Why Candidates should interview the interviewers

Candidates come in all shapes and sizes. There are passive candidates who are looking for the right opportunity.  There are candidates that have lost their job and been out of work for a while. There are candidates who have recently left their role for one reason or another and are looking for their next opportunity. There are college graduates who are seeking their first opportunity, and there are people that are re-entering the workforce. As a candidate which one are you?

Any way you look at it, all of the above need to ask the question: “Which job is right for me?” Sometimes as a candidate, there is a necessity to get back to work to pay your bills, eat, and support your family. Sometimes unemployment comes so quickly that you don’t have the flexibility to be picky about the kind of role you choose. The economic climate is uncertain and taking a reduction in pay for a job that you are overqualified for may be a necessity. 

This being said, if you are not in the above bucket, the most important thing you need to understand as a candidate is that you should be interviewing the interviewer more than they are interviewing you. As a candidate, you should consider these 10 following questions before accepting any offer:

1)   Is this something I would enjoy doing? Do the job duties align well with my interests and strengths? 

2)   Is this better than what I currently have, or comparable, if you are out of work? There is no sense in making a change if you can’t improve your current situation.  You should never compromise for the wrong position.

3)   Does the company culture align with me? Are the people you would be working with people that you could consider friends outside of work?  Do they have the same values that you have? How is the dress code? Are you okay with theirs?

4)   What kind of future opportunities does the company offer? If you want to advance your career, does this company have these kinds of opportunities?

5)   What are their expectations as an employee? Are they looking for a Monday- Friday 8-5 person, or are they going to ask you to work late, weekends and come in early. For some this may not be an issue, but for others, it could be a big concern.

6)   How is the company doing financially? You really don’t want to go from one bad scenario to the next, so do your research and choose a company that is growing, expanding or has a real future. 

7)   Money. Will this position allow you to live the lifestyle you need and want? If not, you may become disgruntled in the future. If there are perks other than money- it still may be worth considering.

8)   How is the commute? If the drive is an hour each way, how does this fit into your lifestyle?

9)   How are the benefits? What kind of benefits does the company offer? How do they feel about time off? What are the holidays offered? Are their stock options? How is the 401k? Does the company have an Employee Assistance Program? Does the company offer educational assistance?

10)   How well do you think you would work with your manager? The number one reason people leave companies is because of management, so can you see any areas where there may be any friction? 

If you liked this article, please follow me on Twitter at @WThomsonJr or connect with me on linkedin and read my weekly blogs at http://bit.ly/RqwiMB 


Views: 3855

Comment by Martin O'Shea on September 25, 2012 at 1:38am

Wouldn't you rather wait till you have a job offer before asking these types of questions?

Comment by Will Thomson on September 25, 2012 at 9:51am

Martin, Great question!  So- if you fall in the first category where you must find a job, then not having all of the answers may be okay.  Having a "job" for the sake of having a "job".  Otherwise, interviewing is a two way streak.  It must be a fit for both parties, so why not flush out all of the details up front and save time?  I know as a recruiter, I would respect a candidate for asking these questions or inquiring about certain information.   

Comment by Ryan Harding on February 15, 2013 at 10:26am

These are great things to consider Will.  Most of these questions can be answered just by showing up for the interview and observing your surroundings.  I have made this mistake once or twice in my career, and it is something I never want to do again.  It is so important you take a step back and really consider these questions above before making the decision to change.  I have also found it helpful to have answers to these types of questions even before you start looking for a job.  If you are able to do that, it will make your search so much easier.


Thanks for sharing!

Comment by Will Thomson on February 15, 2013 at 10:38am

Thanks Ryan!  I think we all have made the mistake.  Understanding yourself and the environment you will thrive in is essential to your success.  You may be interviewing with a good company but it may not be the right fit for you.  


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