Insight

Career Talk

/ 8 months ago /

 Article by Brenda Wong

11 questions you should be asking at a job interview

This article was written in collaboration with Fujitsu. Explore exclusive graduate opportunities at Fujitsu by downloading the Debut app. 

As you sit there in the slightly-too-cold meeting room, waiting for your interviewer to return after deliberating with HR, you sigh a big sigh of relief. You’ve been grilled, you’ve been prodded, you’ve been interrogated. The worst is over.

But it isn’t over. Not yet. What do you really know about the job you’ve applied for? Real talk: your company needs to be giving you as much as you’ll be giving them.

When your interviewers ask you, “Do you have any questions?” don’t hold back. It’s time to give your interviewers an interview of their own.

1. “What’s the company’s culture like, and does it change?”

companyculture

A company’s culture is the core values and beliefs that shape the way the company’s working environment is like. It is incredibly important, and sussing this out will better inform you of what it’ll be like to work there.

If a company doesn’t value employee happiness as one of its priorities, count this as a big warning sign. However, bear in mind that company culture can change, especially as employers find new ways to stay in touch with new generations entering the workforce.

2. “What does a typical work week look like for someone in my position?”

workweek

Working hard is absolutely encouraged. However, you might run the risk of burnout if a company’s culture implores you to work crazy hours. Work-life balance is highly important, especially for your mental health.

Beyond that, asking your employer to run through a typical work week could flag further questions for clarification. Things like contact time with clients, or how many meetings you might be expected to have are all useful information. It’ll give you a brief bird’s eye view of your potential new job.

3. “Are there any training or learning opportunities?”

training-and-learning

A company that invests in their employee’s personal learning and development is a company with vision. You want to be working for a place that knows a continually improving and empowered workforce will be a workforce primed for world domination.

Fujitsu suggests: Ask the hiring manager what learning you could do before starting if successful? They’ll love the proactive nature to your approach, and it demonstrates that you’re ready to continuously learn new skills.

4. “If you were to create the perfect job candidate for this role, how would I compare?”

perfect-candidate

This is a pretty sneaky question, because it allows you to quickly assess whether your skills suit the position you’re applying for. If the position seems like it involves a lot of persuasion and you’re not a fan of talking on the phone, perhaps this job isn’t for you.

5. “Has this position been newly created, or am I a replacement for someone leaving this role?”

newposition

We’re not going to lie to you, this is a pretty uncomfortable question to ask, and won’t be for everybody. Read the room, and go for it only if you want to.

However, if you get an honest answer, it may show why someone may have been unhappy in the job you may potentially occupy. FYI if they left the job because they were promoted, that’s a good sign that job progression is healthy at the company!

6. “What’s the staff turnover rate like?”

staff-turnover

Again, a pretty touchy question. However, you probably can’t expect a company to tell you everything about employee happiness. Therefore, a black and white answer like the turnover rate should be enough to give you an idea of whether people are truly happy working for the company.

7. “How will my team be structured, and what is the hierarchy?”

team-hieararchy

Even better if you can request to meet the team you’ll potentially be working with! It’s always good to know who you may be managing, and who will be managing you. Also, this is a great way to understand how you may progress in your role in the years to come.

Fujistu suggests: Speak to some of the existing Graduates at the company. At Fujitsu, we provide a current Graduate during assessment days for all candidates to speak to. We leave the room so that they can be as open and honest as possible.

8. “How do you (manager/team/company) define success?”

success

This is a great question to ask. Why? Because it clearly highlights what you will need to do in order to impress and succeed at the job.

Also, success is defined quite differently for different people. Your manager’s definition of success will likely be pretty micro: it might be his or her personal goals for her team. But the company’s definition of success might be extremely macro: like being the best in their industry.

9. “What convinced you to join this company?”

why-this-company

Ask your interviewers this question and you’ll get a more in-depth, personal anecdote about what it’s like to work at the company.

Besides that, it’ll encourage your interviewers to open up a little. It definitely won’t hurt to build a good rapport, after all.

10. “What do you think would be my biggest challenge in this role?”

biggest-challenge

All jobs have challenges. However, a company that claims everything is always smooth sailing is definitely lying. Generally, people hire other employees to solve problems.

If you can position yourself to be viewed as the person who will, you’ll be more likely to get the position and excel.

11. “Do you have any more questions for me?”

questions

This is your moment to assuage any doubts your interviewers may have about your application. It’ll also show you’re proactive, and will take the initiative to improve in ways that’ll make you a more attractive candidate.

Fujitsu are big on their key values; so do your research into what is important to each employer. You can usually find this on their company websites.

Good luck on your job hunt, guys!

 

Feature Image © WOCinTech
Images © Unsplash

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