3 Questions to Ask in Every Job Interview

As candidates, we tend to see the job interview as a one-way evaluation, where we are being deeply analyzed by every possible criteria, from academic performance to nail polish color (is it too basic? Too trendy? Or worse, too 2015?).

However, interviews are an excellent opportunity for you to evaluate if that is the company and the role you are really looking for, and if your potential-future-manager is the leader that will help you fulfill your potential.

And the best way to find out about this is to ask questions about the one thing recruiters don´t spontaneously talk about: their weaknesses. Because, just like you, they are also selling themselves and focusing on the good things they have to say about the company and the position.


So next time you are in an interview, make sure you ask these three questions to find out all the truth about your dream job:

If you could change something in this company, what would it be?

Recruiters love this one. Every single time I asked it, they said something like “good question” or looked really impressed by the fact that I had touched such a delicate point. Because, let´s face it, it is not easy to tell you what is wrong with a company but still convince you to go work for it.

But more important than earn you points with the interviewer, this question will help you find out about the key weaknesses of the company. Maybe it´s a huge bureaucracy, maybe is a lack of processes, maybe it´s a poor life-work balance. Whatever that is, it will help you decide if that is a company where you would have fun and be proud to work for.

Why did the person previously in this role leave?

It helps a lot to understand why the previous person left the job. It could be that he got a better opportunity in another department, but it could also be that he didn´t feel motivated anymore due to a number of reasons. And even if the interviewer doesn´t give you many details, you can always ask if you can contact the person to understand more about the role and the manager. The interviewer will see that you are really interested in learning more about the opportunity, and talking to your predecessor will definitively give you an insider view of how the job will be like on a daily basis.

How could you be a better leader?

This question is for your future manager. Understanding his leadership style is vitally important since at least 50% of the people who leave their jobs do it because of their bosses. And this question is exactly about what he is not so good at as a leader. An answer like “I have a large team and can´t give each of them enough attention” will be bad if you are in a moment of your career where you need more support from your manager, for example if you are in an area that is new for you and therefore will require close mentoring in the first months. However if you have previous experience in the role and feels comfortable about opening up your way in the company by yourself, this might be a good fit. Whatever the answer is, it will tell you a lot about what you can expect from him as a boss.

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Use the Job Interview to Your Advantage

Regardless of what kind of job you are applying for, always keep in mind that an interview is a two-way conversation, and asking these questions will help you see if this is really the job for you.

If it is, you will feel much more motivated to dedicate yourself to get the job and be the best at it – and if you find out it is not, you will be more confident about what you really want and better prepared to go out looking for your true dream job!


Images: Main Archie Lukas  I Got A Job Tamra

Tatiane Delamuta

Tatiane is a Brazilian marketer with an MBA from IESE Business School in Barcelona and currently living in London. With over ten years of experience, she has managed brands and products in the consumer goods, retail and pharmaceutical sectors. Passionate about travelling, she is always planning her next trip – and driving her husband crazy with her intense sightseeing plans. You can follow her on twitter @tati_delamuta

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