A job interview is a two-way decision-making process, so you need to come armed with your own set of questions. No idea where to start? Founder and owner of Bold Curiosity, Celeste Stewart offers up this critical list…
Before your interview, do this…
Check your mindset before the job interview. If you appear desperate to get a job, says Celeste, you’re giving away your power before you even start the interview. “You’re making this a one-way decision-making process for the organisation,” she says. “[But] you have the right to discern… because this is where you’re going to be spending most of your time.”
“Times have changed – we are not our parent’s generation of settling,” explains Celeste. “Don’t be shy to talk about money. I’m not saying it’s your licence to be arrogant, but you do have the power to ask these things.”
1. What is the company culture… really?
Check out their social media pages, see what they’re doing, what messages they’re giving out, then formulate your questions based on that.
“When you walk into the building you can see the way people talk to each other, the way the furniture is arranged, the colours chosen. Everything gives you a taste of the culture,” says Celeste.
But in the interview, when we ask about the culture, we’re talking about the brand and specifically the department you’ll be working in. Ask the organisation to break down the overall brand and culture, then that of your department/division, says Celeste.
Celeste gives this pertinent example: “I was interviewed close to the entrance by the turnstile. Suddenly all I heard was a mass of people rushing to leave at the end of the day. That told me something about the culture,” she says.
2. How does your boss like to lead?
“Find out about the leadership style of the person you’re going to be reporting to,” says Celeste. It can be as simple as this: What is your leadership style? (Just be sure to checking your tone when you ask this one!) Go deeper with: How do you like to run the department? And how do you like the work to be completed and delivered?
3. What exactly is my job… and why did my predecessor leave?
Specific questions here include: What is my job about? What does it entail?Why did the person before me leave? This is an important question. If the person moved on to something else within the department, it tells you that there are opportunities for growth in the business, explains Celeste.
4. What are the benefits of the job?
When we talk about benefits, we’re obviously talking about the salary, but we’re also asking about work-life balance. “You’re trying to discern what some of the incentives are,” says Celeste.
5. What was the latest innovation to come out of your business?
Companies love to speak about how they participate in the fourth industrial revolution; how they like to innovate and disrupt with their fresh business ideas. To get a sense of this, ask things like: How do you innovate in this business? How do you create safe spaces for employees to innovate?
It’s one thing for organisations to say they buy into creative ideas. But do they actually follow through in practice? “Ask the organisation to give you an example of the latest innovation that has come out of their business,” says Celeste.
Ask the questions in this format: Where did the innovation come from? How was that person involved in this project?
6. Ask for the salary you deserve
“I literally sit in front of the mirror and practice saying my salary expectation with confidence,” says Celeste. Practise until you can say it out loud without self-doubt.
Remember, you’re not showing up from a point of desperation and you’re not showing up the way the previous generation did – don’t be afraid to ask for what you want boldly.
7. Then come back with more questions if you need to…
Take all the time you need to make the decision, says Celeste. Then, if you get the job, don’t feel rushed to respond or decide on the spot. “You have the right to follow up with questions outside of the interview,” says Celeste. Take the time to be sure. “All of the best! That job is yours!”