Being prepared for a job interview typically requires you to do a bit of homework. Before attending an interview, most applicants conduct research about their potential employer, intended role, and anticipate possible interview questions so they are prepared with answers. Although job interviews are conducted to help an employer find the best candidate, they are also an opportunity for you to ask questions to decide if they will be the best employer for which to work. Posing a few questions to your interviewer can help you learn more about the expectations of the position, the values of the organization, and what opportunities exist for professional growth. Read more to explore what topics you would like to inquire about during your next interview.
Successes and challenges
To express your interest in the position for which you are applying, consider asking questions about how you can excel in your role. It can be insightful to learn how the employer evaluates success, what past employees have done to thrive, and what challenges you could face working in this position. If the manager you would be answering to is in attendance, you could ask about their management style and in what ways they support their team. These answers could help you determine if you would prosper in this role, and if or how the management team would facilitate your career development.
Culture and values
Workplace culture can make or break job satisfaction. In fact, “46% of job seekers cite company culture as very important when choosing to apply for a company.” It has also been shown that organizations with positive work cultures experience “improved employee engagement, increased productivity, and higher profit margins.” To get an idea of your next potential employer’s culture, consider asking how the employer responds to staff conflicts, what DEI initiatives they have in place, how they celebrate success, and if they sponsor or host local volunteer events. As you receive their answers, consider if your values align with the employer’s and if their environment would facilitate your personal and professional growth.
Growth and Longevity
Working for an employer who is established within the community and expresses opportunities for growth is important, especially if you are planning to work for them for an extended number of years. It can suggest business stability, expansion, and continued career opportunities. To determine these prospects, consider asking what advancement opportunities exist, what avenues for career growth are possible, and what trainings are available to facilitate advancement within the company. Exploring these possibilities can help you determine if options for growth exist, which could have a bearing on how long you stay with the employer.
After restating your interest in the position and summarizing why you are the best candidate, ask about the next steps. Asking this question is a professional way to close out the conversation but also clarifies what you can anticipate. The employer may have another round of interviews or could begin moving forward with offers, so you will want to know how to prepare and when you can expect follow up. Thank them for their time and set yourself apart from the crowd by sending a thank you email within the first twenty-four hours after the interview.