Ready to Interview?
Are you ready to interview your prospective employer? That’s right…interview them.
A job interview conjures up images of a candidate sitting across from the hiring manager, politely answering questions. And that image is accurate. But it is not the whole picture. As a prospective employee, you are interviewing the employer to determine if you want to work for them. Consider it akin to a first date: both parties are gauging whether they are compatible, can work together to achieve results, and if they make a good team.
Many qualified candidates don’t get interviews and, according to U.S. News and World Report, numerous employers are adding additional steps to their hiring process. This may include multiple interview rounds in which candidates meet with several decision-makers and others who have input on the process. So if you are called for an interview, make the most of it and ask questions that will help you determine if you want to work there. This is also a way for you to discuss topics that may not come up if only responding to the interviewer’s scripted questions.
Here are a few questions to have in your back pocket:
1) Is this a newly created position or are you filling an existing post?
Follow up with “Why is this position being created and where does it fit within the department?” or “How long has the position been vacant?” Answers to these questions provide insight into whether the department is growing, or if it has been struggling and why.
2) What is the company’s greatest challenge right now?
Asking this question indicates that you are interested in working to overcome obstacles and developing solutions to existing problems. Follow-up by articulating how you see yourself bringing added value to the position; this also helps them to envision you in this role.
3) Is there anything else I can share about my qualifications for this position?
This conveys openness and a desire to make sure you have been helpful in addressing all of their questions. It also gives you an opportunity to address any concerns if they are raised.
4) What is the next step?
This makes clear that you are interested in the position and want to move the hiring process along. Their answer should give you an indication of not only their time frame for hiring but how many people are being considered.
In job interviews, as on first dates, it is important to be yourself, be honest, be a good listener and ask pertinent questions. And, if you want to take things a step further, be sure to follow up and make it clear that you want to see them again!