Asking Better Questions: Is the Position Right for You?

What’s one of the most beneficial things you can do for yourself in an interview? Ask plenty of questions about the position at hand! One of the mainstays of interview advice, and for good reason, is to ask questions— but that may leave you wondering what kind of questions. An interview is a chance for you to dig deep and inquire about the job particulars in a face-to-face setting. If you were to be offered the job, what would you need to know before accepting? To get you started, here are 4 questions to ask to discern if the position is a good fit.

What about this company keeps you here?

In addition to talking about the position, most hiring managers will play up the positive aspects of the job. Asking what specifically keeps them in their position may turn out to be a great tool in deciding if this is the right job for you. For example, maybe they love the flexible work hours, and your dream position is structured around just that. Now you’ve got a key piece of information that may have not been so apparent from the job description. You never know until you ask!

How rapidly is this company growing?

Knowing what the future looks like for the company may be a great way to discern what the future looks like for you. Are they going to be expanding to new offices with opportunities for relocation? Are they staying small in order to keep the business local? Either way, this may be a place where you’ll be growing your personal brand and becoming an integral part of the company’s infrastructure, so if your desired career growth and their trajectory are totally opposite, this may not be the best fit for you.

What constitutes success in this position?

This is an important, and often overlooked, question to ask for any position. Everyone wants to leave work at the end of the day feeling as though they’ve done a good job, but knowing how the company at hand defines success may be key in understanding the position. Making sure that you feel comfortable with their criteria is a crucial element in succeeding in a position. If you’re a deadline-driven person, and the business seems a little too relaxed for your taste, it may be hard for you to feel completely fulfilled. Similarly, if you prefer to be a part of a team where your work is given abundant individual attention, but the business is large-group oriented and fast-paced, there’s the potential to feel lost in the shuffle. Knowing which type of business atmosphere makes you most comfortable is key to long term success.

What is the next step in this process?

This is a great way to wrap up any interview because the hiring process can, and often does, vary between businesses. However, before you ask this question, evaluate your personal timeline and ask yourself what factors you’d be willing to compromise on. For instance, if your current employer needs 3 weeks’ notice to fill your position, but the position you’re interviewing for starts on Monday, this may not be the right position. Nevertheless, if you feel that you are well qualified and completely in love with the job, don’t be afraid to ask if there is any room for a timeline negation. You might just be pleasantly surprised.