Essential Questions to Ask in An Interview


interview

You've landed the interview. You endlessly researched the company and know everything about them -inside and out. Your preparation for the interviewer's questions was thorough and you know you will nail each question, even the dreaded "what's your greatest weakness?" But there's another step some neglect to address. You're at the end of the interview and suddenly you're asked, "Do you have any questions for me?" For the love of all things interview and job related, do not ever answer this question with a no. I can't emphasize enough how bad this will make you look. It comes across as total unpreparedness. You didn't think the process through enough, you're ready to run out of there and have it over with. Additionally, nothing screams indifference towards the position more than someone who has nothing to ask in return. An interview is not a one-sided interrogation. It's a conversation between two professionals that will help each side determine if the opportunity is a good fit for both parties. I've been to interviews where I felt it would not be a good fit for me just by the way I couldn't produce a natural rapport with the interviewer. It occurs to me as well that a lot of people shrug this last part of the interview off as negligible and nothing to worry about. Here are a few questions to help assert your engagement not only with the company but the position being offered.

What Qualities Do You Look For In An Employee?

This is essential to assert within yourself whether the position is a good fit for you - you know your top professional qualities, and if they align with your potential employer's answer, it's a great sign. This also indicates that your new company knows what they are in fact looking for in a new hire, which assures you that they have done their research in the hiring process and are thoughtful in who will be a good fit.

How Will My Successes Be Measured?

How an employer measures your successes is important. You don't want to feel left hanging, unsure if you are doing a great job or doing a poor job. Does the employer offer consistent feedback? Do they have rewards systems in place for people who go above and beyond? What constitutes a true success to this employer? Are you expected to report on your own progress on a certain timeline? How have others moved up in the department? This question allows you to not only glean what is expected of you in your first weeks, but if success is measured equally among others and what the trajectory for moving up is - if that is something you are interested in achieving.

How Would You Describe the Company Atmosphere?

This question means a lot to me because personally I think company atmosphere is essential to not only job success but overall happiness. Is the atmosphere super corporate and serious but you prefer something more laid back? You need to find this out in the interview, not after you've accepted a job offer and begun the hiring process. Are you going to be trapped in a cubicle all day? Is it a free-roaming environment? Do the other employees appear happy and eager to engage you or are they quiet and keep to themselves? These are important observations as well as questions to ask to see if it would be an atmosphere conducive to your comfort and happiness as a potential employee.

What Are You Most Proud of in Your Department?

How your interviewer answers this question will reveal a lot. To me, I'd want to see my interviewer excited to answer this and really spill their guts passionately about how much they love what they do or what their team does. It's reflective of how engaged the department will be. If they respond with a lame, lackluster or apathetic answer or worse - they don't have an answer for you, I'd reconsider the company as a whole. An environment where the employees are engaged and excited to be there and gush about their successes really asserts what it would be like to work among them. If the interviewer responds excitedly and in a fully engaged way, I'd take that as a great sign.

These questions will leave a lasting impression after the interview. The interviewer will remember you as the individual who was excited to be there and learn as much as they could about the company. You will stand out from the rest and have gained some better insight into the company as a whole.