Research shows that people don't quit their company - they quit their boss. Think about it: the best managers can coach you... or kill you. They can approve training... or they can throw you to the wolves. Every organization has great managers - and some duds.
That is why job interviews are equally about you "checking them out" as the reverse. Your questions can help you check out the organization - and your future manager. Asking great questions will also serve another purpose: you will be guaged by the questions that you ask - not just those you answer.
Here are a few "uncommon" questions to consider:
1) How many people who started in this group two years ago are still here? (Supplementary question: What is the one thing they had in common...?)
2) What professional designations are considered valuable within the organization, and is there a plan or program to help new hires attain that designation? (This question will help you understand their attitudes towards training investments.)
3) Describe a typical day for a new hire; how is it different from a day as a veteran? Supplementary question: how long does the transition take for most of the new hires? (This will help you understand the nature of the start-up period.)
4) What does success look like? How would I know that I am successful in the role, one year out?
5) Describe a situation where a client (or supplier) was making unreasonable demands - how did you handle it, and what role did your direct reports play? (This is an example of a behavioral question.)
6) How do my experience and skills differ from the "perfect" candidate?
This week's action item: Do you manage others? How might you answer these questions if a candidate asks them? And how would you answer if you were applying for your current job?
Randall Craig speaks to groups about Career Development, Work-Life Balance, Networking, and other management topics. For more information, go to www.PersonalBalanceSheet.com, or contact Randall by email through firstname.lastname@example.org.
Make It Happen Tipsheet
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Copyright © 2007 Knowledge to Action Press and Randall Craig. All rights reserved.
Publication Date: October 23, 2007