For most of us who are working, we spend the majority of our time at the office. Like any other relationship you enter into (roommate, romantic, etc.), you want to make sure it is a good fit. It’s important to remember that interviews are two-way streets. So, there are questions you should ask to get a better sense of the potential work-life balance that’s in store for you, as well as what the day-to-day culture might be like. For someone diagnosed with cancer, these things may be even more important to explore.
- “Does the company or job description sound like me?” While you wouldn’t ask this in an interview, it should be a part of your interview prep. Rely on your own instincts for the gut feeling you get when you read a job post. Does it sound like you? To affirm your feelings, ask someone else if they think it describes you.
- “What do you like to do outside of work?” You’re going to be spending a lot of time with your coworkers, even outside of normal work hours, so getting a sense of what they do when they’re not on the job can give you a sense of what they are like while they are at work. Do you have similar interests? Could you see yourself getting along with them?
- “What are your favorite things about working here?” This question plays into people’s pride about their company, which can be a strategic thing to find out while interviewing. If someone can immediately answer what they love about their job/employer, there’s a good chance they are genuinely happy with what they do/where they work. It’s also a good idea to ask, “If you could change two things about the company, what topics would you tackle?” However, be careful to ask this question only if you’ve already asked what their likes are, so it’s a natural parallel.
- “What’s the busiest time of year like at the company?” Instead of asking when people typically leave work or if people are stressed out, asking about the busiest time of the year can help you picture how the company reacts when the workload gets heavier, without making you seem like you aren’t a hard worker.
- “Do people usually dress like this?” A good strategy is to ask at the end of an in-person interview, when the interviewer asks if you have any questions, if what the people are wearing that day in the office is typical. It may feel awkward, but you’ll want to know the answer.