There is nothing wrong with a solid job and steady paycheck. Once you have plateaued in your career and obtained a degree of success that you are most comfortable with, enjoy the moment. However, if your career still has upward potential, the perfect match has to be more thoroughly explored. Seek to make career-advancing decisions, not the next job/steady paycheck decisions. Whatever your objective may be; in order to find a safe, happy and productive workplace, you need to effectively participate in Interviewing the Interviewer. Interviewing is a two-way street so do your part!
Interviewing the interviewer can help you determine:
- Is this company the right fit/best fit for you?
- Is this organization aligned with your values?
- Would you consider them a preferred employer?
- Will the position lead you to career growth or is it a job?
- Does the potential boss appear to be a mentor that can lead you places?
- Are you feeling that you can both share a vision for a long-term relationship?
- Do you feel you have a clear understanding of the boss’s goals?
- Can you work with his/her style or manage around it?
- Can you determine how well the boss has cultivated a team and what is his/her turnover of direct subordinates?
Don’t be afraid to take a personal interest in the interviewer and inquire about their tenure, work history, challenges they face, successes, and if they could change something; what would that be? Try to find common interests (sports, family, shared activities, etc.) to start the bonding process.
Here is starting point of questions to consider:
Decide which questions are applicable to your needs.
The boss and company:
- Tell me about yourself. What do you enjoy most about working here?
- Inquire about the department/region you will be overseeing.
- What are the objectives for the organization/property in the next year? Five years?
- In your mind, what does the organization/property value most?
- What is the organizational structure? What is the company culture like?
- What are the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of the brand/property?
- What is the financial stability of ownership and/or of the property?
- What are the long and short term goals of this position?
- What are the top three priorities that WE need to accomplish?
- What skills are most needed to compliment and help the team?
- What are the most important achievements required in the first 90 days?
- How long was the last person in the position? Why is the position open? How long has it been open? What were the greatest contributions of the last person?
- What kind of processes are in place for US to work collaboratively with the region, home office, peers, etc.?
- Ask about the appropriate metrics: guest and associate scores, revenues, measurement to budget, to forecast to last year.
- When was the last time a major renovation was completed?
- What are the ADR, RevPar and occupancy indexes for the brand/property? Average checks?
- What are the shortcomings and strengths of the department, property, region, company?
- What are the current sales challenges WE face? For example, cannibalization, customer demand, market penetration, cash revenue, preferred revenue, new customers, customer retention,
- What is the turnover ratio for management & line staff?
- What training is needed for the staff? Do WE have the resources? How good are WE at growing junior managers?
- What are the current plans for expansion (or cutbacks)?
- What markets are WE finding are providing the most incremental growth?
- How has the preferred customer mix changed with the increase of supply in the market? What is the ratio of group to transient sales? Is this where WE want it to be?
And lastly, if you are interested in the joining the team, then ask for the job by saying, “Do you have any reservations in hiring me?” That will give you one more opportunity to clear up any potential objections and answer any final questions the interviewer may have.
Always remember that interviewing is a two-way street. Use your time wisely to get a feeling for chemistry and management style of the boss and team.
Then it’s time for you to decide: Will they be a good fit for you?