These Are The Interview Questions You Need to Ask If You Really Want to Love Your Next Job

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Laura Berlinsky-Schine2.3k
April 16, 2024 at 3:5PM UTC

We all want to find jobs we love. But it can sometimes be difficult to know what we’re walking into when we accept a new role. How can you really tell whether it’s the right fit from just one interview (or even a few interviews)? 

There’s no magic formula for knowing whether this will be a job you love, but these questions can help you have a good idea before you start your next role.

1. How do you facilitate work-life balance for team members?

Lots of employers say they promote work-life balance for their employees, but unfortunately, not everyone walks the walk. Notice that with this question, you’re not asking WHETHER the employer promotes work-life balance but HOW they do it. That way, they have to be specific and give actual examples, giving you insight into what kind of environment it will be like. And if they can’t offer concrete examples? Well, there’s your answer.

2. What are some challenges I might face in this role?

Recruiters and hiring managers are trying to sell you on this role as much as you’re trying to sell them on your expertise and qualifications. They aren’t going to voluntarily share the challenges you will encounter on the job, but you WILL face them nonetheless — everyone has obstacles in their jobs, even if they’re excellent fits.

Here, you’re looking for honesty. It’s important to understand the downsides of the role in addition to the upsides. You need to have a realistic picture of the position so you know what you’re getting into. This will lower the odds of disappointment and frustration later on.

3. What opportunities are there for growth?

You don’t want to end up feeling stuck in your next role — you want to grow and progress in your career. From the beginning, you should be clear on the career trajectory and path forward. 

And, of course, employers want employees who will stay loyal to the company and remain with them for a long time. So, it’s in their best interest to provide you with and give you insight into career development and pathing opportunities. 

That’s why you should be asking about how they nurture the professional lives of their employees and give them ways to progress — you’ll know what to expect.

4. What does collaboration look like at this organization?

This is especially important in today’s world, when many employees are working remotely. You might need to collaborate with team members across time zones, asynchronously, and in order to do this effectively, the organization will need to facilitate relationship-building and communication.

Even in-person, strong collaboration is essential. Not only will it make your job easier, but you’ll be more content in your role and with your company. Collaboration, after all, means a more positive experience and better relationships with your colleagues.

5. Why did the last person in this role leave?

This is a question that will give you some insight into fit, as well as the organization’s culture. If the previous individual moved into another position at the organization, then that’s a great sign. But leaving doesn’t necessarily mean something bad.

It IS a bad sign, however, if the hiring manager openly disparages their previous report. Even if that individual had poor work ethic or wasn’t good at their job, it’s not the interviewer’s place to tell you that. There are ways to convey that without being inappropriate — for example, they might tell you politely that it was a poor fit.

Either way, you should be able to learn something about the company and how you would mesh with the culture.

In life, there are no guarantees. But asking these questions will at least prepare you for what’s to come and help you better understand the role, responsibilities, culture and potential fit.

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This article reflects the views of the author and not necessarily those of Fairygodboss.

Laura Berlinsky-Schine is a freelance writer and editor based in Brooklyn with her demigod/lab mix Hercules. She specializes in education, technology and career development. She also writes satire and humor, which has appeared in Slackjaw, Points in Case, Little Old Lady Comedy, Jane Austen’s Wastebasket, and Funny-ish. View her work and get in touch at: www.lauraberlinskyschine.com.

What's the no. 1 question you ask in interviews to determine if the job is a good fit? Share your answer in the comments to help other Fairygodboss members!

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