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Questions during an Interview Edited

Mary Ramirez Community Leader Oct 14, 2019

I'd like to say that we all dread interviews. Between the pressure and the unknown, it's all so nerve wrecking. I came across this twitter post https://twitter.com/bossnayamoss/status/1177650048101945344 and it made me think.

Should we be asking people why they seek to leave their current employer? Does it even matter? Is there ever a good reason to leave? If I say the wrong thing, will the potential employer pass on me? 

This weekend I listened to an audiobook by Mel Robbins called "Work it Out" and she said an interview is just an opportunity to see if your personality is a good fit (or something like that). So now I have a different outlook on interviews. Specifically on the questions we get asked and on the questions we ask.

What are some question you ask a potential employer and why?

2 comments

Depending on the role, many interview questions are asked to find out how the person being interview responds rather than to learn information from the specific answers given.

Interviewers are rarely experts in interviewing (especially hiring managers), are following scripts, and are nervous like the interviewee.

 

In past jobs I have been bullied, I was asked to compromise my ethics, I was frustrated by senior management etc but in all those cases I was also looking for improved working conditions (hours, pay, work schedule), progress my career, and learn more.

Unless there is a specific question about a time I felt my ethics were being compromised (for example), I choose to focus on the more positive reasons and don't mention the less desirable reasons I am moving on.

 

  • I always ask about the manager's style and make is clear that I do not work well with micro-management.
  • I say that I'm happy to put in extra time (on salary) and/or be available nights and weekends on an exception basis for go lives etc but ask what their expectations are regarding someone who works their contracted hours and leaves 'on time' every day.
  • I usually ask why the role is available. This gives some insight as to whether there is tension in the team.
Like Dara likes this

I always ask how they deal with mental health. If they are not understanding of issues in that area, then I know on time. It will come up at some point or another, and I am not one to lie about that. I need to feel comfortable at my place of work, and be able to live a healthy life.

Like Kat Warner _TechTime_ likes this

What does "understanding" mean to you? What does this look like in terms of behaviours and/or actions?

Good question, I did leave that kind of vague. Usually what I find most telling is how they react to the question itself. Taken aback, confused and/or dismissive: Not really a good sign. Or immediately asking a lot of questions about why I need to know this. Seeing as everyone is always on their best behaviour in an interview, I find that very indicative.

On the other hand, a good sign for me is managers that act very appreciative of the question, and detail what they have in place to take proper care of their employees.

In my experience, the latter luckily seems to be the norm. But yeah, I do live in the Netherlands, we might not be exactly average on this.

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