Job hunting is quite a challenging sport in which your ultimate goal is to secure your next position. While practicing it, you’ll have to exercise your network-building skills to access more opportunities or have better chances of succeeding, improve your reading-comprehension skills for deciphering Job Descriptions, and maximize your writing skills to craft a resume that is appealing, showcase all your experiences and abilities… and is hopefully a one-pager. Phew…! Already exhausted and still haven’t gotten to the interview stage.
So if you mastered the initial steps of job-hunting, you may have accomplished the first achievement: an interview. Much has been said about interviews being a two-way street, but most of the advice focuses on how to face interviewers' questions. We’ll change the perspective and share five questions you as an interviewee should ask that will help you leverage this instance and leave the court with valuable information for the next game.
To get the ball rolling, knowing what your potential manager expects from you is key to success. As not every coach expects midfielders to score, not every manager will demand software engineers master design concepts or quality analysis to the same extent. That’s why, no matter what the job title of the position you are interviewing for is, never forget to ask the interviewer what your day-to-day responsibilities are.
Make a tactical move: professional development is a key factor when building a career path, so be sure to check what the most challenging aspects of this role are so you can decide whether this job and what you’ll learn while developing it will take you one step closer to where you want to be.
Being aware of the overall impact you’ll have on the organization’s success should also be among your questions to the interviewer. This does not mean everyone should always aim to contribute to a major product - perhaps you prioritize the chances to experiment and aim for a position in an R&D project or have the desire to learn a new technology, which may be easier to accomplish in an internal development project. There’s a lid for every pot… you just have to be aware of what the position demands.
The human element in the workplace has taken more and more prevalence lately. The company culture and values impregnate everything from management style to benefits policies and internal communications, so it will be worthwhile to take some minutes to chat with the interviewer about this topic. On the same page, getting to know more about the team you’d be working with in advance can be a major advantage for onboarding and feeling comfortable right away - so take the chance of asking about this during the interview, too!
Sportspeople are not known for handling suspense very well. They have a strong desire to know the referee’s decision immediately and need to find out what the outcome of the match they missed is ASAP. The same should happen to you as a key player in every interview: avoid feeling anxious and intrigued after this “match” ends - let’s leave that for mystery TV series fans - and leave the court with detailed information on the process’ next steps and a direct means of communicating with the Recruiter, so you can eventually reach out if you need to do so.
Just like in sports, preparation and practice are key to success, so make sure to put in the work beforehand and give it your all on game day. Hope you can take advantage of our piece of advice and knock it out of the park next time you schedule an interview…!