Following up yesterday’s post, “Value people who refer and recommend you!“, on my friend’s job that didn’t work out, I forgot to add an important part of the conversation: questions to ask during interviews.
Everyone prepares for interviews thinking of how to answer questions asked of them. They kind of know it helps to ask questions, but they tend to ask questions to show they know about the company or the field, trying to demonstrate their value.
Everyone who understands the phrase “People join good projects and leave bad management” knows that the people they work with determine their working environment more than the project or nearly anything else. They’ll benefit a lot more in interview from learning about their working environment, especially the people they’ll work with directly.
Here are some important questions to learn the answers to. You don’t have to ask as forwardly as I’m writing them, but you can get the answers somehow. If you take the job, you’ll find the answers in any case, but too late to do anything if you don’t like them.
- Whom will I report to? What is that person like?
- Who will my team mates be? What are they like?
- Why is this position open? If last person left, why?
- What is the turnover at this company like?
- Do you like working here? Why or why not?
- What would you like to see improved about how the company is run?
- Does everyone understand and respect the top management?
- Are there any problems between people that have lingered for a while?
Things like that. Before asking them, it helps to develop a comfortable dialogue, making the other person feel understood or making a meaningful connection, for example. When you ask them as part of a constructive dialogue, I find people respect you for asking and you increase your chances of being hired, finding out you don’t want to work there, or finding out you do. You aren’t trying to create problems. You’re doing what in interview is for: making sure you fit and finding out what work you’ll do.
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