First, let us start with what not to ask in a job interview.
The biggest faux pas one can make is asking: “What does your company do?” If you have not done your homework and researched the company, you do not deserve a seat at the table.
But let us assume you have. The best way to approach the interview is to think of it as a first date.
Although a job interview is in a professional setting and the outcomes are different, the intentions are the same. You have exchanged information because you think there might be a connection and now you are ready to figure out whether you want to pursue things further.
Like a successful first date, there should be a good balance of give and take. Neither person should dominate the conversation and ask all the questions. Whereas the employer will ask about your experience and goals, you should ask questions that help you to understand why you should commit to working there.
Plus, questions are a great way to demonstrate that you understand the company’s goals and challenges, highlight your qualifications and work ethic and most importantly, make an impression that moves you to the top of the list of potential candidates.
Here are 10 questions that will provide you with insight into the company and make a favourable impression:
- I’ve been told that work well as a team member. What are some of the ways your company encourages teamwork?
- Long-term job satisfaction is important to me. Is the company committed to growing talent from within, whenever possible?
- I enjoyed your published mission and values. How are these reflected in day-today life? Can you share some examples that would help me to understand your corporate culture?
- If your son, daughter or a friend was looking for a job, would you recommend working for your company? Why?
- What do you think distinguishes your company from its competitors, both from a public and employee perspective?
- If speaking to a potential direct supervisor: How often do you speak with high-ranking executives in the company? When you do, what do they normally ask you? Do they ask for your opinion?
- How does your company demonstrate a sense of pride in its employees? Can you help me to understand what it looks for in return?
- Are there paid, ongoing learning opportunities offered at my level of job responsibility? What obligations do I have if I take advantage of them?
- What does your company expect in the way of personal and professional growth for a person hired for this position?
- Does your company have a code of conduct covering work ethic and appropriate attire?
Not every question will be appropriate for every job interview. Choose the ones that best address your career and personal goals and do not be shy about delving deeper into areas of particular interest. For example, if you are thinking of starting a family, you may want to explore the company’s commitment to work-life balance.