The Interview is a Two Way Street: 5 Things to Ask Your Potential Workplace
Interviewing for a job can be stressful. There is pressure to show the best you, pass the tests, and prove your worth. However, your goal is not to just get a job. It is to find the job that’s right for you. So feel free to treat the interview, not as a gauntlet of tests, but as a mutually beneficial meeting to learn about each other.
Usually at the end of the interview, the interviewer asks if you have any questions. Be ready for this by researching the company and industry the day before. Find out as much as you can so your questions are truly drilling down to the nuts and bolts of your job and the company’s culture.
Look over their website for corporate structure, mission statement, and latest press releases. Check out reviews from customers and previous employees on such websites as yelp.com and glassdoor.com. Write down questions that come to mind as you research. Some will be used in the initial interview and some will be saved for later when you negotiate your start. Here are a few common questions you could ask.
- “Where do you see the company in five years? Ten years?” Odds are the interviewer asked you where you saw your future self. Ask it back. If you researched the company, you already have their mission statement. Get some clarity on current challenges and triumphs and find out how they are affecting the company goals.
- Find out what makes the company different than the competition. They may pride themselves on 24/7 service or knowledgeable staff. This reflects on what they expect of you.
- Find out the history of the intended job. It may be a new position looking for a self-starter to create it. Or the departure of the previous employee may reveal much about the position.
- Find out how the company helps employees train and improve. Companies that pay for extended education, high end healthcare, career training, self-improvement programs, or donate to employee’s causes reveal a very positive aspect of their culture. Find out what they will do to help your mental and physical health in and out of office hours.
- “Why do you work here?” Your interviewer is an employee. They hold all the information you want to know about your possible job. Look at how the answer is worded as much as the answer itself. Your interviewer’s energy in answering that question will say so much about company morale.