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Interviewer Archives - SourceMatch

What are the best questions to ask a potential employer in a job interview?

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The interview is not only the employer’s chance to meet the candidate but also for the candidate to know more about the company he is looking work for.

In order to get a good understanding of the interview and know exactly what to expect from it, there are a few questions that could shed some light:

  1.    What are the prospects for career development at this company?

Besides the salary package, you want to know what’s the best way you can advance in this position you are applying for. Some companies have formal programs to help employees develop their careers. When you ask about that, it will help you make a good impression, as you showcase that you are forward-looking and not only focused on the immediate. Great companies will be interested in helping you grow, something that will contribute to the entire organization’s growth as well. However, you must also be careful as career advancement, in this case, could jeopardize the interviewer’s position if it happens they are the hiring manager. Oops!

  1.       What are the biggest challenges for this position?

Be curious and prepared. Any information you can have in advance about the job will enable you to think of potential challenges you might have and whether you want to tackle a job like this. There will definitely be others along the way, but the sooner you know what to expect, the better prepared you can be. By the same token, the challenges you might face could be critical to your success on the job. It is key that you know them before you start working so you can think proactively how to tackle them.

  1.       How would you describe this company’s values?

Working for an organization that doesn’t share the similar values to yours might cause a lot of friction. Why is it important to know the company values? Imagine yourself working for a company that doesn’t value contribution and ideas from its employees, but you are a creative person who can bring to the table a lot of ideas and availability to implement them. Inevitably, you will end up feeling frustrated not being able to voice your thoughts. Some values you could also think of: honesty, win-win mentality geared towards the client, caring for employees, impact to communities/social responsibility, etc.

  1.       What are the company’s plans for growth?

A company that doesn’t have plans to grow is a place where your own chances to grow drop. Employees at all levels need to be aligned with their companies’ larger goals and its vision. Anything less and that would pull the company and its staff in totally different directions. Ask for an explanation of the vision, and mid-long term goals of the company (some of these will be available on the website). Great companies will have a clear red thread between their reason to exist (vision) and their development strategy. This means that they care about everything in between, and that includes you! Your growth and development plan need to be a priority.

   5.       Who are the people in the team or outside the team that I’ll be working with?

This is a question that will probe the recruiter or hiring manager’s understanding of the role. A well thought out recruiting process takes into account all the moving pieces that will ensure the success of the right person to take that role. It will give you an idea about whether this is a role that contributes to the success of a specific team or has more of a floating role based on expertise that’s useful in various project teams. It might give you an idea about the kind of manager that you’ll have too.

  

Think ahead. The more you know about a position and the company you will be working for, the easier it will be for you to be in the right place. At SourceMatch we believe that the best candidates don’t accidentally land in the right roles. It takes concerted efforts to achieve the right fit that everyone can win from.

 

Photo credit: Photo by Charles Deluvio on Unsplash

What do interviewers expect when asking: “Do you have any questions for us?”

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We’ll start with one statement: The interviewer expects you to be genuine.

We know there are probably hundreds of online and printed articles about the smartest questions you can come up with. It all comes down to you and the opportunity in front of you.

Let’s start with you.

There are a lot of things that are important to you, and only a handful that is crucial. Those are typical aspects that reflect what you expect of your life, career, the people or things that make you happy and fulfilled, and not least your health (this is a shortlist, you certainly have your own). You are there because in one way or another the job opportunity you’re interviewing for contributes to what’s critical to you. Once you’ve figured that out, think about what kind of questions you could ask that will clarify whether pursuing the job opportunity will contribute to what’s critical to you.

For instance, you may think: “In the long run, I want to be an outstanding business consultant, however, I don’t have any experience right now, so it’s crucial I get a job that helps me grow towards that ideal role.” so your question for the interviewer might be: “How does the company plan for professional development/growth?

Or you may think: “it’s crucial that I work for organizations that value a healthy culture that encourages creativity, instead of a top-down” so your question to the interviewer might be: “Could I meet some of the people I’d be working with?” If they are open to the idea, it will be a good way to tell what kind of culture you’d be dealing with.

Then continue with them

In the same way, think about what’s important to the company, why have they even posted this job? Is it because they’re growing? Is it because someone left? Is it because someone got promoted? Is it because it’s part of their strategy? Some questions you may ask:

How does this role help the company?

What made the person before me successful in this role?

Why has the person in this role decided to leave?

Or you can direct your question toward the interviewer himself:

What do you like most about working here?

If you were to change anything for the better at this company, what would it be?

Why did you decide to work for this company in the first place?”

You also want to get a clearer understanding of how they thought the interview went:

How do you think I and my qualifications match the company’s and hiring manager’s expectations?

Do your homework

Employers do spend the time to put Job Descriptions together. But that’s not all that they have on their webpage that can give you an idea of who they are and what they do. Their “about” page will help you know how they think, what they value (value/principles), where they’re going (vision), and how they’re going to get there (mission/objectives). Then review their “products/services” section of their website. Is there any aspect in particular that intrigues you? Is there anything that you think might be related to your job?

Ask a few specific questions that will help you have a complete picture:

How do you measure the effectiveness of that product or services?”

I noticed one of your values emphasizes the importance of people. How do I pursue this value?”

How often can someone get involved in corporate social responsibility initiatives?

Notice most of the questions are open-ended. This approach ensures you get the most out of your of conversation with the interviewers.

How they respond is an important indicator of that organization’s values. Did they provide honest and meaningful answers? Were they specific or generic/quoting from a “textbook”? Etc.

So be genuine, be yourself!

 

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