Obviously a huge part of an interview is to be prepared for some tough questions. But as well, what questions do YOU, the interviewee, ask?
What would show the interviewer your interest in the position? What would you like to know about the firm from the people that lead it? What would they like you to ask?
In the past I’ve asked about:
What is the org structure of the company?
How do you see my skills and abilities fitting with the team and your needs?
What is your timetable for filling the position?
Can you describe the process on a typical project?
How many projects would I be working on at once?
While I’m here, can I meet the rest of the team I would potentially be working with?
What about my work prompted you to bring me in?
What is the schedule like on a typical week?
What percent of the time would I be traveling approximately?
Thought we had a thread on this somewhere. (Couldn’t find it in my quick search, though)
Where do you see the company/team in 5 years?
Why is the position open?
All of these above are great questions to ask and asking them will not just give you answers you need to make an informed decision but also demonstrate to the interviewer that you are not just blindly jumping into anything.
I would also encourage to be observant. You can gauge a lot from non-verbal conduct around you.
Are you interviewing only with senior staff who are possibly not the decision makers? Is your interviewer checking his email constantly during your presentation? Did you have to wait before the interview? Do they know your work beforehand and are prepared and genuinely interested?
Also the general feel for the place will tell you a lot. If people are unhappy, you can tell right away.
I have had interviews where, when I entered the studio, I felt a cold shiver and knew, this was not a good, constructive place.
As designers we are passionate people who are putting their ideas on the line and are being judged every day. It is emotionally exhausting. A good, constructive team and environment is essential and I am sure that if you visit the firm, you will be able to tell even without asking the questions out loud, if its a good one.
is this a new role or are you back filling
what are the goals and objectives for the role
Are there any hurdles that need to be over come
Does the company have a growth and development plan for employees
Is there a “yearly educational” budget
Can i wear a velvet jump suit to work on fridays - george wears velvet - YouTube
All of the above.
I alway look into past projects and find something about it that interests me and how that may apply back to what I can bring to the company. Example “I have great interest in growing other organizations. I noticed you did work for start-up X. How do define what start-ups you work with and what start-ups you don’t? How do start-ups contribute to your over all business?” Or if corporate, “How do you balance your design activities between your largest brand X verses you smallest brand Y?”
These type of questions show that you are deeply interested in their business.
Before an offer my objective for most, if not all, questions (the exact phrasing would depend on the conversation at the time) would be to determine how my capabilities would integrate into their process/workflow - how can I quickly and easily give them what’s in it for them. It also let’s me know their process/workflow to determine if it is a good fit to my capabilities from my pov.
After an offer my objective for questions would be to determine what’s in it for me.
One of the bolder questions I asked:
What would you say are the top 5 reasons I should come here to work?
Get them to sell you on working there. Only works in certain situations and more at the management level. If an entry level designer asked me that I’d probably say piss off, but if a director candidate asked me that it would make more sense. I was a director at Nike when I asked that question at frog. Frog is a great consultancy, but you only get to leave Nike once and I needed to make sure I was doing the right thing.
That generally works when you are being recruited out of an organization.