I think it goes without saying that being prepared for that big upcoming interview is more than just showing up in business casual, being professional, and knowing the STAR method, right? While these things along with other interviewing essentials are seen as no-brainers, many candidates often miss what are seen as minimum requirements in terms of interviewing. Interview preparedness includes the not-so-little things that can make a big difference to the interviewer, and ultimately be the defining factor between you and another candidate. What you say and do after your interview has concluded is just as important as your performance throughout the interview.
Recently, I was able to interview with our Founder & CEO, Sasanka Atapattu and he mentioned at one point how he appreciated I had questions for him. I was shocked to find out this isn’t a common practice for all candidates when going for a role. Sasanka and I briefly discussed how often candidates miss the mark when being asked “Do you have any questions for me?” Near the ending of the interview or after it has concluded. I personally believe you should always have at least one question for your interviewer, but you should aim for there to be upwards of three or more questions total. These questions can be about the role, the company, or the interviewer themselves. Here are a few questions that can be asked no matter what company or role you’re going after!
- “What does the average day look like in this role?” Asking questions about the role shows the interviewer early on that you are open to learning and it also gives you a better understanding of what your tasks will be if you are offered the position.
- “What are some of the DEI initiatives the company is currently working toward/on?”, this is a personal favorite of mine and if you’re anything like me you love knowing how a company is working to promote Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. This can give you a little background on the companies’ current environment surrounding DEI and their values.
- Speaking of values, another great question to ask your interviewer is “What are the values of the company?” Sometimes you may find in doing your research on a company, they have their values listed somewhere along their website but for others this isn’t always the case. Finding a company that values some of the same things you do can make your time there should you be offered a position much more enjoyable. Your interview is your chance to really dig into the company and role so you should ask as many questions as you can to really feel out the company.
Asking questions in an interview may seem like no big deal, but I believe showing up to an interview (in person or virtual) and not having any questions for the interviewer shows such a lack of preparation on the candidate’s part. It not only says to the interviewer that you haven’t done the necessary research on the company or the role, but that you aren’t as serious about the role as some other candidates may be. I ask you all as you branch out into the world and begin your journey of applying for roles to consider asking questions a minimum requirement and see how far you’ll go!