Interviewing the Interviewer

What to ask before you accept the job

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“So many people are desperate to find work, that they are more focused on selling themselves to the company than trying to find out if the company is the right fit for them,” says Marlon Cousin, managing partner for The Marquin Group, an executive recruiting firm specializing in diverse talent. “When you walk away from an interview, you should be able to say, ‘Wow, this is the company that fits because I really like the way they think about business and how their people are valued.’”

Here are several questions Cousin suggests you ask during the interview to help you arrive at that answer:

What are your top three key performance indicators? What are the barriers to success?

How does your organization define success and how is it measured?

What do you want this role to get accomplished in the first six months?

How would you describe your culture? (Most people don’t fail because of performance; they often fail because they don’t fit in.)

Is it possible to work virtually? (This sends a clear message on how they value work–life balance.)

How do you view candidates with creative ideas? Does the organization embrace innovation?

Do employees enjoy coming to work and do they have the tools and resources to get their jobs done?

What drove the decision to downsize and are you planning to make any more cuts (if the company recently closed a division or experienced layoffs)?

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