If you don’t already have an answer to this one, you absolutely should ask before the handshake. A full-time job is called “full-time” because it’s all the damn time! A majority of your active, waking hours! If at all possible, you should try to meet the people you’ll be working with most closely. Granted, this is more appropriate for certain kinds of work (and less for other kinds) but still try! Continue reading During the interview process, will candidates have an opportunity to meet the people who would be on their team or would be their supervisor(s)?
As with all the questions you ask an interviewer, this one makes you look good as a candidate while simultaneously giving you useful information about the company. This question makes you look good because you show that you already understand a bit about the company, you’ve done your homework about its competitors, and you’re proactively trying to wrap your head around the industry. The answer you get back is important because you get to see how the current management and leadership team think about their place in the competitive landscape. Continue reading I’ve read a bit about [other companies X and Y] but who would you say is your top competitor and why?
Hopefully the answer is, “Yes I can.” And ideally, the most recent team event didn’t happen 9 months ago. It’s important to see that a company is actively building up relationships and is being intentional about the organization’s culture. How does the interviewer look when she answers this question? And can you see yourself fitting in at that kind of event with that kind of group? Continue reading Can you tell me about the last team event you did together?
From Monday to Friday, you’re going to spend more waking hours interacting with these people than you’ll spend with your friends, significant other, kids, dog… It pays to know what the team is like. How many people? How long have they been with the company? Gender mix? What does collaboration usually look like on the team? Do they spend time with each other outside of work? These are important data points on your job search. Continue reading Can you tell me about the team I’ll be working most closely with?
Your interviewer should have a convincing and authentic answer to this question. And they should light up a bit when they give it. That is the most important thing. The possible answers could be as varied as “upcoming growth” or “continuing to serve our devoted customers.” But if there’s no answer (or only a forced one), then beware! Continue reading What gets you most excited about the company’s future?
No tricks to this question. It’s just straight up good to know if this position was created because the company is growing/evolving or if the position already existed but was vacated (in that case, was the previous person promoted? Moved to a different part of the business? Fired? Quit?) Continue reading Why is this position open? Is it a new position or a replacement for someone?
This is one of those questions where the particular answer doesn’t matter as much as the delivery. If your interviewer looks genuinely happy to answer this question and doesn’t have to think for a whole minute to come up with her response, that’s a good sign. If she’s stuck or can’t hide a look of resignation, then you should see red flags. Continue reading What have you enjoyed most about working here?
The answer here will tell you a lot about how this company or organization grows and responds to changing circumstances. Has the job remained unchanged for the last 10 years? Or is it evolving in a direction you like? Does the interviewer seem ready to answer this question? Continue reading How has this position evolved since it was created?
You want an interviewer to know that you can ask a direct question, that you don’t beat around the bush. You want to show that you know how to take feedback. And you really want an opportunity to address any soft spots that an interviewer sees in you as a candidate. Asking this question gets at all 3 of these things. Also, you get to evaluate how your potential new boss handles a head-on question and how she is able to give feedback. Continue reading Is there anything I can help clarify that would make hiring me an easy decision?
This question shows that you are eager to deliver, that you are concerned with the team’s performance, and that you are a detailed and pragmatic thinker. Continue reading What would you have to see happen in the first 30 days for you to think, “Wow – this person is crushing it.”?