As a job seeker, it’s easy to think of the job interview as taking the stand in a trial. You anticipate a skeptical interviewer asking questions designed to trip you up. You expect the claims on your resume to be challenged with requests for explanation and clarification. It can be a stressful situation. But it doesn’t have to be.
While it makes sense for employers to ask tough questions in order to sniff out any baloney padding your resume, it is equally important for you to consider how well this job meets your needs. You need a job that fits you just as much as your interviewer needs to find the best candidate. Here are six things to consider in your next job interview:
Bring a copy of the job description
Oftentimes, job descriptions are written with little thought, and an open position may not truly be the job as it was described on paper. This can especially happen with small businesses in which employees may wear “multiple hats.”
Your interviewer will have questions about your resume. Be ready with your own questions about the job description.
Why is this position available?
Your interviewer will want to know why you are looking for work. Have you been terminated? Are you a job jumper? Ask the same questions about the open position. Is the business growing? If the position is open due to a departed employee, what were the circumstances? Knowing why someone else might have left the job or been terminated will help you determine any red flags.
If you are looking to grow your career, your interview is the best time to find out how much opportunity you’ll find with this company. Does the company have a track record of hiring and promoting from within? Get some insight on the corporate structure, including how many levels of management there are.
What’s important to you in a company culture? Whether you are interested in dress code, company social events, or how relaxed or serious the environment is, ask questions! Company culture is often overlooked in the interview process, but is very important to how you’ll feel going into work each Monday.
Before you are offered the job, you might be required to provide some references. You’ll do well to know what current and former employees think of this company. You can find employer reviews on sites like Glassdoor.com. Don’t forget to check these out before you go into your interview. These reviews might lead to questions that you’ll want to ask during your interview.
Don’t completely take over the interview
It’s important to ask questions at your own interview. Making sure you fully understand how well the job fits you is vital. Asking good questions also demonstrates forward thought and confidence. However, it is also important that the interviewer come away with an equally clear understanding of your qualifications. Allow your interviewer to steer the conversation and take the time to carefully answer the questions. Whether you politely chime in or you reserve your questions for the end, remember that the interview goes both ways.
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