How do you prepare for an interview? Many people spend so much time focusing on how they will respond to questions that they forget about asking questions themselves. As the interviewee, you are getting to know the company as they are getting to know you. Don’t hesitate to ask questions, voice concerns, or explain expectations. Here are three questions to get you started as you prepare for your next interview.
“How would you describe the workplace environment?” It is crucial to understand the environment of your workplace in order to gauge whether or not you would be a good fit. If the environment is fast-paced and energetic and you prefer to slowly work at your own pace, perhaps this is not the right job for you. However, maybe the environment is supportive and diverse, or perhaps the environment is focused on building good relationships between coworkers and customers. Finding out about the environment of the workplace will give you an idea of what a typical work day would feel like. If you have specific questions about the environment (such as questions about diversity, pace, or overall feel), don’t be afraid to voice those specific questions. Doing so will help both you and the company to know where you stand and how you will fit into the workplace culture.
“What goals do you have for the company, yourself, and employees over the next five years?” This question is taken from an article on Glassdoor all about interview questions. This question really helps to nail down the company’s overall goals, which will impact what each work day looks like. You want to make sure that you are working for a company that has priorities and values similar to your own, so asking about their goals will definitely help you to discern whether or not this company is the right fit for you. A great follow-up question would be, “How are you moving toward those goals each work day?” or something similar in order to gain a clear picture of how your daily work will help the company reach their goals.
“If I were in this job, how would my performance be measured?” This question is taken from Indeed’s helpful article about interview questions. (This article even includes a video showing how to ask these questions, so definitely give it a watch!) By asking how you will be evaluated, you will reduce future surprises or frustrations at performance evals. This question helps your interviewer to know that you are serious about working for the company, and helps you to know how the company measures success.
These three questions are simply a starting point as you think about how to handle interviews. Remember that you are allowed to ask questions as well as answer them. Take control of your interview by confidently reaching out with questions, and by boldly pursuing a career that aligns with your passions and values.