During an interview, most of the focus is on you, the candidate, with questions focusing on how you would fill the role and meet the expected qualifications. Because of this, you spend the whole time selling yourself and your skills. When going for a new job though, it’s not just what you can do for the company but whether the company is a good fit for you and your overall job happiness. As you will be spending a huge amount of your week at work, you need to make sure it is a job you enjoy and will thrive in. Below are 10 questions that could help you make that decision, courtesy of TheMuse.com:

What are your expectations for this role?

 You need to have a good understanding of what is expected of you in your first 3 months, and this can come for quarterly targets so that you can set yourself up for success before you have accepted the role. If the hiring manager or interviewer is unsure or doesn’t provide a clear answer, this could be a possible red flag as they may not have clear expectations for the role yet. You could even ask a follow up question of “What is the biggest challenge I would face in this position?”, the interviewer should have a clear answer for this, but if they respond with “no challenges”, this will also be a red flag as there is always possible challenges in any role.

What personalities flourish here?

 This is a definite question to ask, as most managers will be able to identify the type of person who would be successful in their organisation. It is better to know this before starting the role so that you’re not just fighting to fit in or be someone you’re not.

What personal or professional development opportunities exist?

 Knowing a company’s commitment to developing its staff can show how much a company values its employees. For example, some organisations will still be seen as old-school, so will have strict policies for attending conferences and training as well as time off for professional development. This doesn’t mean they should be avoided; it all depends on what you want a company to offer you in terms of development.

What’s the typical career path for this position?

 If you are a goal-orientated person, it will be very important to know what you’re working toward. If you are eager to climb the corporate ladder, you will want to work for a company that will offer a position that has room for progression and your career goals. This is a key thing you will want to know before you start, as you will be on a job hunt again in a few years if there is nowhere for you to progress.

What’s the company culture like?

 A good indicator for what a company culture would be like is to ask what the work/life balance would be as well as what a typical work day would look like. At this stage, you don’t want to come off as unprofessional and ask about remote working and a casual dress code but these are all key things to consider when you have an offer on the table. The best way to enquire is by asking questions about office culture with 9 times out of 10, getting the answers you need.

Do you have a bonus program?

 Job hunters are now being advised to get all the details about pay, from what their basic salary will be to what bonus programs and pensions will be available to them. Remember that it’s not just you bringing value to the table; the organisation needs to be able to provide reasonable compensation.

Why do you like working here?

This can be quite a revealing question as the interviewer will not be expecting it. Most will pause before they answer which is a normal reaction whereas others will stumble over their words and finding it a challenge to answer. This is something worth noting.

What values are important to your company?

 Getting a sense of the company’s values is very important, you want to know whether there’s a common goal for the employees and whether this matches your own. If you have more than one interviewer and they all give different answers, this is a red flag as it shows the company may not be aligned in their goals.

What do you think are the top 5 assets of this company?

 This can be a bit of a trick question for the interviewer but it will give you great insight into how the company treats its personnel as well as what it would be like to work for them. Ideally one of the answers should be employees but if this is an afterthought or not mentioned at all, a candidate should consider whether this company will treat them well.

Where will I sit?

 It may sound like a silly and simple question but seeing where you are going to be based for 5 days of the week will help you decide whether it’s going to be the right role for you.


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