Finding just any job, and landing one with a company where you will thrive is two separate things. The former offers you a means to employment while the latter makes it possible for you to develop your career in a way that is satisfying and productive. If you are interested in a job where you will thrive, you need to look for a company that looks after its staff.

questions to ask interviewer

PR expert and business owner Nick Hewer is just one of many high-profile business executives who attribute the success of their businesses to caring for their employees. He says that the workplace culture must be a good fit to ensure employees are able to perform at their absolute best, even as they earn the rewards they desire and thoroughly enjoy their work. If landing a job where you will thrive is important to you, we have four questions you must ask during the interview process:

Questions to Find a Company Where you can Thrive:

1. How would you describe the work culture here?

This first question is one many people are uncomfortable asking. However, be up-front about your desire to understand the workplace culture. Also, pay close attention to the interviewer’s body language as he or she answers. If the interviewer is confident that the workplace culture is positive, his or her body language will match the words being spoken. If words and body language do not match, you may not be getting an honest answer.

Asking this question has the added benefit of stimulating further conversation that may result in more questions. You might be able to ask about how the company views teamwork versus the individual approach, whether there are company benefits that will help you perform at your best, and whether or not the company offers things such as flexible hours or work-at-home options.

2. What types of training and self-development opportunities do you offer?

None of us ever becomes true experts at anything; there is always room to learn more, improve one’s skills, and contribute more productively. Top companies and their executive management know this, and they are more willing to invest in staff training in order to ensure workers have the tools and knowledge to be as successful as possible. Amica Mutual Insurance is an example of one company that believes in training workers.

Amica CEO Robert DiMuccio addressed this very topic, among others, during a 2013 EY Strategic Growth Forum. He told the audience:

“We want to brand ourselves with our employees as well as with our customers. We put a lot of money into them and a lot of time because we think it’s important.”

3. What three or four traits do all the top performing employees at the company have in common?

The point of this question is to match the interviewer’s answers with your skill sets and abilities. Therefore, you need to be honest with yourself. Does the answer match you? If so, you may be a good fit for the job for which you are applying. If not, you may need to look elsewhere. Keep in mind that job listings are not necessarily accurate in describing the people companies are looking for. For example, you may be technically proficient while the company is looking for someone more sales orientated. You would likely not be comfortable or thrive in a position requiring heavy sales but little technical application.

4. What did the last person in this role move on to do?

The final question may seem as if you are prying for information you do not necessarily need to know, but you do need to know it if you want to find a job where you will thrive. The point here is to discover whether the position you are applying for includes real opportunities for promotion or is more of a dead-end position. If the person who held the position prior moved to another company where better opportunities existed, you need to consider that as part of your decision.

An added benefit of this question is the fact that you can use it as a starting point to find out how people are promoted within the company. You might ask if there is a clear structure in place for promotions based on performance, as opposed to simply waiting until someone else moves on to move up. This line of questioning helps make it clear that you are determined to make progress in your career.

These four questions alone cannot guarantee you will land a job in which you will thrive. Nevertheless, they do go a long way toward making that goal a reality. The more you know about the company with which you are interviewing, the greater your chances of finding a successful match.

About the Author: This is a guest post by Seb Atkinson who works for Selesti Limited