By Daniel Olivan on October 12, 2015
Before reading this article, we suggest you read Part 1 first. Click here to go to Part 1 now!
You already know that the interview is not just for the company to assess you. It's also a chance for you to become more personally acquainted with the company so you can see if you fit right in.
Part 1 of this article focused on the easy questions — while they are significant and crucial inquiries, they are easy to ask. Those questions can be easily answered by the interviewer, and he probably knows them by heart having worked there for relatively good amount of time.
Part 2 will focus on the hard-hitting questions, questions that can be a bit touchy depending on how your interview is going or how you and your interview are getting along. These questions reveal more intimate details about the company, which will further help you fine-tune your appraisal of the company.
When asking these questions, ask them earnestly without being accusatory or implicitly critical. Make sure you've already established a good relationship with your interviewer. Not only will that make these questions yield the best responses, it will also add one more person in your professional network. Two birds with one stone with the right questions:
What is the person previously in this position doing now?
This question is a good and discreet way to peer in to what’s happening in the team you’re role is involved in. Was she promoted into a better role? Then you might end up getting the same opportunity. Did he resign from the company? That’s something to think about.
If the position you’re applying for is new and has had no previous history of employees, you should find out why the company decided to create this role, if your interviewer hasn’t explained why already.
This question is also mostly for your benefit as a way for you to gauge, though very minimally, how life in the office is like.
You can also ask: Why did the person previously in this position leave this post? Wh
How about you? How long have you been in the company?
There’s no rule that says you can’t turn the tables on your interviewer. Go ahead — ask him what it’s like to be in the company you’re applying for. Let the interviewer tell you about his experience in working there. You can’t always find a friend who works in the same company, so this is the best chance you’ll get at getting a personal testimonial.
Most likely, you’ll either get a generic but somehow scripted response, or a genuine and enthusiastic positive appraisal of their company. The former you can shrug off; the latter you take into consideration. If your interviewer seems honest about his enjoyment in the company, that will be a good sign for you when you take on that job.
You can also ask: Why do you choose to be in this company? Why do you like working in this company?
How is the company doing now?
Is the company stable and looking to stay there for a while? Is the company looking to expand to other regions or countries? Is it thinking of even expanding to other industries? When the company grows, many people working there will grow with it. And if you get hired, you’ll be one of those people who may be affected by the growth.
While this question is actually best answered by doing diligent research about the company, especially when it seems to be declining, but letting your interviewer tell the story could get you information that isn’t out there in the news or on the Internet.
Establishing good rapport with the interviewer before you ask this question will be the best way to get the most out of this query.
You can also ask: Where is the company headed now? What is the company planning to accomplish in the next few months?
Do you have any hesitations about skills or qualifications?
When you get called in for an interview (and if you take care to do well in your interview, of course), the interviewer most likely sees you as a qualified candidate. The interview is generally for the company to see if you are good fit for the company, and to confirm in person what they've seen to be impressive in the resume.
By asking this question, you take a bit of a risk. On one hand, you might get a good response, and your interviewer will point out small things that they would like to see in their most ideal candidate. Knowing what else they want from you will give you a chance to improve yourself in the time between the interview and (hopefully) the hiring date.
On the other hand, it's possible that you get a negative appraisal due to how you performed during the interview. In this case, whether or not you do get hired, you will get the feedback that you need to get better for your career.
Whatever the reply you get out of this question, this shows your interviewer that you're comfortable, and even willing, to receive critique for your own betterment.