While some interviews may feel more like interrogations, they shouldn’t.
Close your eyes and think of a tennis match: The ball is hit back and forth, rather effortlessly (well, unless you’re opposite Serena Williams). An interview should be like a casual game of tennis, where questions are lobbed back and forth. They ask a question, you respond. Then you ask a question, and they respond. Back and forth.
The key is to ask the right kind of questions. The type of questions you chose to ask your interviewer should stem from what you need to know in order to fully evaluate the position. This means the questions you chose to prioritize should be well thought out.
Here are 8 prompts to get you in the right frame of mind:
1. What do the day-to-day responsibilities of the role look like?
Writer Annie Dillard said, “How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.” Success and happiness in a job boils down to contentment with the nitty-gritty of the everyday.
2. What are the company’s values? What characteristics do you look for in employees in order to represent those values?
Dig deep to get more information on company culture. You’ll get insight into what is most important for the company as a whole, and what it values in the individuals who work there.
3. What’s your favorite part about working at the company?
It’s important to get a sense of your interviewer’s opinions about working there. If enthusiasm flows easily, that’s a great sign. If it doesn’t, that is worth noting too.
4. What does success look like in this position, and how do you measure it?
It’s crucial to have a deep understanding of how a company measures success. What are the key performance indicators (KPIs) for the role? How, and how often, are they measured?
5. Are there opportunities for professional development? If so, what do those look like?
When asking this question, you’re looking to key into whether there are opportunities for growth and whether the company has a Learning & Development program. Stagnation is a big red flag, so be alert!
6. Who will I be working most closely with?
This question will help you get a better sense of the dynamics of who your collaborators will be. Jot down names, ask for titles. It’s important to evaluate how cross-functional the role is.
7. What do you see as the most challenging aspect of this job?
Knowing the good is just as important as knowing the not-so-good. You want to understand the scale of the problems you’ll be dealing with.
8. Is there anything about my background or resume that makes you question whether I am a good fit for this role?
This question displays that you’re highly invested in the job and committed to understanding your prospects as a candidate. Plus, it will also allow you an opportunity to respond to any potential concerns.