One of the reasons that people don’t pass their interview and get employed is the level of interest shown during the interview. One of the areas to assess anyone’s level of interest is in the questions that they ask the job interviewer. I remember seeing some slides on this topic previously asking people to Google for questions and to ask questions that someone hasn’t asked yet. While I might not be able to help give ideas on what others have yet to ask, but I hope this list of questions would help show your interest and at the same time help you gain insight to the company. These questions are what I thought should be asked by new graduates in order to decide on whether the company is right for you.
1. What is the leadership/working culture here at YYY?
The intent of this question is not to find out how long they work but how people work together. Is it mainly an individualistic job or is there many opportunities of collaboration. The part on leadership culture is to find out how the senior management leads the rest. Is it a you say and I do culture or are there spaces for ideas and suggestions? Do you get to contribute as a new hire or is the culture one that is “shut up until you are experienced enough to open your mouth for constructive comments”.
2. How often do you collaborate with other departments?
This is to find out whether you get to meet other people out of 20 sq m of your work area. A follow up question could be working with external agencies.
3. How often are we evaluated and how often do we receive reviews of our work?
My personal take is that it is not important that we are evaluated frequently. The main benefit is when we receive regular reviews that are not evaluative in nature. This means reviews which are bad will not affect your performance bonuses and this gives you a real chance to change and work better. If every review hurts your final evaluation, then it might be a little over stressful. Informal reviews also count as they are non evaluative and give you an opportunity to discuss on how you can better yourself.
4. What are the type of industry training that will be provided and will there be other forms of training not related to the industry such as soft skills etc?
Face it. When you graduate with a degree, all it says is that you are good at picking up concepts and you have a level of basic expertise. When you enter the workforce, you need to learn more about the industry that you are in. These are skills that let you perform your basic function. Soft skills are also important in my opinion. Soft skills ranges from presentations, writing minutes, mind mapping, managing meetings, networking etc which I thought would be beneficial. Find out how often do you get to go for such training and the mode of signing up e.g. do your bosses dictate for you or do you have a choice?
5. Are the employees encouraged to be innovative and what are the policies in place for such an encouragement to take place?
A healthy workplace is one where creativity is allowed to flow. This also leads to a stronger product for your company and helps bring in greater efficiency. If you can, talk to the people on the ground to find out how the policy is actually carried out.
I will continue to build this list as I think of more examples. Hope this helps!