misleading. The term leads people to believe it’s a one-sided conversation, right from the start. However, modern job interviews are absolutely not meant to be one-sided affairs.
In fact, the ideal job interview would best be described as a professional conversation between two people who are still trying to get a feel for one another’s attitude, mindset and work ethic. When you look at it like that, it suddenly becomes much easier to come up with your own questions to ask of your next interviewer.
What Does the Job Entail?
This might seem like a simple one, but you might be surprised at how many applicants end up with duties and responsibilities that they never wanted or applied for. Asking about the day-to-day responsibilities, expectations, and requirements is critical to ensure that the job is a right fit. If not, you might want to continue your job search elsewhere.
Is There Room for Progression or Advancement?
Unless you want to get stuck in a dead-end job, you’ll want to inquire about the potential for future progression or advancement through the company ranks. Apart from showing off your motivation and commitment, questions like this can go a long way in painting you as a dependable and dedicated teammate.
However, just because a particular role might not offer much in the form of career progression doesn’t mean that it’s pointless. Entry-level jobs often lead to recruitment for different positions entirely and new opportunities sometimes present themselves in the most unexpected of ways. With this in mind, you should be hesitant to reject a job offer based on the potential for, or lack of, future advancement or promotion.
How Does the Company Measure Performance?
It’s also important to get a feel for the performance metrics and indicators used by the company on a day-to-day basis. What a previous employer considered successful might be little more than average production under different management, so it’s crucial that you clarify such standards prior to your first shift at the new job. Creative job seekers can even use this opportunity to interject their own statistics regarding past job performance and accomplishments.
What Characteristics Are Valued Within the Company?
Asking about a company’s ideal candidate or preferred characteristics is a great way to reinforce and reiterate your desire to succeed with their team. This information gives you the opportunity to tailor your future responses to these specific traits and attributes.
Asking the Unexpected
Finally, don’t be afraid to ask questions that may be unexpected on behalf of the interview. Remember, you’re still trying to figure out if the role is a good fit for you. By making such inquiries, and by mixing in some of the more common questions as listed above, a proactive, diligent and observant job seeker should be able to gauge whether or not an opportunity is the right one.