Interviewing the Interviewer

By: Ed Grasing

Guess what? Oh, you heard? Yeah, that’s right... everyone seems to be hiring. All this hiring is good for everybody, but it’s especially good for the person that is well prepared. Nobody is better prepared for an interview than someone who is bringing a few questions of their own.

Traditionally, interviews have tended to be one-sided... but they don’t have to be. In fact, many hiring managers & interviewers PREFER when there’s more interactivity once the Q&A portion of the interview is reached. It’s important not to give the impression that you are not very interested in the role, or that you are only concerned about the compensation.

Keep a couple of these questions up your sleeve on your next interview...you’ll be glad you did.

  1. Is this a new role or a replacement role? If it’s a new role, why was it created? If it’s a replacement, what happened to the previous person & has there been a lot of turnover associated with this role?

    It’s important to understand any history that you might inevitably be judged against in some way. If someone was there before you, did they quit? Get fired? Great questions to ask if there wasn’t a lot of time in the interview dedicated to these issues.

  2. How will the success of this role be measured?

    This helps you to understand what the manager really values. You might discover that there are elements to role that carry more weight (and reward) than others.

  3. What are the greatest challenges faced in this position?

    This lets the interviewer know you\'re not looking at this opportunity through rose tinted glasses, and want to know what challenges you’ll need to attack head-on in order to be successful.

  4. Ask for A Day in the Life

    No, not the excellent Beatles classic... ask the interviewer to walk you through what a typical day (or week) in the job may look like. Few people spend to time to ask this...even though it accomplishes 2 great things: lets the interviewer see you are looking beyond the interview to the actual job, and also helps you to further visualize what will be expected of you.

  5. Recalling the person that you’ve seen perform the best in this role, what made them so outstanding?

    A thoughtful answer here from the interviewer is your blueprint to success. You’ll know exactly where the bar is & why.

  6. Do you have any reservations about my ability or qualifications to do this job that I might try to address right now with you?

    This shows you are prone to being proactive & willing to address difficult subject matters. It also gives you the opportunity to correct any misconceptions or errors. If all issues are resolved here, this also gives you an excellent transition point to close the interviewer on hiring you.