Turning the Tables: 8 Questions to Ask in an Interview

Are you interviewing for a new job? Remember that the employer isn’t the only one who should ask good questions. The questions you ask your interviewer can help you glean key information about the work environment, while also demonstrating your strong interest in the job and your beyond-the-basics knowledge of the company.

Here are eight questions to ask in an interview, along with the reasons why:

1. Can you describe your company culture?

Since you’ve researched the firm, you should have some understanding of the company culture. Still, you want to hear a personal take on what makes the organization work. Keep an ear out to see if the interviewer mentions how employees are rewarded and appreciated. What are the firm’s core values? Is employee feedback encouraged?

2. Is this a new position or am I replacing someone? If so, why did that person leave?

Ask this question to see if the company has retention issues. Sure, the position may be new or your potential predecessor may have left for purely personal reasons. But if the company has problems with employee turnover, it’s best to find out the reasons for that now. 

3. What does success look like in this role?

You’ve read the job description, and the interviewer should obviously be quite familiar with it too. Make sure you’re on the same page about the job responsibilities and all that’s required of the position. In addition, keep an ear out for talk of career paths and advancement opportunities.

4. Can you tell me about your time with the company?

Everyone likes a good success story. Pose this question to get an idea of how your potential manager rose through the ranks of the firm. This answer can spotlight the personal attributes and soft skills the firm values.

5. What are some of your strengths and weaknesses as a manager?

Turn the tables on the interviewer with this common interview question. Make a mental note if he or she only speaks of strengths.

6. What types of professional development programs and learning opportunities are available to employees?

Workers often say that making progress — and making a difference — drives them more than anything else. While salary and benefits are clearly key considerations to ponder should you receive an offer, career development opportunities are important factors too.

7. How do you empower your employees?

You can respect a good leader, but no one likes a micromanager. Ask this question to get a sense of the interviewer’s leadership style, particularly his or her willingness to trust employees to make decisions, and even mistakes, when handling projects.

8. How do you ensure employees have adequate work-life balance? 

Ask this question to see how much the potential employer respects their employees’ need to juggle their professional and personal lives.

Related post: 8 Things to Expect From a Second Interview

Tags: Interviewing