A job interview can often feel like a one-sided date. You’re awkwardly sharing and sharing to fill the time, and they’re listening as they drink their wine and judge you for your shortcomings. Then, there comes a certain point in the evening when it’s your turn to really show them you care. Let them know you’re interested and would like to see them again. The same happens in a job interview when they ask if there is anything you would like to know. And it’s important to actually ask them something.
Why is it so important, you might ask? Well, just like in a dating situation, they want to know why you’re there. They want to know what drew you to their company, and why you’re keen on actually making it stick. They’ve been burned before and have definitely experienced some candidates there for the wrong reasons, but unlike on The Bachelor, you’re fighting for a salary, not a rose. You have to step it up. Research the company ahead of your interview, show them you’re actually interested in them and not just a job. Really look at projects or ideologies that speak to you and your career goals and ask them about it. They will be impressed that you’ve done your due diligence and possibly even a little touched at your genuine desire to learn about the work their company has spent a great deal of time doing.
It’s also important to feel out if it’s the right fit for you. A job interview isn’t just for an employer, it’s also for the candidate to see the potential for their career and decide if it’s worth pursuing. Just like getting to know if your date is compatible, you want your job to be compatible with you as well. What is the work culture like? Maybe it’s important to you that the office is pet friendly, must love dogs could be your deal breaker. Maybe you know a specific management style you work very well with, or one you do not. Getting to know what your future could be like is necessary for long term job satisfaction.
It’s good to know where this is going. What are the possible growth opportunities for you? Where can you move up, career wise? How many kids do they want? (I joke, I joke). But seriously, if you have career goals in mind, you need to know if this job holds the key to your success, and what your path could look like. Do they work hard to make sure employees are promoted and reach their full potential?
It’s also very important to know where you stand. Asking when you can expect to hear from them can ease anxiety in the coming weeks and let you know if it’s yea or nay. If they say you’ll hear from them by this date and you don’t, you can move on. If they say they’ll reach out via email, you won’t be waiting by the phone. It’s vital to have clarity over things to come so that you can mentally prepare, and then you won’t feel stood up.
Asking questions in an interview can benefit you in many ways and can also help you relax and appreciate the potential. After all that sharing, you can finally turn the tables, sip your metaphorical wine, and judge them to see if they’re your one true (work) soulmate or just another bad first date story for your friends to laugh about later.