What questions do you need to ask before choosing a company you want to work at?

What questions do you need to ask before choosing a company you want to work at?

When you are looking for a new job or your first work after graduation, the only thought which captures your mind is “I want that interview! Give me a chance, and I will not let you down!” You wait for the recruiters’ replies for days and even weeks. Sometimes the recruiters inform that the company is not interested in your services or they cannot currently hire you for the position you want. Nevertheless, sooner or later you will get a message or a call, and a recruiter will invite you for an interview. Now you are a step closer to your goal, but another question does not leave you alone “Is this company a good place to work at? Will it provide you with all the opportunities you expect?”

It is not a secret that job offers often look more attractive than they really are. It may happen after a week of work that the job you wanted so badly is not what it seemed to be in the beginning. You start feeling like an employer has deceived you, but is it true? Is your employer the one you have to blame? Do you tell only the cold truth when you are writing a resume? No, and neither do employers. When you write a resume, you add some sugar to seem like the most wanted candidate among all others. The same principle is used by the companies. They underline only advantages and briefly mention some negative aspects of work. It is a job market where everybody tries to sell their offer or service for a higher price. So, all you can do is to accept the rules of this game and be a bit smarter than your employer.

There is a solution which will help you learn for sure whether a position in a company you want to work at is worth it. All you need to do is contact an employee who works in the same position as yours in this company. Ask this person for an informational interview. The majority of employees often agree to spend a few minutes and answer your questions since they understand that one day they may need the same help. So, what is an informational interview and why do you need it?  

During an informational interview, you play a role of a recruiter who asks questions about employees’ current place of work. You have the same goal recruiters do, to figure out what an interviewee likes the most in his job, learn about some advantages, benefits, and a working atmosphere in general. This is your chance to dispel the company’s cover of the best job offer and discover the real image of a place you want to work at.

To help you examine a company, we have prepared a list of informational interview questions. They will help you to learn the most important information about the potential work of place and not waste a lot of time of a person you will interview. So, let’s start and name our interviewee Bob for the sake of convenience.   

Question #1 What has attracted you in this position?

Even when you compare two almost identical job offers, a lot of things can be different. And these differences are exactly what attracts candidates. Sometimes even one feature can influence a person’s final decision on choosing a job. For instance, Bob chose this position because it was his job and he was glad for any opportunity to become an experienced professional. However, a more skillful employee might not be interested in this position since it means that he or she has to do a lot of routine and monotonous work.

Question #2 What previous work experience was the most helpful in this position?

Do not be afraid to ask such informational interview questions. They will help you to understand why Bob still occupies the current position and copes well with his obligations. Perhaps, Bob has some unique work experience which helped him a lot, and if you don’t have the same, you will face certain challenges in a new place of work.

Question #3 What is the one thing you would like for somebody to have told you before you started working in this company?

Now we have come to a question that may sound a bit unethical, but still, you have a right to know about it. The company will never tell you the truth about some negative aspects of work that you will surely face during your first weeks of work. So what is the purpose of hiding this information if you will learn about it sooner or later anyway? Ask Bob what he was not happy to learn after a couple weeks of work in this company.  

Question #4 What are the biggest advantages of your position?

We all know that each work has its pros and cons. So, let’s ask Bob what he likes the most working in his current position. It may happen that things Bob considered as benefits have nothing in common with your perception of advantages. Who knows, maybe for Bob this benefit is so crucial that it is the only reason why he still works in this company.

Question #5 What skills are essential for your position?

All employers try to list all the skills that their perfect employee should have. Nevertheless, not all these skills are really required. Some of them might not be so crucial for the position, while others on contrast are categorized as must-haves. It may happen that there are also those skills that an employer has not mentioned, but you need to have them to do your work well. So, do not hesitate to ask Bob about the skills which helped him the most in his position.

Question #6 How does your average day in this company look like?

Your vacancy may look like a winning ticket, but the reality is often different. Even the most creative position which offers a lot of various and interesting tasks is not limited only by them. The major part of your daily obligations are some routine and even boring tasks you should be ready for. Otherwise, you will fade away in a month or two becoming too exhausted by an endless flow of the same tasks. The best way to understand whether you could cope with them is to learn in advance what exactly you will face on a daily basis working in this position.

Question #7 Are you satisfied with your salary?

Maybe it is not one of the best questions for informational interview since people prefer no to discuss their salaries. However, the goal of this question is not to find out how much Bob earns in this company. You need to discover whether a company provides promotions and increases salaries adequately taking into consideration the contribution the employees provide in the company’s development. In other words, how hard you need to work to earn more in the company and whether the company really increases salary regularly as it promises.

Question #8 Is there anybody else you would recommend me to talk to?

Bob might not have the answers to all the questions for informational interview that you have prepared for him. However, it doesn’t mean that you have to settle for the information you have received and not learn more about the company you want to work at. Ask Bob whether there is somebody else in the company who may help you to shed the light on the position you want to apply for. The more details you gather, the easier it will be for you to make a decision.

Who can help me to write my resume?

Now when you know what questions to ask in an informational interview, it will be easier for you to gather all the necessary information. Once you find a company which seems to be a good place to work at, you will have another issue to solve - How to write a resume to impress an employer? There are many resume formats and types. Some positions require specific structure and if you send a resume using a standard one, it might not even be reviewed by an employer. Moreover, you need to understand the principles the recruiters use when they select candidates. Otherwise, you will often receive no replies on your resume and no one will even give you a tip on what is wrong with it. So, what should you do and how can you write a good resume? To be honest, there is no single solution that will satisfy all the cases. Each position requires a specific resume style, structure, and flow of information. You can try to learn various styles, but still, you need to create a persuasive resume to impress an employer with your skills and experience. The information you can find on the web is not enough though. You need the assistance of somebody who is proficient in this issue.

To be 100% sure that your resume satisfies all the employer’s expectations and differentiate yourself from others, visit Resume101.org. On this website, you can get professional assistance with resume writing. A team of experienced writers which consists partly of former recruiters and HR managers will help you to shape your resume in the best possible way. The company also offers other services which include writing of cover letters and CVs. In other words, on this site, you will get a full package of resume help from people who know for sure how a good resume should look.

The process of ordering a resume writing service is very simple. In fact, it consists only of four steps which will not take much time. On the first step, you select the type of service and the deadline. On the second step, you provide instructions. You have to write about a position you are going to apply, your skills, education, and work experience. If you have a resume, attach it as well. On the third step, you have to choose a payment method to compensate a writer’s assistance. And finally, when you get to the last step, you can relax and do nothing while the professionals of resume101.org are working hard to deliver you the most up-to-date and professional resume.

So, you got questions to ask in an informational interview, and you know who can assist you with resume writing. Now, everything depends only on you. Make all the necessary preparations, gather information about the company, send a well-written resume and get the job of your dream!

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