A job interview should always be considered as a two-way interview process. It is both the opportunity for the employer to interview the candidate, but also the platform where the candidate should be able to ask the interviewer questions about the job. While the company wants to know if you are a good fit for them, you too should be considering whether or not the company is an ideal fit for you. Your personal aspirations, beliefs or character might not fit in with the company at all, which may result in a costly hire for the company and a potential obstacle in your own career path.
Ideally, you should never accept an appointment at an organisation that goes against everything that you believe in. If your gut is telling you that something doesn't sit right, you should probably investigate this inkling a little further in order to ascertain the cause for your concern. You have every right to know why the position is available. If the former employee left due to unfair treatment or harassment in the workplace, you should have the right to know. The employer is going to do every conceivable reference and background check on you, before making you a job offer. Similarly, you too should be doing your research and background checks on the company. Are they financially secure? Is the management structure stable? Are other employees happy? What are the future goals and objectives for the organisation?
So while many articles give you advice on how to handle questions asked by the interviewee, here are some questions that you as the interviewee (candidate) should prepare to ask during the interview:
1. How long has the company been operating?
2. Is this a new position?
3. How did the vacancy arise?
4. Are there any unique problems associated with the role?
5. Who will I be reporting to and what would this person expect of me?
6. Who will I be working with?
7. What are the company's short and long-term objectives for the company, the department and the specific role?
8. Do you expect to offer any specialized training for the successful applicant?
9. What is the career path for this particular role?
10. I noticed â€˜competitor company XYZ' (mention a competitor name) recently announced ....... (mention something that was recently launched in competition, or something news worthy, that might have impacted the company). What is the company's thoughts on this and how did it impact the business directly or indirectly?
Be sure that when you ask these questions, that you do so with respect and without sounding arrogant. If you are currently working for a competing brand, be careful not to ask questions that could be perceived as a fishing expedition. Be genuinely interested in the answers and listen attentively. Where possible, use the discussion point to highlight how you could add value to the situation or to give an example of how you have previously dealt with a similar situation.
An interview should be a two-way conversation, not an interrogation. Use the opportunity to demonstrate that you are confident in engaging at most levels. By showing initiative in asking pertinent questions to the business, you are demonstrating you have a keen interest in the company and the position, while at the same time revealing to the interviewer that you are an intellectually switched on individual who has insight and business acumen.
You are most likely to impress your interviewers if you show them that you have done your research and that you understand their business well. By asking sometimes pressing questions, you are showing the interviewer that you are not afraid to take on a challenge, but at the same time, you show them that you are the person who is prepared to take calculated risks.