A job interview is not only for employers to gain information on a candidate, it’s a perfect time to ask employers some questions as well! While employers are taking notes and deciding if you’re a fit for their company, candidates should be doing the same. The challenge is, what questions should each party ask to gain the most useful information?
Interviews are similar to professional dating. Asking professional questions, gaining information about their background, and making a decision on whether there will be a second (date) interview. Here is a list of 6 questions, 3 for a candidate to ask the employer and 3 for the employer to ask a candidate to obtain the most amount of information on each subject.
Candidate to Employer:
What is the growth potential with this position?
This is one of the more important questions for a candidate to ask an employer. If growth is your main concern when obtaining a new position, this question will allow the employer to clarify where the role is heading within the next 3-5 years. You’ll want to ensure that this position provides vertical movement, and advance within the company with tenure and achieving set goals.
Why is this position open?
This question will clear up as to why the position is available. Where is the previous employee now? Did they leave for a better opportunity or were they promoted? Make sure to pay attention for any red flags.
What would you define as success in this position?
An answer to this question needs to be written down and framed. Understand what goals are for the first year in your position, work on those goals constantly, this will ensure future success and promotion.
Employer to Candidate:
These are the most popular questions that will ensure you’re gaining enough information to make a great hiring decision.
What do you know about this company and this opportunity?
Plain and simple, this will tell you if the candidate has put any time into researching the company or the position. A candidate that is able to tell you basic information on the position or your company shows initiative and the ability to take accomplish tasks without being asked or told to do so.
Why should we hire you, what makes you different from everyone else?
Great question to ask and typically will stump the candidates that are not prepared. While you don’t deliberately want to confuse or throw off a candidate, you do want to see how they think and react in the moment.
Candidates, if you’re still here, they’re looking for answers like:
- You can do the work and deliver exceptional results
- You will fit in beautifully and be a great addition to the team
- Hiring you will make him/her look great and make their life easier
What is your greatest accomplishment so far?
Employers, pay attention to these answers, not all great accomplishments are done in the workplace. Sometimes it’s obtaining a college degree, starting a family, buying a house. Each one of those examples provides just as much insight as a professional answer. These are accomplishments that take time, hard work, commitment, and so on. Don’t get bogged down with professional style answers.
Interviews are a two way street, have confidence that each of these questions will give you a full insight of information about the party across from you.