Congratulations sis! You’ve landed the job interview… but now what?
Well, first and foremost, it’s time to get ready. In preparation for your job interview you should be learning about the company, the responsibilities of the role, and also stalking your potential team members on LinkedIn.
In addition to those things, you should think ahead to questions that you want to also ask the hiring manager to get a better understanding of the culture, the company’s core values and practices, as well as expectations that would be required if you were to land yourself the gig.
A job interview isn’t only about selling yourself and proving you’re the right person for the position. It’s also about determining whether the role and the company is also right for you. This is when soul searching comes into play. Figure out what your needs and core values are and act accordingly.
While sitting face-to-face with your interviewer, remember to ask these questions.
“What are some of the challenges you expect the person in this position to face?”
Why: Every job isn’t perfect — I can attest to this. But it’s better to know the challenges that you’d be facing ahead of time, then once you’re in the role. If you’re lucky, the hiring manager will keep it real with you and really outline the realities of your role/team/department and give you the ability to either accept the challenge, or bow out gracefully.
“What are your top priorities for the person in this position during the first 30/60/90 days?”
Why: This is the best way to figure out what the company’s immediate needs are. In addition, if you do get the job, you’ll know what to focus on so you can reinforce the fact that they made a good hire. Use this as the key to your game plan once you get your foot in the door. Develop a strategy, and then execute. It will not only show your early commitment to the role, and the company, but also that you were actually listening and taking notes during your interview. And every boss likes a little initiative.
“How would you describe the culture here?”
Why: For “us” this may be one of the most important questions you can have. Especially if you’re a Black woman looking to get ahead in corporate America. And let’s face it — most of us spend the majority of our days at work so it’s important to ensure you take a role at a business with a culture you’re comfortable with. With this question, there are a few factors to consider: Is the company diverse? What is the work-life balance like? Will you have the opportunity to work at home or get flexible hours, or will you need to stay in the office? If you can assess early on that the company culture aren’t aligned with your basic needs, why even bother?
“What do you like about working here?”
Why: This is a simple enough question, and allows you to get to know the person that is interviewing you. What drives them to roll out of bed and head into the office each day? What are some of the reasons that the company was a good fit for them? How have they contributed to the company culture? Chances are, if they like it, they’ll be passionate with their response and further your interest in working there as well. If not… well, you’ll definitely have a few things to consider if they only provide a limited or short list.
“How would you define success in this position?”
Why: The only way you’ll be promoted and get to the next level is if you’re successful in the role that you’re hired for. But success for every team/department looks different. Is the company numbers driven or focused on brand awareness? Are you expected to lead a team to success? This is a great opportunity to dig a bit deeper about how the hiring managers see your role moving forward, and whether you’ll be on a fast track to success or stuck in the same role for years.
“Do you offer or reimburse for training and professional development related to my job function?”
Why: This is an important question to ask, if you’re committed to your overall growth in the workplace. Because let’s face it: oftentimes we’re not getting enough on the job training or growth within our roles that will lead to the development of any new skills or thoughts. Good businesses invest in their staff, so you’ll want to be sure that you’ll receive training on new skills. Learning a new skillset will help you secure promotions, as well as educate your team, ofter new insight into other business practices that are happening within your industry, and open up new career prospects elsewhere.
“Could you describe your perfect candidate for this role?”
Why: The benefit of this question: you’ll know exactly what the hiring manager is looking for and use this as an opportunity reiterate your qualifications or speak to skills that specifically are aligned with how they view their perfect candidate. This is your time to shine. Use this as an opportunity to make your final pitch on why the hiring manager or interviewer should hire you.