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Interviewing the Interviewer: Is this Job the Right Fit for You?

Interviewing the Interviewer: Is this Job the Right Fit for You?

We have all gone through the arduous process of job hunting. In today’s economy, most of us are trying to find that job with greater benefits, or one that pays more money. The majority of us have walked into an interview with an “I will do whatever it takes to get this job” mentality. This mentality may work for those who are entry level, or those desperately wanting to leave a sinking ship and have mortgage payments to think about. However, this mindset will get you nowhere if you are truly looking for the best fit and the closest approximation to the “perfect” job for you. The reality is that there is no such thing as the “perfect” job, company or career. However, we can control making the best out of any situation we are in, and turning it to our advantage.

The most important asset you possess is a good attitude. It may sound corny, but it is true. You need to have a good attitude; this attitude will help your self-esteem, your focus, people’s perception of you, and eventually will get you to where you are looking to go. The attitude that you must have is the following: “I am willing to do this job because this job will help me to get [next step in the corporate ladder] until I get to 'X'." Your particular “X” can be the CEO, it might be FX Trader Extraordinaire, it might be entrepreneur. But once you have this mantra seared into the back of your mind, you will not be as miserable in any job because you will see the longer term.

[Related: How to Adjust Your Attitude at Work in 2 Minutes]

This attitude will also help you to have the self-assurance you need when interviewing for a new job - not only going to the interview to try to get the job, but to interview your interviewer as well. Yes! Interviewing your interviewer is one of the most essential components of your interview process. Most interviewees forget this and ask technical or salary and benefit questions and forget about asking things such as: 

  • “Could you please tell me more about the company culture?” 
  • “I read online the company stands by/goes by this mission… Can you please tell me more about this and how you think our team fits into it?”
  • “What do you think is one of the main challenges for a person joining this team?”
  • “You mentioned you have been in the company for 10 years – what do you like most about the company?”

[Related: 5 Interview Mistakes Eager Young Employees Make (and How You Can be Different)]

These questions will give you insight on your manager and on the company culture: two elements fundamental for your career. You will have a better idea of who you will be working for on a daily basis and whether the company can help you with your long term goals.

You also need to be paying attention to situational questions they may ask you: “Tell me about a time you encountered a difficult situation with a teammate or a supervisor?” Two things are obvious with this question: 1) you will be doing a lot of team work, and 2) you could potentially be working for someone that is known for being a difficult person (yes, you are most likely being thrown to the wolves). If you enjoy working in groups and you are able to get along with difficult people, you already know this job will be perfect for you.

By asking these types of questions, you are not walking into a new role blindsided. You are saving time for the company and for yourself, and ultimately, getting to your end-game that much quicker.

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Andrea Garrido is a reporting analyst for Pershing LLC. She enjoys attending networking events as well as providing career advice to recent grads. On her spare, she trains for half-marathons and plays soccer.


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