7 great questions to ask the interviewer (and red flags to look out for 🚩)

You will never know for certain how a new role in a new company and team will turn out, until you actually get there, but the interview process is a great opportunity for you to learn more. Listen to your gut feeling, figure out how leaders are steering the ship and get to know the health and the aim of the business.

Here are 7 questions that’s great to ask the interviewer. They will help you spot red flags, or allow the best opportunities to grow further on you and truly shine.

1. What is your take on work life balance?

No matter how much you love your job, and what wonders you are aiming to create - 12 hour work days on a general basis is most likely not something you’ll thank yourself for saying yes to in the long run.

A good work life balance contributes to fewer health problems, increased engagement, less burnouts and a higher level of creativity. To be able to create those wonders, people have to be given the possibility to take care of themselves and their personal lives too.

When asking this question, listen carefully to the answer. Are there any clear examples of how a better work life balance is achieved? Does it seem central, prioritized and important?

2. Have you made any layoffs recently?

Especially during times of economic uncertainty, this is an important question to ask and take into consideration. Layoffs aren't a red flag, they can simply be inevitable in rough times (especially in the startup world), but this question allows you to see how they respond and express themselves .

How are they talking about employees? Like people rather than numbers or the opposite? What would cause them to make layoffs and how does it affect different areas of the business?

4. How much do you expect to grow in the next 12-24 months and how?

This invites the interviewer and company to speak broadly and freely about the growth, journey, revenue and goals, and it allows you to get a sense of whether the aim is to thrive or simply survive.

What are the ambitions? How is the engagement? Do they seem to have a clear roadmap ahead? And maybe most importantly - does the journey excite you?

5. How has your sector been affected by market changes lately?

Before asking this question - do your research and learn for yourself. Use this question more as a way to get the company’s angle and take on the market. To ask this question in the context of an economic downturn can be especially rewarding.

Are they answering with honesty and transparency? Are they being overly optimistic? Can you see any signs that the company is able to respond quickly to changing circumstances?

6. What can you offer when it comes to growth and skill development?

You’re most likely not looking for a place to settle down and stop developing, are you? We’re guessing you’d love to join a company where you will thrive and grow individually together with the business.

Do they have any plans and strategies for growing your competence in place? Can they ensure further skill development and offer you a role and environment where you’ll learn?

7. Who can I speak to in the business and team?

Speaking to people working in the company, outside the interview process is crucial to determine whether it’s a place where you’ll thrive or not. It will give you an accurate impression of the people, as well as of the culture and what it’s really like working there.

Ask people how they’re feeling. Do they seem excited about meeting you? Ask them about leadership and how the business is run in general. The cultural fit, personal chemistry and attitudes are possibly the most important part for you to ensure, in order for you to be able to love your new job.

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Published: Sep 14, 2022