When getting interviewed for a job, usually the last 10-15 minutes the interviewer asks you if you have any questions. Most people will say “no”. HUGE MISTAKE. This is an opportunity for you to get to know more about the company & it is also impressive when you are prepared to ask questions showing interest in the company/brand. I have been on both the giving and receiving end of interviews and these are my top 5 questions that I ask whenever I am seeking employment from a job.
1 | How’s the company culture?
You need to know this! Why? Because if you are spending 8 hours a day in an environment that you’re meant to be productive, you need to know what the culture is like. Is is laid back? Is it up tight? How’s the dress code? Whats the camaraderie like? I mean, I would hate to expect a laid back work flow and then show up and everything is black and white. I love my work spaces a little technicolor if you know what I mean. DIVERSITY is huge for me. Not just racial diversity, but diversity of the mind. I love working with people who work differently than me (sometimes LOL) it helps me grow as a business professional and helps me hone my management/leadership style. Find out the culture, you won’t regret it.
2 | Has there been high turnover in the past?
This one is a little awkward but its critical. Have people been leaving at a higher rate recently? What is there retention like? How miserable is it to get settled into a new role just to find out EVERYONE IS LEAVING! Do your research on this too, find someone in the office on LinkedIn and put your Nancy Drew hat on! Learn more. High turnover shows that something is awry and whether you are part of the solution or a temporary fix, you need to know your stance. Also, job security is important too! You want to feel like your value is being recognized and that you wont be fired at random.
3 | How would you describe your management style? The team leaders management style?
I love asking this question because I work really well with hands off management styles. I love when I can discuss openly and honestly issues and solutions with my boss. Like I said before, I can work with just about anyone, but I would prefer to work with someone who yings my yang. You should too. You should identify the key traits in a leader that you cannot live without and make sure that the person you will be working with has at least 1 or 2 of your top 5. It will make your work experience a little better. Also, use this opportunity to be transparent about your expectations on management styles. Don’t come off snobby or bitchy but educated and poised. Know what you like, tell them your preferences and maybe you can meet in the middle before you get knee deep in a project and realize your manager is a complete flakey asshole or a total control freak! & ask about the other teams managers, you might not always work with your direct manager all the time on every project. Remember in college when you hate rate my professor? Take this opportunity to have the interviewee give you a general sense about leadership in the building.
4 | Where do you see the company in 5 years?
My favorite question of all 5. Where is the company headed? & more importantly, how do you personally impact the journey to the final destination? I love knowing that my expertise and my skill will be assisting a company to go the distance but I also love seeing the passion in the interviewees eyes when discussing the goals of the company. If a company doesn’t have a 5 year plan that seems sustainable, GET OUT. Don’t invest in a company that hasn’t invested in themselves. If possible, ask 2-3 people from the company this question. You will get a general feel of what the communicated goals are. They should each have a similar answer if the goals are communicated efficiently throughout the company (which they should be).
5 | What is your favorite part of the job you do?
What makes them get up and come to work every day? While I know most people rise & grind for the paycheck, find out if their passion transcends into their role. This is important because a passionate team is a productive team. If people don’t at least partially love what they do, you need to find out why. Especially if you are going to be working side by side with them. But even more importantly, if you really want to work for them/with them, finding out the favorite part of their job can also help you figure out what the majority of your work will be focused on as well. One of my old bosses loved visuals when I worked at Bath & Body Works, so you know what I started to love? VISUALS! & visuals was something I didn’t really care for at first but with her passion and expertise I was able to understand the connection between brand and visuals!