is Senior Vice President at , a leading career management and transition services consulting firm in Boston. Mattson specializes in helping mid-to-senior level individuals in new career exploration, networking strategies and career decisions based on corporate culture fit.
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As you look for a new job, will you take any job offer or are you looking for the right one? What does the right job mean? Too often job seekers do not take enough time to reflect on where they have been in their careers before they actively begin their new job search. And when they receive an offer, they do not have any criteria that help them determine the right fit.
To help you identify what the right role would look like, think back on times during your career when you were the most satisfied. What role did you love doing, what type of manager were you working for and what was the culture like during this time? Finding a perfect fit comes down to three main questions that your potential employer must answer:
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- Does the culture meet the work values that you need fulfilled to succeed?
- Will you be utilizing your top three skills you excel in the most?
- Are you doing something that interests you?
Determining Fit with Questions
Now you know your criteria for the right role, you need to ask courageous questions in your interview -- not safe ones -- to stand out from your competition. Safe questions include:
- How would you describe your managerial style?
- How would you describe your culture?
- Does your company take risks?
A response from an interviewer will give you some answers, but will you find out what you really need to know to take the job with confidence? Here are more courageous questions to ask.
1. How receptive are you to feedback from your employees when do you do something they disagree with?
If one of your values is being able to speak up (diplomatically, of course) when you disagree with a certain decision or behavior of your manager or peers, then this is for you. This question will help you understand how receptive your manager and others would be to constructive feedback without fear of retribution.
2. As a manager, what frustrates you about the people that work for you?
As often as you can during the interview, ask questions where the manager would be able to tell you about a specific situation and provide concrete anecdotes. In this case, you want to know what frustrates him or her, so if you get the job, you will know what behaviors to watch out for in yourself.
3. Is there a project your department is working on now? If so, how are you interacting with your staff on it?
You certainly want direction from your new manager, but not one that micro-manages your work. If you ask the safe question, "Do see yourself as a micro-manager?" they might answer, "No, I am not at all."
However, if you ask the riskier question, you may hear he is involved in the project every step of the way -- a potential red flag for you about his style.
4. Can you give me an example of how you work collaboratively with other departments?
Your idea of how people collaborate can be completely different than others, so this question helps you assess if the environment is compatible with the way you work best.
5. Does the company welcome celebrating special occasions in employees' lives? What was the last occasion your department celebrated?
This question is a must if your idea of a fun workplace culture includes celebrating special occasions. Now, if the person mentions, “We don’t tend to celebrate,” you could follow up and get a sense whether they would be receptive to it the future.
6. What would be the three things that your peers would say you do extremely well?
This question is often asked about you -- the interviewer is listening carefully to what you will say. In some cases, they might follow up with people you are referring to in your answer to verify what you said.
You could ask this question to the manager, potential peer or even HR to get a better idea of how the company operates. Since working in teams is much more prevalent in today’s businesses, you'll want to know more about your colleagues.
7. I understand the company has a formal recognition program; however, what type of recognition have you recently given to one of your staff?
If recognition or praise is one of your values, then this is a good question. It not only tells you about the company culture, but also if the manager is generous with recognizing the great work of his team.
Nearly everyone wants recognition for the work they do, but in very different ways. Find out whether the methods of the company you're considering work for you.
8. Has anyone on your staff been promoted over the last couple of years? If so, what was the reason why this person was promoted?
If you are looking for development opportunities, you will want to know what those would look like. You'll also want to know if the person was promoted because they pushed the subject or if the manager led the process.
9. What type of work do you delegate to your staff?
You want to work for a manager who delegates, so you can develop beyond your role. If a manager is not a good delegator, then he might be insecure about his role and not want you to know what they are doing. This could potentially hold you back from promotions or development.
10. What are the three main factors you will be using to determine the right person for this job?
This question is best asked toward the end of the interview, so the interviewer might use some of what you have to offer as some of the factors. You should find out how you fit in with the manager and job criteria, so if you could address the concerns in the post-interview correspondence and next round of interviews.
11. What have been the main characteristics of your favorite employees?
When someone is talking about a favorite employee, watch for their body language, tone of voice and their word usage. These factors will help you determine if you have some of their same qualities and if not, it will give you more to think about after the interview.
12. What was the company’s most strategic decision made in the last year? Could you describe how they came to this decision?
You want to work for a company that is planning for the future. By asking this question, it will demonstrate to the interviewer that you are thinking ahead. It will also help you understand what you might need to do to keep yourself current in your field and continue to add value to the company.
13. Can you give me an example of how and why one of your staff made a major mistake, and what was your response to it?
You want to be able to take risks, but you also want to know your manager will support you in resolving it -- not reprimand you. Asking this question will give you a sense of the level of risk-taking that would be acceptable.
Social Media Job Listings
Every week we post a list of . While we publish a huge range of job listings, we've selected some of the top social media job opportunities from the past two weeks to get you started. Happy hunting!
- at 1stdibs.com in New York City
- at NASCAR in Charlotte
- at Current in San Francisco
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This story originally published on Mashable .