Career

Job interview coming up? Then ask these five questions!

Many people forget during the nervousness and hype of a job interview that the process is two-way; it’s not just about showing how perfect you are for the position but a time when you should find out as much about the job and the company as you can.  Think very carefully, “Is this the right role for me?” 

It can happen that you actually get the job, get very excited about it and then a few weeks into the new role it suddenly hits you that it is not the right slot for you.  Avoid this happening by asking some very relevant questions during the job interview.

– How do you see this role evolving?

This shows you are in it for the long-term and need to know if the role will fulfil your career objectives.  Will you move up in the position with regard to seniority, getting promoted internally or will it be a dead-end?  If the interviewer stumbles over this answer, be wary.

– How will the work I am doing add to the company’s mission?

If being an important part of the organisation matters to you, you should ask this.  If you find out that the role is not significant when applied to the mission, you may be passed by when it comes to budgets, resources and even pay rises.  If cut-backs occur, you may be the first to go.

– How would you define success within this role?

This gets deep down to the nitty-gritty of the job, providing you with clues as to how your career goals align with the position, culture of the workplace and basically provides an insider’s view.  Once you know what the company will expect of you, you can decide if it is what you want and if your skills match.

-Tell me about the company culture.

I once landed a role in a bank, which I thought would be the perfect job for me; after a short time, I realised that the culture and I did not fit well together.  For this reason, always ask this question.  You need to know what the balance is like between work and home-life, are you expected to do regular overtime?  Can you work flexible hours? Does the team do things together socially? If it seems like a position where burnout could be on the agenda, avoid.

-How did this position become available?

Is the role a new one, has someone left or been promoted?  Establishing these facts will give you an inkling as to growth within the company or, on the opposite side of the scale, do they seem to be downsizing?  If it seems like the company may not be doing so well, maybe you should think twice about joining them.

There are of course many other questions that you can ask at job interview and you maybe have a few favourite ones that you always throw in.  However, don’t hold back; treat this as a mutual exchange of information rather than the interviewer being in the driving seat.  You need to want this job as much as they want you.

Alex
I’m a Founding Partner of Bamboo Crowd. I help our clients invest better in people and scale through Engine. I solve recruitment challenges and help our clients source the best talent across operations, business development, programme management, and technology. Ask me about good films, beards and hip hop.