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More Interviewing Tips for Your Job Search

Posted by Patra Frame

A major aspect of your interviews is to gain enough information so you can make a good assessment of the opportunity. In the first part of this Interviewing blog post, 3 Interviewing Tips for Your Job Search, we talked about preparing for the interview so that you know about the organization and present yourself effectively.

In this post, we will cover some of the questions you might ask to get the information you need.

Organizational Issues

In your research, you looked at the expressed values and mission and tried to assess the culture/environment of the organization. Now you want to ask specific questions to see what else you can learn. These can be asked of the function head, the immediate manager, peers, and others – don’t hesitate to ask several people so you can compare information.

Some potential questions include:

What is the strategic plan and how does it impact the department/division and position I am interested in?

What is the vision and mission of the organization? How do these influence daily activities? How are they expressed in the culture?

What are the most critical issues facing the organization (or division or department)?

What are some of the attributes of the people who are most successful here?

Boss Issues

As you talk to the person who will be your immediate supervisor, you need to assess how well you would work together. And whether the position sets you up for success — or not! This means questions about issues that are important to you, such as the details of the work, or advanced/career training opportunities, or flexible schedules, or use of advanced technologies.

Here are some other basic ‘boss’ questions to get you started:

What are the key elements of this role and the scope of the position?

What are the most important issues you want addressed in the first 3-4 months? How will you know if I have succeeded?

What results do you expect in the first six months? The first year?

How will my performance be measured?

How would you describe your management style?

Why is the position open? Are there internal candidates?

What are the next steps in the process? And the time table?

If you are looking at a more senior position, you also may want to ask questions such as these:

How does this position fit into the organization/division’s business plan? Strategic plan?

What are the crucial issues facing the organization? The division/department?

What resources are available and what budget?

How is the function currently set up? Is it effective?

What are the trends in revenue and market share for this division as compared to its major competitors over the past 2-3 years?

How would you describe the current culture of the organization? Is it effective for future plans?

What is the history of this position – how many people have held the job in the past 5-6 years and what happened to each?

Remember, interviewing is a two-way street.  The employer needs to know if you can and will do the job well.  You need to know if you can do the job successfully and want to work with that boss and organization.

This entry was posted on Tuesday, April 12, 2011 11:01 am

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