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  • Stacey Baker

The Company - What to ask

As we continue with our theme of interviews, let us look further at the questions you can ask about the company. When you go into an interview, you are there for the company/interviewers to see if you are right for the role, but you need to look at it as an opportunity to learn about the company from the people within also.

Your first impression of the company comes from those that work there. You can read about company values and ethics at length, however insight can only really gained from those who work there.

Consider asking some of the following questions to help you expand your knowledge of the company:

1. What is the work culture like here?

Knowledge of how current employees find the culture can be key in your decision as to whether the company would be the right fit for you. You can be the best person in the world for a specific role, but if you are not going to enjoy the culture around you, then you are not going to enjoy the job.

2. Can you tell me what the team is like?

This question works best if you have found something in common with the interviewer. If you consider the interview to be going in a positive manner and feel that you are comfortable in asking the question (and will get an honest response), you can get an idea of the make-up of the team and who does what.

3. How long does the average person keep this job?

Knowing the predicted longevity of a role is important for how you look at a role and your career plan in the long term. For most, stability factor is a very important part of the decision-making process and if you find that the turnover for the role has been high in the past, it may give you cause for concern. The reasons for the bad retention rate might something you will want to discuss and expand on further. Again, how the interviewer responds to these questions will tell you a lot about the company.

4. How does senior management view/interact with the person in this position?

Everyone is looking to be respected and to know that the work they do will be appreciated, not only by their peers, but by those in positions above them. Knowing how people in the past have interacted with senior management, and how you would be expected to relate and speak to them can be key. It will allow you to go into the company with a plan on how you can make sure your work is done right, and noticed by who it needs to be.

5. What are the prospects for growth?

Promotion and self-development are especially important factors that most people. consider when looking at a new role and a new company. Ask about opportunities about growth of course but remember to be careful not to diminish the role you are being interviewed for.

6.What do you like most about working here?

This can give you first-hand knowledge that you may not be able to find elsewhere. How this question is answered can give you valuable insight into what to expect and could be the last piece in the jigsaw, when it comes to making that all important accept / reject decision, should you be offered the position.

Obviously, it is your interview; you have to gage how well things are going and whether it is appropriate to ask these questions, based on how things are going. Additionally, you must feel comfortable and confident in asking them.

Remember, as stated previously, the interview process is two-sided. The company are looking at you at a potential employee and you are looking at them as a potential employer. You being the right fit for them is equally as important as they being the right fit for you.

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