Finding a new 9-5-er

The 6 Most Important Questions To Ask In An Interview

Asking questions isn’t just the best way to show your interest and continue kicking ass, but also to find out things you actually want to know. Duh.

So you’re nailing your interview, flying through the recruiter’s questions like a badass. Then they drop the hundred dollar question: and no, it’s not “will you marry me?,” it’s, “do you have any questions for me?”

Why yes ma’am. Yes, we do. Asking questions isn’t just the best way to show your interest and continue kicking ass, but also to find out things you actually want to know. Duh.

Now, initial questions with a recruiter or prospective employer should be different than the ones you ask HR, if and when you seal the deal. We’ll be chatting about those ones. In the initial interview(s), avoid questions that focus too much on what the organisation can do for you, and save questions about medical aid, RA and leave for when you've actually got a job offer. Otherwise they’ll think you’re just in it for the bi-monthly pizza party. Ha. 

Also, do your research on the company’s site before the interview, so that you don’t ask questions based on information that’s publicly available, like how many offices they have, who their clients are, or when they were established. You catch our drift. 

There you go! You’re ready! 

Jokes, read these first.

THE QUESTIONS 

  1. What are the day-to-day responsibilities of the role?

To be frank, this is the most basic “must-have” question in an interview. Asking this question helps you learn as much about the role as possible: a key factor in deciding if it's actually the right gig for you. This doesn’t only mean that there won’t be any surprises if and when you start, but it also showcases your curiosity and initiative. 

  1. What are the biggest challenges of the job?

It’s good to be realistic about the fact that every job has its challenges. It’s all about if you think you have the skill set to navigate them and frankly, if you even want to. Weigh up whether the juice is worth the squeeze and exactly what you’re willing to deal with for aforementioned juice. 

For example, if the “squeeze” is frequently working high-pressure, 10-hour days, well, that juice better be some freshly-squeezed organic dream dew, no pulp. In translation: butt loads of cash. 

This is also an opportunity to show off your swanky skills in having dealt with similar challenges in previous jobs. Briefly mention the context and relay how you took it on. You bad ass, you. 

  1. Are there opportunities for upskilling and growth within the role?

We know we said that you should leave questions about how the company can benefit you until the end - but enquiring about development shows that you're serious about your future within the organisation.

While we provide support and mentorship to all our Fundis, many jobs actually pay for formal education and additional courses - pretty sweet deal, if you ask us. 

While it’ll help you become even better at said job, it’s also a great way to up your earning potential going forward. Raaad.  

In terms of growth within the actual company, you need to know that you won’t just be stuck in a dead-end job. Asking what the general career path for this role normally looks like can help you figure out whether a long-term future with the company is on the cards, or if you'd need to move on to level up. Kind of like dating in your early 20s. 

  1. Can you describe the culture of your company?

Asking this question is a great way to suss out the vibe of the company, both work-wise and people-wise - another way to figure if it’s the right gig for you. The interviewer’s answer will also help you to figure out what the work-life balance will be like and how much the business prioritises their employee’s well-being. Hey, we ain’t getting any younger.

  1. Can you tell me more about the team I’d be working in?

This will help you understand the structure, hierarchy and general day-to-day flow of the team. It’ll also help you get a sense of how formal the business is and whether you’ll have a more chilled or corporate dynamic. We personally love a spicy 7pm meme group but on the other hand, you might just want to nope out of those timesheets (and the office banter) by 5pm every day. Fair enough. 

  1. Who does this position report to? If I am offered the position, can I meet them before making my final acceptance decision?

Ah, the question we wish we’d asked in every interview, ever. Sometimes you’ll directly interview your reporting manager, but other times, you may only meet them after you seal the deal. Yeah, let’s not do that. 

The relationship you have with the person you work under can make or break your experience at a job. You really don’t want to stroll in on day one to find out you’re working under a power trippin’ garbage human. 

If you meet them first, you’ll be able to get a sense of who they are and ask them more about their management style. At the end of the day, money can’t buy happiness. Or so we hear, but we’re still trying. *Cries in existential*

Not so fast, buddy…

There’s more where that came from. These are just some of the most common and vital questions that you should ask in an interview, but there could be a bunch more stuff you want to know. Some of the following questions might also resonate with you, and it’s also always great to have more in your back pocket. Just say, three or four through. Homies don’t have all day, yo. 

Duties and Requirements

  • What's the most important thing I should achieve in my first three months?
  • Is travel expected, and if so, how much?
  • Is relocation a possibility?

Office Structure 

  • How many people work here? (Obvs only ask this if you don’t see it on their website)
  • What’s the company's management style? 
  • Is there a process for helping new peeps get on board and integrate within the company? 

Culture 

  • What are the company's values?
  • What’s the best part of working for this company?
  • What's your least favourite part of working here? 

Promotion 

  • Why is this job available? Is this a new position? If not, what happened to the other guy?
  • How can I advance in the company?

Aaaand take it home!

  • If I get the job, how soon would you like me to start?
  • When can I expect to hear from you?

And that’s it, gents and lady-folks! Ready to go nail that job interview? Siiiick. Still need to get one? Chat to us. We’ll hook you up.

P.S. We can also help with a bunch of other stuff like career advice, mentorship and more. Just saying. Okay byyyye!

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