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4 Things to Look for During the Job Interview
The job interview is your chance to evaluate the opportunity.
Are you obsessed with how you’ll sell yourself during the interview? Highlighting your skills, talents and abilities is certainly important, but equally important is finding a job that will be a good fit for you. You are interviewing to assess the job opportunity, your potential manager and the company. So how do you do this? You ask questions. You can, and should, level the playing field by asking questions which will turn the interview into a mutually beneficial exchange of information.
You can prevent your premature departure from your next job by making sure you know as much as possible about the new opportunity and people you’ll be working with. The interview is the best time to get all your questions answered. Don’t wait to find out until you are on the job. These questions will help get you started.
What are the real job responsibilities? Even if you’ve read the job description 100 times, you may not know the real responsibilities and expectations of the job. The best way to learn about the requirements is to ask questions throughout the interview. Be sure you have specific questions written out and ready to ask at the appropriate time. When the interviewer is telling you about the job requirements, listen for the opportunity to ask follow-up questions or ask the following:
- Why is this position available?
- What are the most important elements of this job?
- What are the three main factors you will be using to determine the right person for this job?
- What goals do you expect the person who takes this job to achieve during the first 30, 60, 90 days?
- If I was starting in this position today, what would you advise me to learn and do first?
- What would my interaction with my teammates be like?
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Will you like working for this manager? There’s a saying that employees don’t leave companies, they leave managers. Pay attention to how your future boss interacts with you during the interview. You want to gain an understanding of how your future boss will manage and lead you. The best way to do this is by asking questions about how he or she has managed people in the past and what their employees have gone on to do. And don’t be afraid to take notes. The interviewer is taking notes too. Taking notes shows you are listening and interested. These questions can help you understand your future manager better:
- How will I be evaluated in this role? What are the main indicators of success?
- What type of work do you delegate to your team?
- Has anyone on your team been promoted over the last couple of years? If so, what was the reason?
- What would be something your employees say you do extremely well?
- What type of recognition have you recently given to one of your staff?
- Can you tell me how you give feedback to your direct reports?
Will you like your future co-workers? Your co-workers can make or break your satisfaction with the job. Since so much of work today is team-based, it’s important to learn as much about them as possible. At some point during the interview process, you should have the opportunity to meet some of your potential co-workers. You want to understand each individual’s role on the team and how they interact with each other. If you have been offered a job and still haven’t had the opportunity to meet your future teammates, you may want to ask if you can speak with one on the phone or ask if perhaps you could come back in to meet with them. These are some questions you can use to get to know your future co-workers:
- Why do you like working here?
- How long have you been with the company?
- Where did you work before?
- What do you do in your spare time?
- How does your manager support and motivate your team
- What’s one thing you would change about the company if you could?
Can you see yourself working for this company? A company’s culture or style of doing business can either make it a great place to work or make you miserable. It is often difficult to define what the culture is, but there are things a company does or doesn’t do that will help you evaluate the culture. Try asking some of these questions during your interview:
- What do you consider to be your company’s most important assets?
- Does the company welcome celebrating special occasions? What was the last occasion your department celebrated?
- What kind of philanthropy does the company contribute to or participate in?
- What opportunities do you make available for professional development and training?
- What’s the process for on boarding employees?
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