The Interview is about determining fit for both the employer AND the job seeker. The employer must decide if the candidate possesses the skills, experience, aptitude, mindset and personality considered important, if not required, to be successful in the position, department and organization as a whole. As the job seeker, it is YOUR responsibility to decide if the job, department, organization and culture are a fit for YOU. Otherwise, you are leaving your success with the organization to chance and risking re-entering job search mode in the not-too-distant future. Here are 3 questions to help you gain insight into whether the job, department and organization are a good fit for you:
1. What will I be doing on a day-to-day basis in this position? The answer to this question breaks the job description down and reveals how you will actually be spending your time in this position. For instance…Perhaps you are applying for a customer service position, and in your mind you believe you will be working with people face-to-face. Upon asking this question, however, you discover that you would be spending most of your time on the phone and computer. When you have a clear picture of what you will actually be doing in the day-to-day, you can determine if the position plays to your strengths and the sorts of activities you enjoy.
2. How will you define success for this position in the first 6 to 12 months? The answer to this question will provide you information on how the organization defines and measures success and gives you the opportunity to assess how realistic their expactions are. It also gives you great insight into what to focus on to do well within the organization.
3. What are the dynamics of the department and the manager? What are they like? What is it like to work in that department? Here, you’re asking about culture, personality and day-to-day interactions. Who you spend your time with 40+ hours per week can have a huge impact on your success and general well-being. The answer to this question will give you a peak into the inner workings of the group, as well as help you decide whether it is a group and manager that will bring out the best or worst in you.
The questions you ask in an interview are as important as those you answer. Take advantage of the opportunity the next time your interviewer says, “So, do you have any questions for me?”