You might walk into an interview ready to tackle questions from a potential employer, but if you were invited to do the asking, would you be prepared to do so? After all, an interview isn’t just about you selling yourself to a company – it’s also an opportunity for you to find out whether the organisation and position are a good fit for you. We sat down with an assistant director of corporate services at a recruitment agency and got the lowdown on questions that will impress your interviewer with your initiative and dynamism.
1. What are the opportunities for training and growth?
“This indicates where the job might lead and what skills you might acquire, while signalling that you’re ambitious and forward-thinking. You’ll also find out more about the company’s promotion policy.”
2. What is the company culture like?
“It shows your interest in being part of the organisation, and helps you assess if you’ll fit in.”
3. What is the organisation’s biggest challenge today?
“Focusing on the company’s strategic issues shows you are interested in more than just the day-to-day aspects of the job. And if you’ve done thorough research on the organisation, this is the best time to impress the interviewer.”
4. What are my key performance indicators (KPIs) during my probation period, and what will they be after?
“Most of the time, KPIs don’t change – but it’s best to clarify this to prevent miscommunication further on. For instance, an inexperienced person might join a team, and the employer may be lenient enough to lower the KPIs during probation. In other cases, there may be a slight pay increment after probation, and bosses may raise the KPIs accordingly.”
5. How long have you been working here?
“This is one way to find out if employees are happy in the company. If it’s been a few years, you can comment that the company seems like a great place to work in for the interviewer to stay that long. Any hesitation would indicate some sort of unhappiness. The trick is to keep it light so their defences are down.”
This story was originally published in the November 2010 issue of Her World.