The monthly post from Elarie Consulting comes at a great time as I was just talking about two things you need to know when interviewing someone for a job – this time around, let’s say you are the one heading in for an interview and Elarie Consulting has got you covered.
When you’re gearing up for an interview, remember it’s a two-way street. Yes, a lot of the focus during your meeting will be on you, your qualifications, skills and abilities. However, no matter how much you may think you want this job, it’s important to always do a little bit of vetting for yourself. After all, if this opportunity turns into a job offer, you want to make sure that you feel confident about saying YES!
At Elarie Consulting, when we’re conducting Interview Preparation sessions, we spend a good portion of time focusing on questions that you should also be asking the interviewers. Most likely, someone is going to say, “Do you have any questions?” and it’s important to be prepared. As a rule, you should always ask at least one or two questions during this time. Otherwise, you may be perceived by the interviewer as not being interested enough for the position!
Here are our top 5 questions you can ask your potential employer, during the interview, to get a better understanding of the position at stake:
Could you tell me more about your backgrounds?
This is one of our favorite questions because it usually catches an interviewer off guard. Here you are showing actual interest in the person at the table! This question allows you to understand the development of the people you will be working with, and you may even find some similar interests along the way.
Could you tell me more about the day-to-day responsibilities of this job?
Pay careful attention to this question, because typically what they start explaining to you is in a similar format to the job description. Whatever they mention first is probably the bulk of the work you’ll be doing. Whatever comes lower on the list is going to be less important. You want to make sure that these are actual tasks you’re comfortable doing, and would look forward to completing each day.
What are the most important skills you believe are necessary to be successful at this job?
This is another great question to see whether or not your skills are up to par. They will most likely explain what pain points either the previous employee had (and they’d like to see improved), or what areas they want to make sure you’re focused on independently as much as possible. Again, pay close attention to what they say, as it may be the difference between your success or struggle.
What are your major concerns that need to be addressed immediately in this job?
This question really shows off your enthusiasm to hit the floor running! If they’ve been without someone in this position for a while, they’ll probably have a clear answer to this question right away. If any part of the answer to this question doesn’t make sense to you, make sure to follow up for clarity, so you can start on day 1 with understanding and ease.
Who will I be working most closely with?
To find out more if you’ll be working independently or mostly on a team, this is a great question to ask. Take some notes when they offer up the answer, so you can make sure to reference back to it if given the job. You’ll want to familiarize yourself with these people right away on your first day!
The great thing about asking meaningful questions during an interview is that it can really instill a lot of clarity into your job search. Based on the interviewer’s answers, you will understand if this job is a good fit for you (or not), and how to best approach handling the position if offered.