Interviewing the Interviewer

Career Advice
JC Cornell

By JC Cornell
June 25, 2017

November 24, 2023

0 min read

It’s the night before your big interview, and you are running interview questions through your head.

You have every angle covered and are absolutely prepared to be interviewed for the role. Although you are prepared, you are still nervous and worried about how you will do.

First off, you need to remember that interviews go both ways. Even though you are being interviewed for the job, you are also interviewing the company to see if they will offer you everything you are looking for in your next job.

Do you have any questions?

At the end of every interview, you will be asked if you have any questions. DO NOT say that you have no questions.

You are missing a prime opportunity to get all the additional information that you need outside of what was mentioned in the job description. This is your turn to do the interviewing.

Know about more than the job description

Make sure to spend some time doing research on the company.

Read through their website. Google news articles on them. See what type of projects they have been involved in or are committed to.

This will give you a good idea if you are interested in the work they do, and you will be able to ask about company specifics that you couldn’t find out about online.

This shows your interviewer that you have done your research and will open up new lines of conversation outside of their other interviews to help you stand out.

Beyond the job description

Find out why the role is open – is an employee being promoted or has resigned?

See if the manager can give you more information about why the employee left. It could be a bad fit or they moved on as they didn’t have career growth.

The reason an employee left may not affect your decision to take a role, but you don’t want to walk into any situation blind.

Goals and growth

As you go through the interview and talk about the job description, make sure to ask what the role will look like in both 6 and 12 months.

Knowing if the role has deliverables will help you know the expectations for your performance before you even start.

The role may demand too much or even too little of you. Don’t be afraid to ask how you know you will be successful in the role. The more informed you are the better you will do long-term in the role.

If the previous employee in the role was promoted, find out what role they were prompted to. This could be the same line of career growth you are looking for, or potentially you would like to go in another direction altogether.

Ask about opportunities that will arise and how fast this might happen. You can even see if the company will assist you in furthering your education to meet those goals.

Types of questions to ask

These are just a few examples for you to ask. Depending on your conversation during the interview, some of your questions could already be answered.

You can refer to any notes you have brought to ensure you have all the information you need.

  1. What do you think are the most important qualities for someone to excel in this role?
  2. What are your expectations for this role during the first 30 days, 60 days, or year?
  3. Describe the culture of the company.
  4. Why is the role open? Why did the last employee leave?
  5. Where do you think the company/role is headed in the next 5 years?
  6. Who do you consider your top competitor, and why?
  7. What are the biggest opportunities facing the company/department right now?
  8. What do you like best about working for this company?
  9. What is the typical career path for someone in this role?
  10. What are the next steps in the interview process?

Know your next steps

Regardless of the questions you have asked, make sure you know what the next steps in the interview process are. You will know what to expect and can be preemptive in your communications.

You should always send a thank you note to your interviewer saying you appreciate the time they took to meet with you.

If you don’t end up being their next recruit, you will have created a great impression, and they will remember you when the next round of hiring comes up.

Good luck with your interview, and don’t forget to interview your interviewer.

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