Most interviews for startup and scaleup jobs follow the same formula: they ask you a series of personal questions and end with “any questions for us?”
The job interview questions they ask are crucial to their decision to offer you the job. However, the questions you can ask are equally significant. Don’t be afraid to address important questions and learn more about the company itself as well as its values. For inspiration purposes, this article informs you about potential questions to ask in a job interview.
Find below the 5 job interview questions (+ a bonus question) that you can ask and why they are important.
Questions to ask in a job interview
What has been the most important decision that you’ve made in the last 12 months in your role?
Whether you are interviewed by the founder or another member of the company, you can ask about their specific role to learn more about what they do. Show your interest in them as well as their impact on the company. They are more likely to consider you an eligible candidate if they see that you care about other employees and their roles within a team.
How has [industry-relevant event] affected your department?
Here, you showcase how well informed you are about relevant events with your interest in how the company’s department was specifically affected. For example, you may ask the following question to an insurance company: How has the higher potential for remote work in sectors like finance and management affected your management department?
For industry-relevant events, head over to Google News and type in the industry that you are applying to. Find unique, relevant news that could have affected the company, and use this question to address the topic.
What do you personally love about this company?
This question enables you to identify additional benefits of working at the company that you might have not known about. It also shows your interest in understanding what the company is like, helping you evaluate whether you’re a right fit. The interviewer will subconsciously understand that you care about making the right decision.
What are the three most important factors to succeed at [company name] in the first 3 years?
This question allows you to kill two birds with one stone. First, by asking this question, you show the company that you have the desire to succeed by taking the right steps along the way; this shows initiative. Simultaneously, you suggest that commitment is important to you. Companies want to work with talent willing to commit to their cause and stay with the company for a long time. Just by asking this question, you can convince the employer that this is what is important to you.
Which KPIs will you use to evaluate my trial period?
Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are a means of evaluating one’s performance over a set period of time. They help you measure how close you are to achieving your goal, parallel to understanding whether or not a change, of course, is required to reach the target.
Now, on average, companies offer trial periods from one to three months. By learning about the metrics that are most important to your employer during the trial period, you can take matters into your own hands. Have a direct effect on your success throughout the trial period by closely monitoring your KPIs, and asking for support if you find that you are not meeting them.
Bonus: Do you see me fitting your company culture or adding to your company culture? Why?
Company cultures are never static. They change, adapt & shift all of the time. And this is why it is important to understand whether you fit a company, or whether you add to it.
Employers that seek only those candidates that fit an existing company culture can be dangerous. By attracting only those candidates that are like-minded, diversity & inclusion is likely to be neglected.
Companies that are instead interested in candidates that can add to their culture are usually more open-minded. They are interested in becoming more diverse & inclusive, and leveraging this to remain competitive on their market.
Use this question to learn more about what the company thinks of you, and do not be afraid to explain why you asked this question.
Try not to miss the unique opportunity you get when asked “do you have any questions for me?”. Whether you use these questions to change the employer's mind, give them a deeper insight into the values you care about or deep-dive into the company’s culture, think about them thoroughly. They are the one of the most important things that you can control during an interview.