What do you really know about the company you are interviewing with?
Don’t just go to that next job interview without getting some answers yourself. The interview is a two way process and a chance to learn more about the organization you are about to go to work for – you might just disqualify them! There are standard question of a general nature as described by RICS Recruit in “Questions for Employers: What You Should Be Asking” the employer should be able to readily answer.
- Can you tell me more about the company?
- What would a typical day be like?
- What skills and experiences do you think would make an ideal candidate?
- Do you run any training programmes?
- What are the prospects for promotion?
- How would you describe the work culture here?
- Why did the previous person leave the role?
- When can I expect to hear from you?
You should, however, consider some that are in greater detail like those by Kirsty Bonner, a job search consultant that posts regularly on LinkedIn. She has the following question set to ask potential employee seekers:
Be prepared to analyze what the interviewer says and how they act in as much as you work to control and know your anticipated responses to questions. Kieran McLoone in the blog “Five Job Interview Red Flags – And How To Spot Them” has compiled a description of five things to look for as an interviewee:
- Bad Mouthing of competitors or colleagues
- Lack of professionalism
- No mention of career progression
- Vagueness around specifics
- The process is too slow … or too fast
If a second interview comes up be prepared to ask more detailed questions. It isn’t enough to know they have a benefits package with a 401K, but it might help in understanding the value of it if there is a match, how much is the match, if it is self directed and if not, who the administrator of the account is? This is only one such thing to consider. Mike Simpson with TheInterviewGuys.com put this together in an article on “How To Ace A Second Interview (Questions & Example Answers Included)”. The article gives some tips on what the second interview could entail and proposes having a strategy. “Sit down and really figure out what matters to you in a job.” Excellent advise to heed if you are looking for a career move with any permanency.
In the recent months I was interviewed by a perspective employer (the interview was with the specific supervisor I’d be working directly under), they proceeded with a series of reference and background checks (including international as this was an opportunity with high profile professionals in a potentially compromising setting). I know my skill set, and I feel I am likewise a worthwhile investment as an employee. When the HR rep phoned me with the job offer I listened intently. She failed to elaborate on the benefits, but was quick and to the point about the salary, which was less than I had indicated on the application as acceptable. When I pointed that out and wanted to know more about the benefits, she cut me off and ask if I was “interested in the job or not?” I explained I’d need more detail to understand if the benefits were compensating for the anticipated shortfall, I was again cut off and told that was the salary and ask if I “need more time to think about it?” Naturally a person would always like to understand where that next obligation places you when expectations are not being met, so I said “… yes, I’ll phone you tomorrow with a decision.” Apparently that was the wrong answer as I spent the next several days trying to just get in touch with the same representative. When I finally did make contact, almost a week later, I was informed the “… company has decided to go another direction.” You win some, you lose some. In this case while they may have lost the opportunity to have hired one of their top performers, I won in that I’m not working under a management style that would actively limit my growth with some old world cast, nepotistic style of HR management. Not to mention they hit all five of the aforementioned red flags.
The interview is a two way process.