Have you ever been so focused on getting something, that you never stopped to think about whether you actually wanted it in the first place?
While you might think that the nature of being a candidate in the running for a job puts you in a lower power position than the interviewer, just remember that they need to fill that job just as badly as you need one. Instead of only focusing on impressing your next interviewer, try to keep your own needs in mind throughout the evaluation. Is this job a solid stepping stone for your career, or, as the interview goes on, do you see the prospects promised by this position begin to wobble?
By interviewing your potential employer during the interview, you can save yourself from being stuck in a job that doesn’t meet your personal or professional needs.
During the interview, one of your top priorities should be to feel out both the job and the company that you’re applying to. For some tips on what job seekers should be paying attention to in their next interview, here’s “How to Interview a Potential Employer” from CareerRealism. According to the article, the first bits of knowledge that candidates should be focused on getting are how this job will be different from jobs that you’ve held with a similar title.
During the interview, try to find out anything that might throw a wrench into the way that you’re used to working: who controls the budget, how closely you’ll be working with others, how may people you’ll be answering to and the turnover rate of this position (high turnover is definitely a red flag).
Besides figuring out how the day to day might differ from jobs you’ve had in the past, you want to evaluate potential employers for the future that they can offer you.
In your pre-interview research, try to figure out if this company is on the way up, or if you’re signing up with a lost cause (asking this in the interview won’t do you any favors). During the interview, ask questions about the potential for advancement within the company. Is there an opportunity here for you to reach new professional heights in this organization, or will you hit the ceiling a few years down the line?
By asking these questions of your interviewer, you will not only demonstrate your engagement in the interview process, but catch the early warning signs of problems that might take years to rear their ugly heads. Remember, there are two sides to every arrangement.
Make sure that your next employer’s side is going to provide what you need out of your career.