Prospective candidates for jobs typically fixate on preparing answers rather than questions, and this is to be expected when a candidate is eager to get the job. However, what most interviewees overlook is the fact that an interview is a two-way street; employers ask questions to know if the applicant fits the bill, and candidates should ask questions to know more about the job and what the role entails, to know about the company, and to establish interest says Alex from Castille Resources Malta. Here are the best nine questions to ask in your next interview:
1) “How is the group dynamic of the company/organization?”
This question will help demonstrate your interest in the organization and its people, and will also enable you understand the company culture. Should you be hired, you are two steps ahead, and can prepare for future interactions with your co-workers.
2) “What are the opportunities and risks on the job?”
Working for someone is essentially a quid pro quo situation; they hire you for your service, and you work for financial and experiential gain. Asking a practical question as this will help you weigh the pros and cons of the job. More so, it may help you gather your thoughts and lead you to an epiphany; career-wise.
3) “What are the 5-year plans of the company?”
This question aims to decipher whether the company you are applying to is thriving, and will continue to do so. Considerably, this is also an opportunity for the employers to cogitate on their company’s vision, mission, and direction.
4) “How is the gender culture in the workplace?”
Whether you are a man or a woman, this question is of great importance for two reasons: 1) this will help you foresee the kind of treatment and interactions you will have in the workplace should you be hired; and, 2) you can ruminate on your character vis-à-vis the company’s gender culture.
5) “What skills and values does your company foster?”
This question will help you know what values and skills they have and are lacking; a great opportunity for you to share your values and skills as an employee. A follow-up question should let you know the steps the company takes in developing and empowering their employees.
6) “How is the employee-customer relations in your organisation?”
It is very “in-your-face”, but a vital question nonetheless. Some client-oriented institutions sometimes overlook the rights of the employee just to maintain the “customer is always right” notion. Although the goal of institutions should be to deliver services or products at terms the clients are satisfied with, this should not be at the expense of the employee’s character, well-being and dignity.
7) “How is the orientation and learning process for the job?”
This is another practical question that will work to your advantage; this will help you know if there is an orientation process for the job in question, or if you will have mentors to mentor you on the job, or if you will just go straight to work independently without any form of support.
8) “What is the company’s position in the industry?”
Realistically, you should do your research and know the answer to this question. However, you can ask this question to gain more information that is not in the public domain. You should ask the question in a manner that shows that you have done your research but would like to know more from the organisation’s perspective. It is a risky question, but vital. It poses a risk and opportunity for you. If the company is losing foot in the industry, taking the job may be a risk with regards to job security. Conversely, it provides an opportunity for you to utilise your skills and expertise to turn things around for the company.
9) “When should I expect to hear from you?”
This is a textbook question for any interview – a vital one. This will help you mentally prepare for the results; hopefully, for a positive outcome, or on your moving on to the next interview.
Edikan Uko is a business strategist and human capital management professional. She tweets from @EdikanUko.