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3 Questions You Probably Don’t Ask In Job Interviews – But Definitely Should

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Interviews are your chance to showcase your talents to hiring managers and for the majority of jobseekers it’s the most nerve-wracking part of the job search process. The average job interview last for 30-60 minutes but it may feel like forever. If job interviews make you nervous rest assured you’re not alone. Over 90% of jobseekers feel nervous about interviewing according to global studies.

Many jobseekers get so nervous in interviews that they make a fatal mistake and forget to ask any questions to the interviewer. When your interviewer asks if you have any questions for them, this is the time for you to ask them about their side of the story. Interviews go two ways and you are most definitely encouraged to ask questions about them. 

Great interviews are when the two parties spend an equal amount of time trying to get to know each other. The interviewer is trying to figure out how well you will fit into the team and handle task. A jobseeker’s goal is to figure out whether this company is everything that they say they are, and ultimately is it a place worthy of your blood, sweat and tears.

Asking questions also improves the interviewers' impression of you. They will understand that you are interested in the company and the role you are applying for, and that you're engaged and want to learn more about them. It also shows that you are well-researched since you have a list of insightful questions for them.

When considering what to ask in an interview we've compiled three questions that are essential to help you learn more about the job and company.

Questions to ask after an interview

1. What will be expected of me?

It may feel strange to ask about their expectations from you when it's all in the job description already, right.? However, asking this question lets you learn beyond the buzzwords and keywords. Here, we want to know more about the standards they expect from you as a worker and how they see you fitting into their mold. Are you just another worker to follow their lead or do they want a key player to contribute to their big projects?

You need to ask this because you have your own preconceived notions about the job and it can be very difficult if you find that it wildly differs from your impression of the job description. Remember that the description may have been written by someone else or it may not have been updated to accurately reflect current responsibilities. At least in an interview, you can ask for more details that may not be in the description. The question will also let you understand how your success is measured and the managerial style of your superior.

This information will ultimately help you gain confidence when it comes to obtaining the role. You can clarify the unknowns in your mind while helping bring things to light for the interviewer as well.

Follow-up questions you can add:

  • What is a normal day in this role like?
  • What is the biggest challenge for me in this position?

2. How would you describe the work culture?

The company work culture is an invisible aspect of any job. Many of us tend to overlook this, only to find out the reality once you get to visit their office or meet your co-workers. Some companies state a work culture description in their website but we all know that the truth can be quite different.

You should ask this question because culture fit is a large factor in your happiness and motivation in your job. Sometimes a job may seem like the perfect fit for you but the company may have a toxic work environment.

Company culture reflects what the company prioritizes and how they handle conflict. It will set the scene of how the company will help you achieve the expectations they've set for you in the previous question.

This question puts the interviewer on the spot, allowing you to potentially uncover any red flags. Company culture is not always so easily defined so this should help give you some more authentic accounts of the matter and not just the company approved description.

Clarify anything else that seems vague and prod a bit more on their experiences like if they are happy here and what made them stay. If they dont give a very clear answer, it shows that there is something to hide and usually that something is not good. While you can't force it out of them, it will be something to consider or research when making your decision to enter the company.

Follow-up questions you can add:

  • Is collaboration encouraged or is everyone independent?
  • Do departments keep to themselves or do most people in the office know each other?

3. What is the team that I will be working with like?

Some people feel that it's presumptuous to ask about the team they will be working with. At times, the person interviewing you doesn't have a clear idea yet either, especially if you are still in the early stages of or hiring process. But if they have no idea at all, it could mean that they are not a very collaborative team and departments only care about their own.

Your future team will be the people whom you will be working with everyday and most times, it won't be worth the job if the people you will be working with are not whom you expect.

It could be that you expect to work with someone who can guide you along the way, but then you will actually be grouped with other newcomers who can't provide that. Learning about the team you will be in gives you a glimpse of how the company structures teams and shows you how you may be positioned as well once you are higher up the corporate ladder.

You can ask further how the hierarchy is so you have an idea who you will be reporting to and the layers of authority that you will be working with.

Follow-up questions you can add:

  • What training will be given during or after onboarding?
  • Does management communicate with employees in other positions?

Some questions are taboo but don't be afraid of leveling the field in an interview. Make the experience a back and forth where you and the interviewer learn more about each other. This will let both sides make the most of the interview and make better decisions later on. 

Half the Sky's mission is to supply the tools that can give every woman the ability to build a successful career and be fully prepared for the future of work. So, that they can lead a healthy, prosperous and more balanced/blended lifestyle of their choosing.  By building your confidence, you’re setting foundations to empower yourself and your career.  The world is your oyster, and it starts with you. 

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half the sky (HTS) is a career platform for women connecting you to career opportunities at companies that care. Providing you with information, tips and strategies to navigate the rapidly changing workplace.

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