The job market is still rough, but job seekers shouldn’t feel like they have to take any old opportunity just because it’s available. Yes, there are many who do not have the luxury of choice, but if you’re not in a bind, you should strive for a job that will keep you engaged and fulfill you professionally. During the interview, you have an opportunity to discover whether or not the job is a fit for you by asking these questions:

How would you describe the company’s culture?

Each company has a unique culture, so make a point to learn what makes employees tick during by asking this question. If you learn that the company’s values differ from your own, the opportunity is probably not the best fit for you. But if your personal values are inline, make sure you communicate that to the interviewer.

What is the typical trajectory for a person in this position? 

Chances are you probably have a career goal in mind, but many job seekers forget to consider the future when they are searching for an opportunity in present day. If you’re looking for advancement, and the position is dead-end, that’s a big red flag. If you want to be able to mold your path yourself, and the position is rigid, that might not be good for you either. 

Who is your ideal candidate? What characteristics and skills does this person have?

These questions can be enlightening in many ways, but most importantly, it gives you insight into if your characteristics and skillsets fit the opportunity. If most of the characteristics they list don’t match up with you, then you might not be a good fit for the position and the team. If you have a skills mismatch, it isn’t the end of the world, as you can learn them. Keep in mind that it might not be the right job for you if there isn’t a lot of training available, the skills don’t interest you or fit the career path you’re envisioning for yourself.

Finding the perfect job is difficult, especially in this economy, but if you’re looking for a certain opportunity to better your career and keep you satisfied, asking the right questions during an interview is essential.

Do you have another question in mind? Please share it!