Deciding if a job is right for you involves many variables before you say yes.  Does the job include responsibilities that inspire and challenge you? Do the compensation and advancement prospects meet your expectations?  Can you develop a good working rapport with the supervisor?  Does the company’s culture match your vision of an ideal workplace environment?

Some answers to these questions can be gathered from the job description, researching labor market information and perusing the company’s website, blogs and social media communications.  But the greatest opportunity to capture the details and essence of the job and company’s culture is through your interview.  This is especially true if the recruiting process is remote since you may never experience an onsite visit before you’re hired.  

Whether interviewing in-person or via video chat, too many candidates neglect to take full advantage of one of the most common interview questions posed to them: “Do you have any questions for me?”  This is your opportunity to delve deeper and to further impress your interviewer. 

Your questions need to be engaging and provide you with another chance to demonstrate why you are the perfect candidate for the job.  Avoid asking any questions that can be easily answered by simply visiting the company’s website or examining Glassdoor rankings

Here are some examples to help you develop your key questions:

What is the biggest challenge the team has faced in the past year and how did they meet it?

The pandemic has been a huge challenge for most companies this past year but in different ways.  For some it meant reducing or suspending operations.  For others it meant ramping up to respond to urgent or unexpected opportunities.  Hearing how the team performed will give you insight about how you may have to help solve challenges in the future. It’s also an opportunity to demonstrate how your experiences and skills can contribute to the solutions.

What opportunities will there be for advancement?

Expressing your excitement about the position coupled with a question about future opportunities within the company show your commitment toward a long-term relationship.  Even if the hiring manager is unable to say for sure you’ll have these opportunities, restate your confidence in your abilities to grow and take on new responsibilities.  They will see your potential to advance in the company. 

How do describe your management style?

There are many supervisory styles, and you may thrive differently in different situations.  Your job satisfaction, in addition to your performance measurements, can be fueled or dampened by your relationship with your team leader.  Listen carefully for their approach to empowering their employees, inspiring a sense of “ownership” in their team and leadership qualities to determine if you will be encouraged to succeed. Explain to them why their style is one in which you know you will thrive. 

What makes you proud to work here?

Create questions around company culture elements such as employee rapport, inclusion, wellness program and professional development. Your questions indicate the values that are important to you.  Their answers will reveal commitment to employee engagement and if the company really lives their values. Remember company culture goes beyond ping-pong tables, free snacks and slogans on coffee mugs. 

Finding out if this is the right job for you means having a two-way dialogue. These interview questions work if you’re looking for your next career move or if you’re re-entering the workforce after a hiatus. Looking for more hints on how you can ace your job interview and find the right match? Start with some great free workshops offered by your local one-stop career center

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