Questions to ask during your interview

Guillaume Hansali
Guillaume Hansali
Questions to ask during your interview
Interviews go both ways

I shared the following learning in my recent piece, "Career Insight"

The people you work with will impact you more than the work itself. Choose the boring job with fun people over the fun job with boring people.

While it's impossible to know beforehand the kind of people your future colleagues will be, you'll have opportunities to probe for hints during your job interview.

When you're being interviewed for a job, remember that you're also interviewing the company. Be curious. Ask as many questions as possible. But avoid generic questions.

Generic questions will give you generic answers. Be specific. Be personal.

Don't ask if there are opportunities for growth and career evolution. The answer will always be yes. Ask for concrete examples.

  • What have you learned in the last 12 months?
  • How do you balance work obligations and learning opportunities?
  • How are personal growth and the company's growth linked?

Don't ask about the company's principles and values. You'll get textbook answers. Ask how they live them.

  • What three qualities or personality traits are essential to thrive in this company? Conversely, what are the three you believe would set someone up for failure?
  • How do you choose your priorities?
  • Do you have an example of a dilemma you had to solve at work?
  • Is there anything you regret or wish you had done differently?

Don't ask about the company's culture and atmosphere. It will always be inclusive, collaborative, engaging, and all that.

  • What do good and bad days at work look like for you?
  • How do you resolve conflicts between different employee needs?
  • What is the funniest or weirdest thing the team has done or worked on lately?
  • What gets people excited? What drives them at work?

I've interviewed hundreds of candidates. Very few ask challenging questions. I guarantee that many interviewers will be caught off guard if you ask them any of the questions above. You'll see them puzzled and struggling in real time as they try to give you a cohesive answer. And that's how you know they're sincere and forthcoming.

Sure, we all want to know about benefits and working conditions. But don't waste precious interview time on things that can be answered in an email.

I also think that these questions can be asked during 1-on-1s once employed. Remember that the probation period is mutual. If you don't have that opportunity after joining, that's actually pretty telling.

Now, if you don't feel that the right people surround you, it is natural to ponder whether you should jump ship. I discussed this topic in this article:

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