If you have re-examined your career following the pandemic, you wouldn’t be alone.  Thousands of once satisfied employees have used lockdown to rethink their professional endeavours and change their careers. Whether your reason for resignation is to have a better work-life balance, pursue a long-held ambition, or embrace your inner entrepreneur it’s critical that your leap into the unknown was worth it.

In this age of talent shortage, the candidate holds the cards like never before. The interview opportunity has become as much about “is this right for me?” as “am I good enough for them?”.

Interviews have moved past the point of being a one-way street where the questions are asked by the hiring manager alone. Job interviews have become a mutual sizing up; a process to assess best fit.

If you are one of the once employees who is now a job seeker, how do you know if this new role is the right one?  Of course, Salary is important, but there are other metrics to assess if this is the right job for you.

Wondering whether you should accept a job offer? Read our blog on the 12 factors you should look for in a job other than salary.

To help you figure out if this job is THE job, why not try asking these questions of your interviewer.

4 questions to ask your interviewer at your interview.

How would you describe a top performer in this role?

This question will allow you to get an idea about the company’s expectations of you.  It also lets you inside the company culture and what it feels is important.

You should take time to consider their answer.  For example, it may be better for you if it talks about a willingness to learn, collaborative working, and support rather than a need for you to arrive as an A player.

You need to be clear about what you desire, and your professional aspirations. If your desire is to learn and grow professionally, then you should get a sense that becoming a “top performer” is created within the organisation, not that you need to arrive as one.

What are the top three words that would describe the culture here?

Company culture is critical to employee happiness. It varies from company to company, so luckily there is a company out there that will suit most of us.

The culture of a company cannot be underestimated. It is make or break when it comes to employee satisfaction, productivity, motivation, and longevity of employment.

The pandemic has changed the traditional office model where workers were on-site, 9-5, 5 days a week. Today, hybrid and remote working is the norm so “the culture” needs to be more than just a ‘buzzing’ or ‘collaborative’ office.

Now, these answers should shift to suit the individual’s working model. Of course, these can be universal, but the answer must demonstrate how they would work for you. For example, how would ‘collaborative’ work for you if you’re a remote worker? What does ‘flexible’ mean if you are a hybrid worker?

You need to ascertain what the culture means for you, and how you would experience it based upon your working pattern or location.

What is the most important thing I could do in the first 30 days of employment?

From the point of view of your potential employer, this is a great question. It demonstrates that you are already thinking about what you would be able to contribute, and how you intend to make a positive impact from the get-go.

As a candidate deciding if this is the right job for you, the question lets you know what’s expected of you in, what would be, your probationary period.  It allows you to align the company’s expectations with your own and offers additional information about what success would look like right from the start.

What would be the characteristics of someone that would NOT do well here?

This question lets you know the qualities the employer doesn’t value while learning about those they do.

You should look out for genuine, thoughtful answers that can serve as a litmus test for whether the company will give you what you’re looking for. It also offers an insight into the characteristics of your would-be colleagues, and if they would be people you could work well with for the foreseeable future.

In sum,

The questions you ask of the interviewer are important in helping you to decide if this is the right company for you. As a job seeker in such a tight market, you are in a strong position to secure a new job. However, your efforts will be wasted if the company doesn’t match your values or align with what you want from a new role.

Asking these questions will help you decide if the company culture is a good fit for you or if you should pursue other options.

Are you a tech, digital, or data professional considering a career change? Is your current job no longer meeting your needs? We’re on hand to help!

Reach out to us today, submit your CV or browse our jobs.

About the author: I manage the recruitment for a range of digital roles for my clients on both a retained and contingency basis. I specialise in senior and confidential appointments, always giving a first class representation of a client’s employer brand.

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