It may seem that the most important part of any interview is being prepared to tackle any questions the interviewer may have; and that these questions must be answered properly and impressively.
However, there is another aspect of interviews just as important that should be taken seriously- The questions that the interviewee must ask the interviewer.
It is 2018, so we have to remember that even before we get into the interview, the interviewer has probably glanced over our resume. They already know where we obtained our degree, and they definitely also know the source through which we bagged the interview so there is no need to bring that up.
The interview may begin with standard questions like why did you apply to this company over others? and why are you best suited for this position? The answers to these is pretty standard you can always be blatantly honest and say I am out of college and need to make a living or take a more diplomatic route, either should work.
The important part comes after the questions when the interviewer flips the scripts and invites questions to answer. At this point most of us get so caught up in selling ourselves to the interviewer that we don’t let the interviewer sell the job.
It’s obvious that no one goes into an interview unless they truly need the job, but it is less obvious that the job needs a worker just as desperately. Most of us will spend a majority of our weekdays at work, so its important to like the job and the office as well .
Here are some questions to ask the employer if you find yourself playing the field in the job market:
Commuting to and from work might be a challenge- let’s talk about that?
In a city like Mumbai, the workplace is rarely close to home, and combine that with late working hours- right there you have a problem that needs solving. From a financial and safety standpoint, it is important to ask the employer if they offer a stipend and/or reimbursements for travelling to and from work if the schedule gets too hectic. Take this into account before taking on the job because If you find a job you love but the office is located a handful of hours from your home, consider how much time and money it will cost you to get there on a daily basis. Even a dream job can seem like a letdown if you are spending 30% of your paycheck on the commute and it is completely fair to renegotiate finances based on how much it will cost your mental health and pocket to get to work everyday.
Can I be introduced to the team?
At the end of the interview, ask to be introduced to the team members of the department you are going to be working in. It may be too soon to send them all LinkedIn and Facebook requests, but it is probably wise to make an introduction so that you know what the job environment is like, and that way you aren’t walking into a room full of strangers on your first day.
How do the employers measure progress?
A workplace is an amalgamation of various people and the effort and skill they all bring to the table. No project is ever completed singlehandedly so it is understandable that employers often look for team players. The flip side to that is the lack of recognition for each hard working individual. At the end of each work calendar, there is the infamous corporate procedure to be tackled- the appraisal. Although many firms will promise steady and definite appraisals at the time of the interview, these are often not translated as promised. It always helps to have an open conversation with potential employers at the time of the interview to ask how they measure progress for each individual based on workload and how that workload is incentivized.
Is there room for growth?
Working outside of the job description is inevitable and to an extent also necessary. To do the same tasks day after day can be dull so it is important to diversify tasks every now and then. It helps to sometimes work on a project outside your assigned department or sit in on a meeting that doesn’t necessarily concern you. Ask your employer if there is scope to take on work that is based on your interest rather then your designation, so that you can learn and expand your own skill set and maybe even discover a talent that you didn’t know you had.