The 5 Questions You Should Ask During A Job Interview

A job interview is your one opportunity to get a real understanding of what your future place of work will be like. Maybe you peek around the corner while you’re walking to the interview room, checking to see if people at the office look like they are functioning members of society, or at the very least, if there are free snacks in the kitchen.

Because this only gives you like, two seconds to scout out where you could be spending literally all your time 9-5, you should probably ask some questions during your interview. At the very least, maybe you can figure out if you’re going to get gray hairs from the stress of working at this salt mine start-up. Or if you’ll be BFFs with your co-workers going to SoulCycle during lunch. Let’s hope for the latter.

Half the time during an interview, questions come at the end. You’ve already spent the last hour answering things like, “tell me about yourself” aka “what the f*ck have you done with your life” and “why do you want to work here” aka “what kind of answers can you come up with, besides the fact that you need the money for rent?” Still, mustering up some sort of energy to show interest will show Susan from HR that you’re the super boss betch we both know you are. And even if you don’t care to find out about the company culture (weird) you like, have to ask questions at the end because you’ll look bad if you have nothing to ask. Here Are the top five questions to ask during an interview. And for more career advice, order our third book, When’s Happy Hour? How To Work Hard So You Can Hardly Workout now.

1. What Is This Position’s Day-To-Day Like?

This is one of the best questions to ask during an interview to give you a picture of what this job will actually be like. Everyone prefers a different working style. Some love to be social, on the phone all day selling to customers. Others prefer to have their favorite podcast on while diving all analytically into a spreadsheet. Either way, we are modern women knowing what we want. Although some jobs may have a bit of both, understanding what you’re actually going to be doing all day will help you avoid wanting to gauge your eyes out with the pink pen you bought from Paper Source.

2. Who Is Your Ideal Candidate For The Role?

You know that moment at sample sale where you find a f*cking expensive purse at half price? That’s what this question is to you. Gold. Literal gold. Here’s why: this question gives you the opportunity to understand exactly what the hiring manager is looking for in a role. You can then respond with something like, “I love that you mentioned x, y and z capabilities because I feel like my skills really align due to blah blah blah”. This question basically gives you the opportunity to say you are perfect for the job, while using the same language the interviewer is using.

If you only have time to ask one question during an interview, honestly, ask this one. It won’t let you down.

3. What Are The Main Challenges For Someone In This Role And This Industry?

I’m basically just giving you questions to ask during an interview to understand what you will f*cking hate about your job. JK, we’re supposed to *want* to be challenged right?! Rise up to the top and sh*t?!

Understanding what hardships you will face in your job (even if it’s just remembering other people’s complicated af Starbucks orders) will help you decide if this role is even right for you. I know you are desperate to buy those new winter booties (me too), but interviewing should be a two-way street! It’s not all about the money—you really want to think if you’ll be happy in this role, or if you’ll be job hunting in three months because you hate your life.

4. What Is Your Management Style Like?

Have you ever heard the quote, “people don’t leave jobs, they leave managers”? It’s something I wholeheartedly believe. You could be in your dream job, but if you don’t jive with your manager, you will feel more trapped than Kendall Jenner at Fyre Festival. Whether a manager is micro, macro, or just psycho, this question should give you the opportunity to see if whether or not you’re going to be a corporate slave who’s literally never been out of work in time for happy hour.

5. Do You Have Any Reservations With Me Moving Forward In The Process? 

TBH, I’m actually a crazy person and usually leave a takeaway during the job interview. At the very least, ask this question to understand any concerns the interviewer has about moving forward. This ALSO gives you an opportunity to get feedback and know how long you’ll have to wait to see if you got the gig (which I’m sure you did, you baller, you).

If your interviewer does have reservations, take this time to politely object and share that you’d love to learn about any skills you don’t already possess. You know, personal growth and sh*t.

Finally, you should ask about the next steps in the process, this way you’re not harassing the recruiter every week when you haven’t heard back. This will also make you sound eager to move forward, but like, in a good way.

