5 Questions to ask your Interviewer

The questions do most people WISH they’d asked in their interview

At the end of most job interviews, there’s one predictable question… “do you have any questions for me?”

We know that “no” is probably not a great answer, but what should we ask?

My gut reaction is the typical reaction of a coach. There’s no one-size-fits all approach… it completely depends on what your goals, your experience and your values are. If you care about advancement, ask about what that might look like. Education? ask how they help their employees learn. If you care about the mission, ask about a time when they lived their values.

That said, regardless of what you’re looking for in this particular job, most people want to know about culture. If you look at an interview as a first date, this is your way of deciding if you want to be in a relationship with this person… er company. Who are they and how do they react when things go well and when they go badle?

I consistently find myself sharing Daniel Coyle’s (author of “The Secrets of Highly Successful Groups”) 4 questions with clients:

  1. Tell me a story about a time when there was a big mistake – how was it handled?
    (strong groups come together, regardless of role or responsibility, and everyone chips in to help fix the problem!)

  2. Tell me a story about this group/company/culture that wouldn’t happen anywhere else. (Does this sound like a culture you’d like to be a part of?)

  3. What gets rewarded around here? (Is there alignment between what they value and what you do?)

  4. May I speak to someone who has recently left this organization? (hesitation to introduce you is a big red flag!)

And I also usually throw in a question recommended by Andria Gillis of People Lab which directly addresses the elephant in the room (and helps you discern management styles)…

  1. What happens if I’m not meeting expectations? How would I be managed?

That’s it for my recommendations. What do you love to ask or be asked?