When you go to an interview, you expect to be grilled with a number of questions about your background and your career goals. However, most interviewers also expect to answer a handful of difficult questions, and they often think highly of candidates who come prepared with thoughtful questions. Since thinking of questions on the spot can be stressful, you should come prepared with a list of topics you’d like to cover and add to the list as the interview progresses.
One of the most important topics to cover is the company’s mission. Before the interview, you should review the mission statement displayed on the company’s website. You can then ask the interviewer to speak from his or her own experience about the mission. If you have interviews with multiple hiring managers, it is a good idea to repeat this question because the answers can vary widely. The question becomes particularly important when talking to executives at the company or with someone who would serve as your direct supervisor.
You should also ask some practical questions about whom you would report to and who your colleagues would be. These kinds of questions can give you a better sense of what everyday life is like at the company. These questions can also provide insight on the existing team dynamics and the personalities of people at the company. If you sense that you would butt heads with many of your colleagues, perhaps you should think about a different position.
Another topic to focus on is how the company evaluates its employees. How is success measured? Every supervisor looks for something different. Some bosses praise employees who takes risks, even if they fail, while others prefer people who take the safe route. You can also ask about expectations for the coming months and years to make sure that the job’s demands align with your assumptions.