Job interviews are daunting, there is no way around that. But if you’ve ever answered, “No, I don’t have any questions” at the end of a job interview, you’ve missed a huge opportunity.
In their nervousness, applicants at SIS often forget that job interviews are as much for the candidate, as they are for the employer. You’re here to see if the job will be a good fit for you. It’s like shopping for anything: the salesperson is going to ask questions about you and your needs to see if the product makes sense for you. You should be doing the exact same thing.
In addition to giving you some needed details, asking questions also shows that you sincerely care about the position with us. It demonstrates you’ve prepared.
This list of questions is by no means complete or exhaustive, but will provide a great starting point, no matter what position at SIS (or any other company) you’re applying for.
1. How would you describe a company’s culture? Do you hang out after work?
An oldie, but a goodie. Company culture has become increasingly important in choosing a job. It’s important to see how a company operates outside the traditional professional sphere. This two-part question shows you what to expect from work life, and if that attitude and camaraderie will exist in your personal life as well.
2. What is the performance and salary review process?
This is a future-thinking question, and something you will be glad you asked. If your interviewer doesn’t seem to have an answer for this or looks nervous, that is a huge red flag; demonstrating that there is not a ton of upward mobility. If they have an awesome answer for you (i.e. “Every six months”, or “After you’ve been here a year”), write it down. When (yep, I said WHEN) you get the job, you know what to expect and demand as you gain tenure. Here at SIS, we’re committed to offering a consistent review schedule for all employees, and a transparent, open-door work environment where your manager or supervisor is available to talk.
3. How do you measure success, particularly for this position?
Discovering what success is to a company (is it making a lot of money? Producing good employees? Throwing a killer anniversary party? Fostering growth?) will showcase their mission and values for the organization. It also helps you determine the milestones to achieve as you progress in your position, giving you immediate goals and metrics for the year ahead. It provides depth of the position, to see what the day-to-day would truly be like in order to be successful at this particular organization.
4. How do you help your team grow professionally? What benefits do you offer for professional growth?
Every job (that first one especially) is going to challenge you. This is something you must demand and expect. In addition to the everyday challenges (the ones you see on your job description,) you should look for other growth and development opportunities. Do they Lunch and Learn, have a robust training program, or encourage mentoring? All things to research and look out for.
5. Is there anything about myself or my qualifications that gives you pause? If so, I would love to address those concerns.
Yep, my heart leap in my chest as I was typing it. This question is not for the faint of heart, but is truly the ultimate end-of-interview question. It requires immediate vulnerability with a practical stranger, but this will show grace and confidence [I can’t tell you how often people are taken aback (in a good way) when I ask this question.] If your interviewer answers nope, their brain immediately goes, “I have no qualms? I guess I don’t! S/he’d be the perfect fit!” If they do, it’s a perfect opportunity to address and explain, before they become blemish on an otherwise great interview. Maybe they misunderstood your answer to a question, or maybe they’re reading WAY too much into that employment gap. Now’s the time to set the record straight.
What are your go-to questions? Comment below!