I don’t know about you, but interviews were never my strong suit. Then one day I learned that job interviews, in reality, are a two sided conversation.
Listen… You may need the open position that was advertised, but that company also need good candidates to pick from. Learn how to come correct in an interview. Avoid putting too much of your effort attempting to be what the company needs you to be secure an offer. Let the company give you their sales pitch. Are you buying it?
The interviewer could begin your interview one of two ways. Maybe it starts with a greeting followed by a request for an introduction and background on a candidate’s experience. Or maybe the greeting will be followed by the interviewer diving into details about the company and the position then interview questions and finally room for questions.
The best practice I’ve found to date has got to be determining my needs the company must meet aside from income; benefits, work environment, hours, etc. Here are some questions to ask the interviewer to help get the most out of your interview:
What does the position pay? You want to look for a specific dollar amount they are offering for the position. You also want to know hour frequently. Is it an hourly salary or annual salary? Will checks be paid out weekly, biweekly or monthly?
What are the hours of the position? You want to know what schedule the position calls for. Is it morning shift, midday shift, or evening shift? You want to know if the schedule will be set or if it’ll change from week to week. You might also want to know how schedule changes are communicated to employees and if there are any attendance metrics they expect to be followed.
What benefits does the company provide? It’s important to know what the company offers their employees beyond pay. Are the any healthy benefits? Are the any external perks for being an employee of the company? Are there special places in the office for the use of employees? Like, wellness rooms for breastfeeding moms or an on-site fitness centers with 24/7 access.
What metrics does this position follow? The answer to this question will provide you with an idea of what the company plans to hold you accountable for. You’ll get a glimpse of if a position will be strictly structured or more relaxed.
What does a typical day look like in this role from start to end? You should want to know what the company expects you to do on a day-to-day basis in words different from the lengthy written job description that you probably didn’t read anyway. This also will tell you if the position is repetitive or if it changes daily.
When does this position start? This question, helps determine the pace of the interview process. If the open job position starts right away, you can expect to hear back after the interview fairly soon. If the start date is far out, you can expect a company to take their time making any hiring decisions.
What are the next steps? This is the most important question when you are trying to develop a follow up strategy. The interviewer will let you know if there are any addition interviews you may need to go through with the company. Listen for a time frame you can expect to hear feedback regarding the interview.
There are a handful of basic questions you might get answers to when the interviewer discusses the company. If not, I recommend securing these answers at the bare minimum.
I would strongly suggest you to include some open ended questions that demonstrate interest in the company or in the position. Here are a few of mine I’ll share with you:
“In this role, what obstacle or obstacles would you say are the most challenging for employees to overcome?”
“What is it about this company that continues to keep you onboard?”
“Does the company support self development outside of the job role? In what ways?”
These questions not only help confirm if the role best fits your current needs, but it also makes you look good to the interviewer. Two critical goals to obtain in when in the interviewing phase.
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