Learning about a Possible Employer

As you prepare for a job interview, your focus is on answering the employer’s questions, selling your knowledge and skills, as it should be.

But it is important to remember that a job interview is a two-way street.  You need to make sure that this is a place where you want to work, a place where you will be happy.  Toward that end, you need to do some interviewing of your own.  Your research about the company will probably turn up questions you will want answered at the interview, and you should have them ready, even written down.

One area to avoid, however, is salary and benefits.  Wait for the interviewer to bring up this topic before discussing it. 

But beyond that, don’t be afraid to learn as much about the job as you can.  For example, you might ask about a typical day’s duties for the job you are applying for, what your top priority should be in the job, what the day to day expectations and responsibilities are, what the company’s management style is, what the company’s corporate culture is like, what the company’s values are.

Other possible questions: What is the policy on transfers to other departments and divisions, does the organization support ongoing training for employees to stay up to date, can you make a lateral job move?  You might even want to ask the interviewer why he or she came to the company and why he or she stays.  How long has he or she been with the organization, and what is his or her management style?  How has his or her career progressed within the organization?  What obstacles does he or she see in meeting their goals?

You may want to know how the department is viewed by other areas of the organization.  What are the advancement opportunities?  What are the characteristics and skills of the people who are the most successful in the organization?

You may glean some information about a company’s growth from research, or it may come up during the course of the interview, but if it does not, it is important to know if a company is growing or not, and where the growth is occurring. 

Finally, if you are given a tour of the department, don’t be afraid to talk to current employees – or ask to talk to employees.   Ask them some of the questions outlined above.  How do they like working there?  What do they think of the boss?

If you are looking for temporary, temporary-to-hire or direct-hire work in the Anchorage area, contact the Opti Staffing Group. We would love to discuss how we can help you find a job that best matches your skills.

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