Job interviews are a two-way street. You should be sizing up the employer just as much as they’re evaluating you. And the best way to do this is by asking questions — the rightquestions.
“If you get to the end of an interview and almost all the questions have been asked by the person at the other end of the table, then quite frankly it is highly unlikely you will get the job,” says serial entrepreneur James Caan in a recent LinkedIn post. “Not only does it make you seem unconfident, but it gives the impression that you’re not actually that committed to getting the job.”
If you’re genuinely interested in the role, you’d want to find out as much about the employer as possible — “in particular, things which you can’t glean from a mere job advert,” he says.
Here are four questions you should be asking in every single job interview, according to Caan:
1. What are your short, medium, and long-term goals?
Caan says he’s always impressed when job candidates ask this question because it shows they’re interested in the vision of the business. “I have said before that companies don’t hire people who are merely looking for a job — they hire people who want to work for them.” And this question, he says, shows that.
He suggests asking the interviewer where they see the business heading over the next year, and what their specific goals are for you and your department, should you be hired. “It won’t only make a great impression on the company, but it can also give you a clearer picture of what they will expect from you.”
2. What’s the culture like?
“A job is not just a series of tasks; it is also the place where you will be spending a substantial amount of your time,” Caan explains. “Therefore you need to ask the interviewer what the company culture is like, because it should match up with what you want.”
For example, you can inquire about how much employees interact with one another, or which managerial style your would-be boss employs.
“Asking about the culture shows that you have a high attention to detail — and that’s something which goes down extremely well with any hiring manager,” he says.
3. What are the opportunities for progression?
After you discuss where you see yourself in five years (a common interview discussion topic), find out whether this company would be able to support your goals and offer opportunities for progression.
“Remember — this doesn’t mean they need to offer you exactly what you want in five years,” Caan says. But they should be able to offer you support and encouragement as you expand your skill set and climb the corporate ladder.
“A good company will not be put off by your ambition; in fact they will admire and encourage it,” he says.
4. How will I be measured?
The hiring manager may not go into detail about the company’s key performance indicators, Caan says. But they should be able to give you a broad idea. “You should walk out of that room knowing what you have to do to hit your targets and add value to the business.”
Click here to read the full LinkedIn post.
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