What Questions to Ask Employers in an Interview


What are the most important things you look for in a candidate?

Ask about the ideal candidate.

You should ask them what does the "ideal" candidate look like for this position. This will give you a chance to hear what they are looking for in a person and you can tell them how you fit into this profile.

Ask if they are looking for someone with specific personality traits.

You should ask them if there are certain personality traits that they would like this job to have, such as being outgoing or detail-oriented, and then explain how your personality fits into these requirements. You could also mention that "I am very detail-oriented and always try my best to get things right." This shows that you care about doing well at your job and want it done correctly!

Ask if they are looking for a candidate with specific skills.

If applicable, ask them if there is any experience or ability required of someone who would be considered an ideal candidate for this position; some things might be obvious from the job description but others may not be so obvious until now! If possible, mention one or two skills that match what they're looking for but aren't listed anywhere else on your resume - like cooking proficiency (if cooking).

What are the biggest challenges someone would face in this position?

What are the biggest challenges someone would face in this position? Do you have any advice for how to handle those challenges?

Of course, nobody wants to admit that their company is a hot mess. But even if it is, you can often get at least some idea of what's going on by asking questions like this. It's also a good window into the company culture: if they're willing to talk about their problems and admit they exist, they're probably pretty open and honest; but if they brush you off or make excuses, it's possible that they don't see them as problems at all—or don't want you to know about them.

If these kinds of workplace issues are a big concern for you—and let's face it, who doesn't want to work somewhere that isn't toxic?—this question can also help you decide whether or not the job will be right for you.

How do you measure an employee's performance?

>You: How do you measure an employee’s performance?

>Employer: We do a daily evaluation of our employees, which we give to the employee and their manager.

>You: So we evaluate ourselves?

>Employer: No, no, that's not what I meant. The managers conduct the evaluation, but they're more like guidelines. There are some things that are considered best practices, but it's not murder if you don't follow them.

This is where you have to make sure you understand what metrics are used to measure your performance. Is it dependent on the goals set for your role? How often is your performance evaluated? What does success look like? Also ask about how a manager can help or hurt your progress in this company (and whether you would want to work with one that hinders growth). And finally, ask about company culture; there’s value in asking what the team/company considers a “good job” and how they hold themselves accountable for their own performance as a unit.

This role involves X, Y, and Z. Are there any other tasks you'd like to add or change?

The interviewer will probably have an idea of what they'd like a successful candidate to be able to do, and they will also assume that you're a reasonable person who can adapt as circumstances change. That's why it's helpful for any job seeker to know exactly what their role would entail. If the interviewer says "This role involves making cold calls for two hours every day, creating weekly reports, and having lunch with clients," ask if there are any other tasks that would fall under this role's umbrella. Consider if these are major responsibilities or smaller details, but either way it is important to be cognizant of what you'll be doing from day-to-day in this position. Most importantly: does this sound like something you'll enjoy? If not, why not? This question is vital for both parties involved: every recruiter wants someone who fits naturally into the company culture, and you want a job where your skills matter and your contributions are seen as valuable by those around you.

How would you describe the work environment here?

"How would you describe the work environment here?"

This seemingly simple question is an opportunity for you to learn a lot about the company. In one fell swoop, it allows you to gauge what the day-to-day operations are like, how much freedom you'll have in your work and how well they set up their employees for success.

Here are some things to look out for when they answer this question:

  • They describe the people who work there. If they're happy with their coworkers, it usually means that they take care of their staff and hire (and retain) good people. It also makes sense that if they enjoy working with their coworkers, then there's a strong chance that you will too! Another bonus is if they use words like "collaborative" or "teamwork." This shows that they value teamwork above individual achievement, which indicates a culture of collaboration rather than competition.
  • They describe the dress code. It matters what kind of dress code is followed because it can give you insight into whether or not the company truly respects work-life balance. For instance, if everyone wears suits on a daily basis but there's no other indication that this is necessary in order to do their job (like client meetings), then it could be a sign that management does not respect personal time and values face time over getting results.
  • They describe the hours or atmosphere of the workplace. If someone describes long hours and overtime as normal, steer clear unless you like being chained to your desk until midnight every night! A healthy work environment should mean standard 40+ hour weeks with minimal weekend work—unless something special comes up occasionally which requires extra hours from everyone on staff. On top of this very important point about working hours: Don't expect them to be flexible if something comes up in your personal life during regular business hours!

What opportunities do you offer employees who are looking to expand their skill sets?

Once you've proven your worth, how will the company help you reach your full potential? While "on-the-job training" may not sound as impressive as "on-line training courses," they can be just as effective. That being said, if the opportunity is there to take advantage of tuition reimbursement and conference attendance, by all means go for it.

When will I hear back about next steps?

  • Interview process: The interview process for some companies can take a long time, especially if you are interviewing for a large company. If you are interested in the position, be sure to ask the person who is conducting your interview when they will have an answer. A good interviewer should be able to give you a rough estimate of when they think they will know something more.
  • Follow up: If the interviewer does not want to commit to a timeline or is unable to give you one, ask if it would be okay for you to follow up with them by email or phone call at some point in the future and then plan on doing so. It never hurts to check in with an employer and asking this question gives you an opportunity to find out what their hiring timeline looks like as well as whether or not it would be appropriate for you to reach out again.

These questions can help you determine if a company is a good fit for you and your skills before accepting an offer

Now that you have a game plan on what to ask, it’s time to put your questions in action. Asking questions about the role and company during an interview can help you determine if a company is a good fit for you and your skills before accepting an offer.

Remember: It’s not just about the money. Think about what else is important to you, such as the company's culture and values, how you will fit into the company, how you will be able to contribute, opportunities for growth (both professional and personal), learning, socializing or advancement. And don't forget to also think about whether or not this position aligns with your career goals. You want to make sure this position is taking you in the right direction and helping set up your future success!


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