When interviewing for a job, it is really important to consider its potential long-term implications on your personal and professional life. As a long-time career expert and CEO of The Mullings Group search firm, I have put together a list of five key questions to ask your interviewer(s)—before the interview ends.
These questions will help guide you on the right path to personal and professional success.
Am I a good fit for this company?
This is key in helping you decide if your personality, skills, and goals properly align with the company’s culture and requirements, and ensure mutual success. It’s one of the main reasons they will hire you in the first place.
More detailed questions, such as those below, will help you decide whether the position is a “no” or “go.” Overall, the goal is to ask the right questions upfront and to help navigate your career on the right course.
What are the expected deliverables for this role over the next three months to a year?
This is an important question to ask of each person in the interview process, as most positions have different stakeholders (e.g., the head of marketing, sales, quality control, or customer service) with different expectations. So if you’re interviewing with, say, the head of marketing, their individual perspectives on the role–and how it directly affects them—will impact exactly what those deliverables are. This question should therefore be positioned as, “As the head of marketing, from your perspective, what are the major goals (for deliverables) in the next 60/90/180 and 365 days?”
How will we both know that I have succeeded in this role?
It is difficult to define the success of a single metric or activity. So look for proof points in the interview. In some areas, it will be subjective, and in other areas, it will be objective.
Depending what the position entails, ask: “Is this a deliverable that will point to an evidence-based number, increase in efficiencies or revenues, and/or, an achievement of a feeling of pride/fellowship or establishment of culture?”
It is important to hear a clear definition of these job expectations upfront, and an agreed upon definition, as it will be paramount in determining if you have the potential to be “moderately successful,” “wildly successful,” or possibly “over-deliver.”
What are the growth opportunities in this role, and what important skills will I learn?
When you interview for a new job (or a new role), you need to be acutely aware of how it will help you thrive. So ask what core skills you will acquire and then determine if they are truly valuable for the future market. For example, maybe it’s learning new software, a new programming language, a brand new set of writing skills, or a new social media strategy that may be video-heavy or copy heavy.
Overall, the goal of this question is to make sure that your newly acquired skills have forward-facing value for your own personal and professional development and so you don’t waste three years of experience learning something that’s at risk of becoming obsolete.
Who will I become?
This is extremely important because there are a triad of factors at play: the integration of the self in the personal world, the spiritual world (not necessarily in the religious sense), and the professional world. Ask, “Who will I be working with on a daily basis?” Because who you hang around with every single day in your professional world greatly influences who you will become professionally, personally, and spiritually. Combined with working on something that will actually have a positive impact on the world, your growth will influence your future value on the market, as well as your future network.
Ultimately, all of these questions will lead to a role that will not only impact who you will become, but who you carry into the marketplace moving forward. Landing the right job will also drive how excited you will be every morning as you realize that this position is not only helping your career, but helping you become a better person.
Joe Mullings is the founder, chairman, and CEO of The Mullings Group, a global search firm that serves the medical device industry.