(Read Time: 2 Minutes)

Looking for a new job is like having the flu- you feel terrible in the moment, and great when it’s over.

If a new job is on your horizon, here are some things to think about while lounging around under the beach umbrella during the dog days of August.

According to Gallop, we spend more than 47 hours each week at work (not including commuting). That’s a lot of time. If you are going to spend that much time in one place, you deserve to be happy.

Begin by asking pointed questions in your interview.
You will be judged by the quality of the questions you ask.

Interview = Information

An interview is a fact-finding conversation. But somehow, because an interview is tied to compensation, the balance of power often shifts from interviewee to interviewer, with the interviewer directing the conversation. Sometimes, we don’t feel like we are ‘allowed’ to ask tough questions.

Au contraire mon ami!

An interview is exactly the place to ask the tough questions. After all, if you’re hired, you will be the one sitting at the desk everyday.

Let’s pretend that there is no compensation on the table.

How would you change the tone of the conversation?
What would you ask?

What to Know First-How Employers Hire

Two Employer Fun Facts

Fun Fact #1: Companies hire aspirationally

(not for what they are now, but for what they want to become)
Achieving company goals is easier when employees are happy and turnover is low. It’s why hiring a good ‘culture fit’ has become a leading indicator for hiring managers.

Fun Fact #2: 5 attributes employer’s value

(Developed by Laszo Bock at Google and adopted by just about everyone)

  • Adaptability
  • Collaboration
  • Teachability
  • Humility
  • Leadership

(Spoiler alert: Screening for these 5 categories doesn’t mitigate proficiency and skill level. You still need to be qualified for the job!)

Here’s what typically happens: After the interviewer gets past the questions related to your resume, the conversation will likely shift toward attributes of the company and questions that relate to the 5 categories above…..

Well, two can play at that game!



5 ‘Interview the Interviewer’ Questions

Use these (or variations) in your interview.  They will help you feel ‘great’ about the interview.


What was the single biggest change in strategic direction for the company in the last year? How did the company change course?

(ALWAYS do your homework in advance of an interview. Know all you can-read annual reports, analyst reports and press coverage, in addition to the company website. Make this question as specific as possible to get a clear picture of company adaptability)



Can you give me an example of what a new business pitch (or, if interviewing with a nonprofit ‘strategic planning process’) looks like? Who is involved? Who assumes the lead? How is information communicated?

Another option: What is a collaborative effort is the company most proud of?

(Listen for answers that indicate how inclusive the company is in its decision-making. An answer like ‘that all takes place at the upper management/board level’ may raise additional questions (and possibly a red flag).



How do different generations of employees (Millenial, Boomer) learn from each other here?

(Managing a multi generational workforce is one of today’s most pressing institutional challenges. The answer to this question tells two things:
1) acknowledgment that generational differences exist
2) describes proactivity (or not) in addressing the issue)



What is the company’s biggest culture challenge? How is it being addressed?

(Admitting that challenges exist communicates humility. Culture is an area where most companies strive for continuous improvement. Beware of the company that doesn’t identify any culture challenges)



Can you give me an example of how the feedback loop works between upper management and staff?

(This question will help you to gauge how important employee feedback is to management, and gives you insight into management structure)




More Helpful Interview Tips!

  • Be Yourself – After all, they are hiring the ‘real you’, not the ‘interview you’
  • Be Present – Pay attention to the conversation. Ask questions based on what you heard and discussed
  • Be Informed – Do your homework. No exceptions
  • Be Interested – Follow up after the interview with a thank-you note and additional questions
  • Be Confident – Interviews are a two-way conversation, do your part




5 position specific questions!

  1. Tell me about the last person in this job. How long were they with the company? What was their biggest challenge?
  2. In order to make this job ‘perfect’ what resources are needed?
  3. What does success in this position look like after 3,6,9,12 months?
  4. What is the growth trajectory from this position?
  5. What does a typical ‘day in the life’ of this position look like?

And two more….

  1. If you were hiring the ‘perfect’ person for this position, what qualities would they have?
  2. What do YOU like most/least about the company? (after all, hiring managers are employees too)

Ask questions, learn a lot, enjoy the conversation,
get the job you want, feel great.


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Sample topics

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Use, Share, Enjoy
I’d love to hear if these ideas were helpful
Drop a line and let me know

Until next month…