Knowing What You Want

Everyone wants to have a great job. A great job means working for a great company, with a great culture and a great boss. My experience tells me that there are 7 questions you can (and should) ask in a job interview that will tell you whether the job is as great as it seems. These questions also signal that you are not an ordinary candidate, and instead, shows that you are confident, contemplative and goal-oriented.

Based on the 5 things employees want from a supervisor, these questions help ensure that both sides are making a mutually beneficial deal.

5 Things Employees Want from a Supervisor

I take no credit for these 5 things, because I learned them from a presentation that Don Beveridge made to my company over 30 years ago. He has since passed, but his ideas will remain in my memory as long as I work. Here are the 5 things employees want from their supervisor:

  • Competent job instruction
  • A degree of independence in doing the job
  • To be informed in a timely manner about anything that impacts me, my co-workers or my company
  • Praise for a job well done
  • Want to work for a leader not a boss (BOSS spelled backwards is double SOB)

7 Questions to Get the Right Gig

  • Tell me about your selection process.
  • What are the 5 most important tasks that someone in this role needs to excel at?
  • Can you share with me in some detail the characteristics or qualities of the 2 very best people who have ever been in this role?
  • Can you tell me how communication works between you and the people in your group so that employees always feel engaged and informed?
  • How would you describe your view on developing people for future success in their role and in the company and can you give me some specific examples of people that you have gotten promoted?
  • How does recognition ordinarily work within your team for a job well done?
  • You said that the next step was ________________. When can we take the next step?

Why ask these 7 questions?

  • Tell me about your selection process.

In my opinion, this should be the very first question you ask when they ask what questions you have. You want to know exactly what their selection process is, because when you get to the 7th question, you will know EXACTLY what “next step” to ask for.

  • What are the 5 most important tasks that someone in this role needs to excel at?

This question will help you get exquisite clarity on what the most important tasks are. This is crucial to know, because you’ll want to be good at these tasks and enjoy them for this to be the right opportunity.

  • Can you share with me, in some detail, the characteristics or qualities of the 2 very best people who have ever been in this role?

You need to know what excellence looks like in this role, so that you can deliver said excellence. If you can’t “be incredible,” you probably need to look for another opportunity.

  • Can you tell me how communication works between you and the people in your group so that employees always feel engaged and informed?

If you want to know if you will be kept informed and engaged on this team, then ask this question.

  • How would you describe your view on developing people for future success in their role and in the company? And can you give me some specific examples of people that you have gotten promoted?

You will want to know their philosophy, approach and track record for getting people promoted. If they can’t prove that they have developed people, then they probably haven’t. Look elsewhere.

  • How does recognition ordinarily work within your team for a job well done?

If you want to know if you will be recognized for being incredible on this team, then ask this question.

  • You said that the next step was ________________. When can we take the next step?

Companies want people who want to work for them, which means they are far more likely to see you again IF you ask for the next interview. ALWAYS, ALWAYS ask for the next step!