Questions give you the chance to listen and reply back with more information on why you will rock the f*ck out of this job. Answer thoughtfully while listening carefully and you’ll slay your interview so hard, the interviewer won’t even know what hit them. Now who’s ready for happy hour?! Tequila shots on me.

For more career advice, order our book When’s Happy Hour?, out now!

Images: Shutterstock; Giphy (2)

4 Things You Should Never Mention In A Job Interview

Need more honest career advice? Of course you do. Pre-order our THIRD book, When’s Happy Hour? now! It’s all the real career advice you won’t get from like, your guidance counselor.

As a freelancer, I have been on no less than one million job interviews. They are ways to kill it—being politely early but not too early, being prepared, bathing beforehand (OBVIOUSLY YOU HEATHENS), etc. And there are ways for it to go so poorly that you’ll want to kill yourself. If you want to be a true GirlBoss/Boss B*tch, you’ve got to know how to interview well.  One of the easiest ways to improve your interview skills is to never, ever say the following. And wear a chic outfit. But mostly the first thing. Here are a few things you should never say in an interview.

1. Personal Sh*t

I have family drama that’s crazier than any reality TV show. Or even soap opera. I get that sometimes you’ll be asked in an interview, “Oh, why did you take this time off?” or “Why are you changing careers?” and you may be tempted to tell the truth. But saying, “Oh, my mom is hoarding like, 30 feral cats and they attacked her,” may make you sound like a total psycho. Even if it’s true. When asked something that may lead to a personal question, keep it as vague and professional as possible. They don’t need to know you left your last job because you slept with your boss and then found out he was married (whoops). You left because you were “seeking a more challenging position”.

2. Your Vacation Schedule

When you freelance and you’re hired job for job, you have no idea how long each job will go or when you’ll be busy or have no work to do. Same goes when you’re unemployed. If you have no idea when you’ll find your next career move, who cares if you take a month to go to Europe? However, should you land an interview, do not tell them right off the bat that you’ve already got a trip planned. The only exception is if they let you know they need you for a specific event or schedule that overlaps your trip. But otherwise? Keep your plane tickets to yourself and let them know after you get the job that you already had this trip planned. Most companies are totally cool with honoring pre-made plans as long as it’s not a conflict for them. This way it won’t be a factor in their decision to hire you.

3. Bad Job History

If you got fired from your last job or rage quit because your boss does not understand that being on-call all day without pay is super illegal, Stephanie, don’t mention it in the interview. Yeah, illegal practices are a totally justifiable reason to quit. The job being sh*tty is also a valid reason. But you don’t want to look petty or like a complainer in your interview. If you talk sh*t on your ex-boss, they’ll wonder how you’ll treat them should the job not go as you expect. Say something super classy and casual, like “oh, I wanted something different than what my last position could offer me.” You know, like being paid for my time. There will be plenty of time to tell them your crazy ex-boss stories once you get the job at post-work happy hour.

4. The Obvious (Especially When The Job Sucks)

Sometimes interviewers ask super dumb questions, like, “Why do you want this position?” So I can f*cking eat, duh. “What makes you excited about this minimum wage job?” It’s the only one that responded to my application. Don’t say these things. You have no choice but to answer dumb questions with class and delicate wording. If you’re interviewing for a lesser job, a low-paid position even though you have a super expensive college degree, or anything that just sucks, you don’t need to tell them this. Like, obviously, you don’t want to be Karen’s free intern when you’re driving two hours to the office every day and HI, have rent and bills to pay, too. But sometimes you have no choice and you need to do something lame as a step-up in your career.  Just focus on the parts of the job that could appeal to you and your future. Like, “I’m excited for the opportunity to learn and establish myself in this new industry”, is way better than “If I don’t get some kind of job, my dad will cut me off”.

Need more honest career advice? Of course you do. Pre-order our THIRD book, When’s Happy Hour? now! It’s all the real career advice you won’t get from like, your guidance counselor.

Images: Giphy (2)