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:
- 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!
- 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.
- How would you describe this company’s values?
Working for an organization that doesn’t share 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.
- 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.