Job interviews are mutual. Candidates are trying to win you over and you have to win them over too. There are so many factors that go into attracting and retaining top talent. From compelling job descriptions and an engaging application process to competitive benefits and compensation packages, employers are working harder than ever to provide their employees—current and potential—with a positive employee experience.
The job interview is naturally one of the most critical parts of the hiring process. As SHRM describes, not only is it central to the employee selection process, helping “to determine if an applicant's skills, experience, and personality meet the job's requirements”, but an interview also benefits job seekers. A well-conducted interview “enables [the job candidate] to determine if their employment needs and interests would likely be met”.
Here are some examples of questions that job candidates may ask in their interview to determine if the job is right for them.
What is the pay range for this position?
This is one of the most common questions to ask an interviewer, as job candidates want to have an idea of what compensation for a role looks like in order to determine if it’s worth pursuing further.
If your organization doesn’t include salary information in your job postings, expect this question from candidates. On your end, as either a part of the job application or initial interview process, you should inquire about the candidate's salary expectations to ensure it’s inline with the pay range for that role. If the pay range hasn’t been decided yet and you’re asked this question, you can respond with something like: “We are aware of your salary expectations and will be able to meet them. The specific rate is based on a number of factors and will be decided based on the final candidates qualifications”.
What do you like about working for this company?
This is another basic question that many job seekers ask in order to get a better feel for company culture. Interviewers should be prepared with some personal testimony about specific aspects of their job and the company. The answers should be focused on things that go beyond what the applicant has already learned from your job posting and website.
Can you speak to some of the comments on this employee review site?
A prepared applicant may have read through your company’s reviews on a site such as Glassdoor and have some questions about the feedback. While the interviewer might not be aware of some of the specific comments that the interviewee is referencing, they should still be prepared to address some of the common concerns that former or current employees have publicly voiced.
It’s important to not go on the defensive with comments like “Those employees were just angry they were let go” or something to that effect. Rather, take ownership by saying something like “We are aware of the issues that have been brought up and take them very seriously. Here are some of the concrete steps we’ve taken to address those concerns…” and give examples of the ways your organization has—hopefully—been working to address the issues.
What are the growth opportunities for this role?
This is one of the questions that reveals a candidate's intentions to stay with your organization long-term should they get the job. The interviewer should be prepared to answer this question with both general growth and learning opportunities of the organization, as well as specific opportunities within the department and beyond the starting role.
The list we’ve just shared of questions to ask an interviewer is by no means exhaustive. Interviewers need to be as prepared as the candidates they’re interviewing if they want to continue to recruit top talent.