The interview portion of any application process will always be nerve-wracking, but you can turn this into an opportunity that will allow you to get to know the corporate environment of the company you are interested in. Aside from making your own observations, you can also get a more concrete idea of how your tenure with them will go by simply asking your interviewer key questions. Sometimes, the questions you ask in an interview can be your express entry into the workforce.
Understanding the Company
Since your main goal is to understand the company culture, ask questions that aim to find out how the company environment is really like. The question can be simple: “what is the company culture like?” This is always a good question to ask because it shows that you are interested in knowing more about the environment you could potentially be part of one day. It is also a fairly easy question for your interviewer to answer, and easy questions will less likely make them defensive.
Some companies are not shy to make their competitiveness known and this trait is only a personality they seek for in applicants. You could also begin with this question: “what important qualities should one have to excel in this role?” The interviewer might point you to the work qualifications, but mention that you are asking for specifics, and if they can provide key performance indicators at this stage, express your appreciation.
Ask about your day-to-day responsibilities for the job. You can phrase your question in a theoretical manner such as, “if I were hired for this role, what would be my day-to-day responsibilities?” Once again, a question like this shows interviewers your interest and eagerness to be part of their workforce, but it also serves another purpose: it tells you how heavy or light your potential daily workload could be.
Get to know your company further, but also hint that you are concerned about their progress in the market. Ask about the company’s main or top competitor, by simple saying, “who is your top competitor in the market?” This is one of those questions that tell you if the company you are interested in is well-aware of their place in the market. At the same time, it tells you who or what you will be going up against when they decide to hire you.
Learn How the Company Takes Care of Their People
The employees serve as the cogs that the company runs on, so their safety and peace of mind should be a priority. Any company that values profit over their employees’ happiness is not going to be a comfortable and secure environment for you to exert your time, talent, and effort in. That being said, find out if the company offers health benefits, outside of the legally-mandated healthcare plan.
Another good question to ask is if the company has amenities that aims to take care of employee health. These may include an on-site clinic, a lounge where employees can rest or have naps during their breaks, a yoga room, and even a gym.
Furthermore, ask if the company utilizes ergonomic furniture in their workrooms. Ergonomic furniture such as sit-and-stand desks, ergonomic seating, ergonomic standing mats, among others are necessary equipment when your profession requires you to be in front of the computer for extended hours. Sitting has often been considered to be more dangerous than sitting, and without the right lumbar, spinal, and musculoskeletal support, you expose yourself to discomforts that can cut your lifespan short.
Companies who understand the risks of sitting or sedentary lifestyles are, without a doubt, the best companies to work for.
The next question might be risky, so tread lightly. When you’ve built a comfortable rapport with your interviewer, ask if they are aware of the company’s trajectory in the next 5 years. A company that is constantly and continuously growing means you get to grow with it too.
Learn the Company’s Expectations from You
Companies naturally expect some kind of performance or results from their employees, so as early as now, find out want the company could really want from you. To make your question more smartly-phrased, say this: “what are your expectations of me in 1 month, 2 months, half a year, or in a year?”
You might also want to know what their biggest challenges are in the industry, and if you are somewhat of a forward thinker, ask if the company is planning to expand in the years to come. If the answer is positive, this assures you that the company is growing and acquiring more wealth.
Learn Your Role
Even though you practically know what you are applying for, it wouldn’t hurt to ask your interviewer if your position comes with potentials for growth or promotions. Unfortunately, some jobs are dead ends, but many companies rarely disclose this information. As your interviewer if the role you are applying for comes with promotions.