Job Interview Questions to Ask
Job interview questions to ask should be an important part of your interview preparation. Your research about the company you're meeting with should give you some good material to draw from. Questions about the company's business, priorities, and strategic direction that tie back to information you've researched will show a level of job interview preparation that most candidates won't bother with. This preparation will make you stand out from the crowd.
You can alter the questions we suggest based on what you know about the organization you're interviewing with.
DESCRIBE THE ORGANIZATIONAL CULTURE. WHAT'S IT LIKE TO WORK HERE?
This is probably on of the most critical job interview questions to ask. New employees typically fail not because of a lack of skill or ability, but because they can't assimilate into their new environment. Like a fish out of water...Don't overlook the importance of a good fit between your style and the culture of the organization you're considering. Find out if it's a political place. Is it collegial or very top down in its approach to problem solving? Is this a team oriented environment, where cross functional teams make recommendations and decisions? Is departmental management in sync with the corporate culture -- or is the department run by a maverick? How well is your prospective boss perceived in the organization? All of these elements impact what it will be like to work in this environment on a day to day basis.
HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR MANAGEMENT STYLE?
Try to get some insight into how the hiring manager manages. Is he/she known to delegate or micro-manage? Now, it's unlikely that anyone will admit to micro-management. So ask the hiring manager to describe a typical project hand off, or to walk through what kind of follow ups you can expect relative to your goals. Are there weekly meetings to check on progress, or monthly meetings? Are you required to write up detailed reports or do you check in with verbal updates?
If you've been given responsibility for a project, is the appropriate level of authority delegated as well? What types of decisions require approval from your boss? Drilling down on these variables will give you a clue as to the practical side of working with this particular manager. If you see signs of micro-management, and are not comfortable with that style, think twice about joining this organization.
HOW DO YOU ASSESS THE COMPANY'S STRENGTHS AND WEAKNESSES?
This job interview questions to ask turns the tables on the hiring manager. Companies, like candidates, have strengths and weaknesses. Find out what the company is really good at, and understand where the gaps are. Chances are the company's competitors know the weaknesses and they won't miss an opportunity to leverage them for market advantage. You'll need to know that the organization is working on strategies to effectively counter whatever weaknesses exist.
WHAT DRIVES SUCCESS IN THIS ROLE?
Listen for what makes others successful in this role and compare these points to your own skill set. Do you have what it takes to succeed in this environment? Be honest with yourself. If this role demands 24x7 in order to be successful, is this where you want to be? If it's a hotly competitive market environment, does this suit your style?
The biggest reason for failure in a new position is a mismatch between the organization's culture and the candidate's style. You can get some good information in the interview process to decide whether this environment is setting you up for success or failure.
WHAT PRODUCTS OR SERVICES ARE CURRENTLY UNDER DEVELOPMENT? OR, IF THIS IS PROPRIETARY, OVER THE NEXT YEAR, IN WHAT AREAS OF YOUR BUSINESS DO YOU EXPECT NEW PRODUCTS OR SERVICES TO BE INTRODUCED, AND WHAT MARKETS ARE THESE TARGETED TO?
Not everyone will tell you what's in the pipeline, but it's nice to have an understanding of the direction the company's headed. Are they about to get into a new line of business or out of an old one? These decisions have market implications and potential customer service ramifications. You also want to get a sense of forward momentum. In today's competitive environment, companies need to innovate constantly. Maintaining the status quo is typically not the answer you're looking for.
Find more job interview questions to ask using the links below:
You'll need more than basic, highly generic questions to make a good impression. Make use of our continuing series of job interview questions to ask and you will be far better prepared than your competition!
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