“Do you have any questions for me?” Nearly every interviewer ends a job interview with this question. However, interviewees, afraid of jeopardizing the discussion, never ask any questions. Little do they know, it is essential to ask and get all queries answered. Not asking any question might be perceived as a lack of interest in the position or overconfidence on the candidate’s end. Do you ask questions during a job interview? Or is it a one-sided discussion? In this article, we will explore the five best questions to ask interviewers that are beneficial for both the interviewer and the interviewee.
Why Should You Ask the Interviewer Questions?
The objective of an interview is to not only find the right person for the role but also the right employee for the organization. As an interviewee, it is important to find out if the company is a good fit for you. Do you have good scope for career growth? Are there enough learning opportunities as a part of this team? Candidates who stay mum during the interview might regret not clarifying their concerns. Even if the job is offered, both the candidate and the company might not benefit from this relationship in the long run. Let us find out how you can shift the conversation in your favor during an interview by asking pertinent questions.
Top 5 Questions to Ask Interviewers
#1: What is the Scope for Growth in This Role?
As an employee, you are not only filling in for a certain role. You are part of the company’s larger vision and it is vital that you understand how you fit in there. Believing in a vision is a huge motivator and reassures us that we are part of something big and impactful. If you are going to be stuck in the same role for many years both you and the company will not benefit from it. It is hence important to understand where this role could move toward and how much you can grow in the company.
Are they looking to expand? Will you get an opportunity to set up your own team? Get answers to these questions. It will help you have a better understanding and more faith in the role you are looking to take up.
Possible Red Flags: If the interviewer says “This is a small company and we just need someone to help with these tasks listed in the job description. In a few years, you could check what internal opportunities are available.”
#2: Could You Please Share the Metrics that Will be Used to Measure My Performance?
Asking such a question shows that you are professional, goal-oriented, and interested in excelling. Any interviewer would like to talk to a candidate who is not afraid of accountability.
Before entering the interview, do your due diligence. Understand the role, and the expectations, and jot down potential metrics. Check if the interviewer’s response matches the list. This will help you understand you are on the right track and have understood the expectations well enough.
Possible Red Flags: Watch out if the interviewer says:
- We have not yet decided on the metrics for this role
- Results matter, metrics don’t
- Over time we will figure it out, first, you need to complete all the tasks
#3: How Big is the Team? Do We Have ABC (Specific Roles) Members?
You are not a freelancer. You are a team player and an employee of an organization. Knowing how big the team is and what kind of roles people in your team play will help you understand your role better.
Additionally, with enough people to drive goals, you can be rest assured that you will not be overburdened with tasks, and will have a good work-life balance. You are not a one-man army and it is always better to establish this before you take up the role. However, on the flip side, if you are going to be in a very big team where all the roles are strictly defined, then find out if there is scope to take up more responsibilities and learn. You definitely want to expand, try new things, and not be stuck doing the same tasks day in, and day out.
Possible Red Flags: Be careful and decide if the interviewer says:
- This is the first hire for this team
- There are a few members but we all juggle roles, it is not well-defined because we are in an early stage
- It is a very big team, we all have specific roles. You will have to perform only your specific tasks and nothing more
#4: I Would Like to Know About the Company’s Work Culture
During the 2021 Great Resignation phase companies understood that most employees weren’t resigning only due to poor pay or lack of growth opportunities. It was also due to toxic work cultures. Hence this is one of the important questions to ask interviewers.
A company’s culture motivates employees to follow rules, perform well, and build meaningful relationships. What one expects from a company might vary based on the kind of person they are, but there are a few things all employees expect:
- Good work-life balance
- Learning opportunities
- Rewards and recognition
- Supportive team members
- Grievance and redressal systems
- Employee benefits
- No favoritism
Possible Red Flags:
- The interview is set up on a holiday or during non-office hours
- There is a lot of rescheduling from the manager’s end
- HR or hiring managers follow up multiple times before and after the interview
- If they bad mouth or demean former employees during the interview
- Also, if they say, “You must be available on the phone all the time. We need someone who is a hustler.”
#5: Do We Have a Philosophy for Customer Service and Satisfaction?
Wondering why this is one of the vital questions to ask interviewers? The answer will help you understand how empathetic the company is towards its consumers. It will also help you analyze if that is a philosophy you believe in as an individual.
- How is a customer treated?
- Are products and services tweaked based on a customer’s feedback?
- Before launching new products, do they ask customers for their opinion via bytes, surveys, calls, or focus groups?
- Does the company understand customer needs and pain points?
- Do employees know the customer at all? Or are they just following orders?
If a company is only concerned with profits and not its customers, then this is a recipe for disaster. As an employee, you might earn and benefit in the short term. However, you will not be able to grow or make any substantial long-term impact in such a sales-focused environment.
Possible Red Flags: Watch out if you hear these things during the interview:
- Customers don’t know what they want
- Only the customer service team talks to customers. We never reach out to customers otherwise
- All customers have the same requirements and expectations
- You are not expected or supposed to interact with customers
In 2021, when a netizen pointed out that Scotch Brite’s logo had certain gender markers, the company came forward immediately to resolve the issue. They apologized for the stereotypical representation and assured that their next production batch would have a gender-neutral logo. This was a huge win for the company and helped build a lot of credibility too. Such instances establish that successful companies are customer-focused and value their consumers’ opinions above all.
Wondering How to Land Your Dream Job?
In order to find and bag your dream job you need to first take a step back and evaluate yourself:
- Which role and industry do you wish to be in?
- What are your hard and soft skills?
- How are you planning to apply for these roles?
- Do I need to improve my current profile?
Are you aware that skills have a shelf life of only five years? New certifications and skills are no longer a good-to-have part of your resume. There is a rising momentum in lifelong learning, especially reskilling and upskilling.
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