One thing that will help you become a little comfortable and also get what your future employer really requires, would be to ask a few questions. Make sure the interviewer is comfortable with asking a few questions as opposed to only one.
Some questions can also help the employer understand you better and also kind of ‘bundle’ the questions they were going to ask you before they do.
The most effective thing in an interview would be to ask thought-provoking questions. Apart from just collecting information from your future boss, it will also help distinguish you from the rest of the candidates.
DON’T try to outsmart the interviewer. From my personal experience, I have realized that trying to get ahead of your employer doesn’t help, in fact it makes them angry, try to play along and be formal, make sure you give a reason for asking the question. For example if you ask;
How has this position evolved since it was created? i would like to get a broader perspective of how to improve when i get it.
You don’t have to ask the exact questions I will list here, try to be creative, sometimes we plan the questions to ask before but when we get to an interview things change.
Here are examples of questions to ask the interviewer.
1. How has this position evolved since it was created?
We already talked about this question. According to expats, getting a brief history on the role should clear up whether the position has expanded over the years or has been a dead end for employees.
2.What have past employees done to succeed in this position?
This question will help you know the organization measures achievements and this can help you relate to your past achievements and come up with a “power line” For example; During my past position in company X i was able to increase sales by 5 percent in 1 year by……
Power lines are very important in an interview, make sure you provide evidence where necessary. Another reason to say a power line is because it will stop the interviewer from saying negative things about the previous person in that position which can greatly discourage you sometimes.
3.What have you enjoyed most about working here?
Just like the others, remember these questions are sensitive and you must watch your tone when asking. Asking the above question should help you understand what your prospective boss values most in the working environment. You might be asked why, your response can be like; Your employees look very happy and satisfied working here, i admire this working environment .
Again, this is just an example, it will be better if you customize the question.
4. What is the top priority for the person in this position over the next 3-6 months.
This is simple, it is just meant to help you understand what kind of workload awaits you, but it also helps the employer know that you are prepared to meet the target set by the company.
This mostly is not a sensitive question and should not get you into any trouble.
5.What are the qualities of successful managers in this company?
Lets be realistic here: Make sure the interviewer doesn’t see as ‘power hungry’ person who probably wants to come and replace them, try to understand who you are talking to first. For example you might have done a Masters degree in Human resource and the person doing the interview is the HR who is looking for an assistant, he might see you as a possible threat.
If you are applying for a managerial position, this question is meant to help you understand the leadership skill required in the company and also help the interviewer get a sense of your people skills.
6. If you offer me the position, can you give me examples of ways I would work together with my manager?
This is to make your interviewer know that you have people skills and are ready to work together and under people.
Sometimes you might find a company which doesn’t like or promote collaboration due to various reasons and this would be a great opportunity to learn.
6. What are some challenges that will face the person filling this position?
If your interviewer successfully answered question 4, then there is no need to ask this one. If you are quick thinker, you would have already figured out what awaits you. But in particular, this question is meant to help you get a feeling of why they are really hiring for the position in terms of production expectation.
This is also where you will know if you ready for the job or not. For example the employer may point out that there are long working hours or a lot of travelling and this might not go well with your daily schedule.
7. Do you have any hesitations about my qualifications?
This is a risky one and personally i wouldn’t dare ask. But if the employer is open to questions and new ideas he might take it lightly or ask you back as to why you are ‘doubting’ yourself.
Sometimes, you might fall short of a qualification that the company was looking for but this question and a follow up response might make a huge difference.
Here, you can come up with a cool power line Like; As you can see from my working history, my achievement are way greater than my qualification because am a hardworking person and I must achieve most of my goals.
8. Do you offer continuing education and professional training?
This will show your future employer that you want to expand your knowledge which will ultimately grow the company, but make sure you really want to go back to school and not just trying to con your way to the position.
9. How would you describe the work culture here?
10. What are the most enjoyable and the least enjoyable aspects of the role?