Job interview pro tip: when the interviewer asks if you have any questions, ask what the company's five-year plan is. Where does the company want to be in five years?

The answer will tell you a *lot* about whether you want to work there.

@noelle plus itll make it look like you're invested in the company and make you look good

@revolverocelot @noelle This strikes me as better suited to small startups than big companies. At a big company I would only expect C-staff to have a good answer.

Questions I usually ask:
- Can you walk me through your typical day?
- What are the biggest challenges facing this team?
- In this role, what does success look like?
- Do you like working here?

@mkb @revolverocelot You have, perhaps without meaning to, hit on *precisely* the reason you should ask the question at larger companies.

I will elaborate:

If the person in charge of hiring you can't answer "what is this company's plan for the next five years" even in broad strokes, the company is, in my opinion, either dangerously mismanaged or focused on shareholder value and not actual planning (and, frankly, the latter amounts to the former).

@noelle @mkb just to add on to this, if the person interviewing you can't clearly articulate the company's 5 year plan that can speak to: 1) a lack of clarity 2) a lack of transparency or 3) a lack of interest on part of the interviewer. None of these things are good signs for someone you're theoretically going to be working with.

@noelle @mkb the questions you mentioned are generally pretty good, but I do want to give a special anti-shout out to "typical day" questions, which are exceedingly vague to the point of uselessness. There's almost no chance of me as an interviewer being able to give you a useful answer about the things you care about, and nobody ever really has a "typical" day.

@nightpool @noelle

YMMV for sure.

Like any open-ended question, some people need a little prompting to get going. And yes, not having typical days is common though I see both extremes. One fallback prompt I use is “How about walking me through yesterday then?”

I get clues about how interrupt-driven the culture is, how collaborative, meeting frequency, and hands on/off management. Useful intel is why I keep asking. But still, YMMV.

@revolverocelot @noelle

The typical day question helps give a feel for the environment and detect excessive working hours.

For that last question, the answer will usually be some variant of “yes.” The real answer lies in the nonverbals. Do they hesitate? Sigh? What is the tone of voice?

@noelle This is *hella* smart. Thank you for the tip!


Incidentally, I always fantasize about answering “Where do you see yourself in five years?” with “Frantically trying to hide your corpse before the cops show up.” 😜

@noelle i always ask what the one thing is the interviewer wished they knew about the company before they started. it’s yielded an impressive array of insightful answers.

Usually one answer "restructuring for investors profit margins"

@noelle i also like to ask what the turnover rate is like. It will also give you some insight about the health of the working environment.

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