The job interview process should really be viewed as a two-way street. The employee is looking for the perfect candidate and the candidate is looking for the perfect position. Often times candidates forget this. They get excited about the prospect of a new position, an new company, a change of scenery. Also, some candidates really need any job, due to personal situations. But, the experienced and discerning candidate will be best served in the long-run to truly consider the job interview process as an opportunity to be critical of the potential employee as well.
Make no mistake, this is not easy. You are nervous. You are excited. You are thrilled that someone wants you! When the person on the other side of the table says "do you have any questions for me?", this is really the time to relax, think, question, listen, and reflect on what you have heard and saw.
Relax. Take a deep breath and realize that if you have made it this far, they are truly interested in you and what you can bring to the organization. Thus, if they are interested, others must be interested as well. This is not the only opportunity in town. Also, several well thought out questions are impressive to most hiring managers.
Think. Think about what type of company and leadership you want to work for. Think about the things that frustrate you. Think about the things that excite you. Think about the things that you desire at your workplace. This is serious business. Most likely you will spend 40+ hours per week at this company, not to mention your commute! Life is too short to spend it with the wrong company or leadership. Think about what questions you want to ask. Write them down, take them with you, and ask.
Question. There are any number of questions that you could ask. If you are experienced, you may want formulate your questions to reflect your concerns and frustrations from previous situations. Recently, I asked an experienced health care professional for some potential questions that she would ask at her new job interview, given her recent experiences.
-How do you motivate your employees?
-How do you communicate with your staff?
-How do you reward performance?
-How do you team-build?
-How often will I receive performance reviews?
-What will I learn here?
-How long have you been with the company?
-Can I talk to some of your staff?
Listen. As your questions get answered, listen. Really listen. If you have your questions written down, you can truly listen and not worry about your next question. Listen for any answers that seem to present a red flag.
You must be aware that no one place is perfect. Every place that you will ever work will have its challenges. But if you are truly viewing the interview process as a way for you to interview prospective organizations, you must listen and consider the answers you hear.
Reflect. After the interview and you have had some time to de-compress, reflect on the answers to your questions. Also, reflect on the body language and tone. Was the hiring manager open and honest? Did the hiring manager struggle to answer? Did he or she seem sincere? Did they get annoyed at your line of questioning?
Do yourself a favor and critically reflect upon the answers that you received.
P.S. Interview Tutor gift certificates make great gifts!
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