The 3 Best Questions To Ask To Find Out If The Job Is For You
– and Uncover Secret Fires With 1 Bonus Question.
Well done! You made it to the interview stage…
Your heart rate is elevated and you’ve been giving the right answers, matching your experience up to their questions, demonstrating competence in all the expected areas. You think you did pretty well.
And then they ask you THAT question:
Oh no! You don’t even know if you want to work there, because you forgot to ask some awesome questions along those lines… For an interview goes both ways. You are interviewing them too.
Let’s make it easy on you with…
The Three Best Questions to ask at Every Interview*
1 – What Can You Tell Me About the Culture of the Organisation?
This one is unexpected and shows you taking an interest in the people, and they way they are. Are they serious, jovial, friendly, quiet, hardworking, training focused, insular, boozy, bunch?
Your aim here is to get more detail on what they are like as a whole. What the vibe is like. The company culture is usually a reflection of their values. Will you be expected to socialise a regular basis, for example. A plus for some, a minus for others.
2 – Why Has This Role Become Available?
Be wary of any company that gets slippery answering this question – it hints at underlying problems and you should endeavor to find out why the role is now open.
If it’s a new role – what do they hope to achieve with it? What pain points or problems do they expect you to solve? If it’s a previously filled role, why has it become available? Has the person moved upwards within or have they moved on?
If they are indeed slippery here then you should ask about the turnover rate for staff as a follow up question. If it’s really high then you have a right to ask why.
3. What Would Your Staff Say is the Best Thing About Working Here?
THEY SHOULD HAVE LOADS OF ANSWERS TO THIS.
If they know and care about their staff then they should know what they value about being a part of the organisation. Ask the receptionist what they think is the best part too, and if you get to meet anyone else ask them. See if it aligns with what you were told.
And see if it aligns with what YOU value.
OK so I cheated and it’s actually 4 questions to ask!
4. What Would Success Look Like in the First Six Months?
This will give you an understanding of where the role fits in with the current strategy, if there are any fires to put out, and makes sure that they understand what the job is. I have walked into a flaming hellstorm of a job before, and left after three months because I did not ask these questions.
Fighting fires in an unpleasant culture while handling a horrendous manager. Don’t let it happen to you.
*some exceptions apply
Robin Bates – knows what to ask in his next job interview