Thursday, November 21, 2013

9 Killer Questions to Ask an Interviewer

  1. How would you describe the general culture of the company and the workplace?
    • Personalities at a company are important.  If you don't like your co-workers and how management treats their employees, going to work will be painful.
  2. Why did you choose this company?
    • This is a good, subtle question.  Does the interviewer pause, or answer quickly?  Are they enthusiastic/passionate about the answer, or does it take them a while to fumble through an answer?  If they have to think long and hard to come up with something good about their company, this can be a red flag.  If you've ever worked at a company you were passionate about, you will be able to answer this quickly.
  3. Will there be any form of training provided?
    • With diminishing training budgets, its nice to work for a company that provides more than a log in to a site that provides Word and Excel training videos.
  4. What are some of the biggest challenges/successes facing the department currently?
    • This will help you understand the culture and see where you might face some hurdles in the future. 
  5. What process will be used to evaluate my employee performance?
    • It's good to know up-front, how you will be graded on performance
  6. Who will be my direct supervisor?
  7. Are there many opportunities for professional development within the company?
    • Again, training and being able to work with new technologies may be important to you.
  8. What is the usual time frame for making the hiring decision?
    • Everyone should ask this to show interest in the position and let them know you may be on the market for a limited time.
  9. May I contact you if any further questions arise?
    • It's good to follow up and try to remember the names of key people.

I'm adding a few questions of my own that will help determine if this is a job you really WANT
  • What causes you the MOST frustration within the company?
    • Try to find out where your future frustrations are going to come from and is it acceptable to you? 
  • If you could change 1 thing in the company (that would not cost a lot), what would it be?
    • Try to gauge how happy their current employees are.
  • Can you describe an advantage to working for  this company that you have NOT had at previous employers?
    • Again, the employee of a good company can quickly rattle off a few things.
  • As close as possible, describe the "perfect" personality traits of a candidate you would like to hire.
    • This question will help you determine their expectations for you.
  • Describe some of the personal traits of former [or current] employees that you do not like.
    • This one will 'really' let you know what their pet peeves are and help you determine what they really want in an employee.  If they mention they hate 'clock watchers' or they don't like to 'hand hold' people through learning, that "could" be some clues to issues they have had with previous employees that they will be sensitive to.