During a job interview you’ll be asked a lot of questions that you need to be prepared to answer. However, the questioning shouldn’t be all one sided. You need to make sure the role and the organisation are right for your needs and career growth too!
You need to be prepared to ask some questions to explore a little more about what the organisation, the team, the manager and the role are like.
Here are six great exploratory questions to ask your interviewers.
1/ What would you like the successful incumbent to achieve in their first 6 months in the role?
This tells you a lot about what expectations they have on the future incumbent (and it also presents you as a candidate who is outcomes focused). It helps you assess if you have the skills, talents and personality to totally rock the job, and whether it will provide an appropriate amount of challenge and growth, whether it will be too big a job for your skills and abilities or alternatively, not challenging enough.
2/ What do you see as the greatest challenges for the role?
The answer to this question will give you critical information on what they perceive as being difficult about the job. For example, it might highlight high workload and long hours, or it might highlight interdepartmental silos and the need to be very collaborative across functions/departments. You’ll receive valuable information which will help you decide if you want the role if it gets offered to you.
3/ How would you describe the culture of the department/organisation?
This goes to the heart of what it would be like to work in the organisation. For example:
- What do they value?
- What challenges will you face working in that team or organisation?
- How will they treat you?
- Will you love working there?
4/ Why is the role available?
This is a great question to ask to get strong hints about the real challenges and obstacles involved with the role and what it’s like to work in the organisation. You’ll find out if it’s a new position because the business is growing, or if it’s an existing role. If existing, you may get some information about why the last incumbent left the role. For example, were they promoted, did they resign or was it a case when things didn’t work out (fired)?
The hiring manager’s answer to this very simple question may give you valuable information to consider about both the job and the organisation, and whether internals are promoted and have career growth.
5/ How would you describe your management style?
If this person is going to be your manager, what will he/she be like to work for? Can you work with them? Do your styles match or clash? Do they show that they like to manage closely, or leave competent people to work autonomously? Do they show indications of being a great mentor or coach? There is much that can be gleaned from the answer to this question.
6/ What is the next stage of the recruitment process?
The answer to this question will cover what happens next and the company’s timeframe for making a decision.
You’ll leave the interview knowing what is next. This will assist you in following up at the appropriate time, or preparing for the next stage in the process, whether that is reference checks, psychometric testing, site tours, casual team meets or a further interview. It will also assist you to manage any other opportunities or interviews you are attending.
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We would be delighted for you to reproduce our articles, as long as they remain intact and contain the author’s details as follows: Kris Reynolds is Managing Partner at Let’s Talk Career (www.letstalkcareer.com) in Australia. Kris can be contacted on 1800 284 255 or firstname.lastname@example.org.