Remember, as a candidate, you’re interviewing them just as much as (if not more than) they are interviewing you. But easier said than done. Interviewing interviewers isn’t easy. There is, however, one thing you can do to improve your interviewing skills—that is, to ask better questions, then pay attention to the answer.
Ask probing questions and put the pressure on them—they’ll like it, I promise, and you’ll stand out more this way. Ask about the details of the job description and really dive into the day-to-day. Do research, then ask questions regarding the role you’re applying for within the context of the business model. Ask smarter questions; that is, try to ask things they might not know.
But once you’ve asked these amazing questions, now comes the most important step: listen carefully.
And I don’t just mean to actively listen (although, do that too) I mean, pay special attention to how they answer the question. Do they turn it right back on you? Do they treat you like you’re at an audition and just give you surface level-answers so that they can get back to being in charge? Or, do they “talk shop” with you?
This will give you an idea if they are really passionate about the business or not. It will give you insight into whether or not the company is actually healthy. The toxic ones will keep the focus on you, not the company. They don’t want to get into specifics. They want to make you feel like you’re the one under a microscope right now, not them.
But beware of this attitude, it just might be a microcosm of things to come.
The healthy companies are proud of what they are doing and excited to share more. Look for this type of passion. At this point, it should feel like a business discussion, not an interrogation. That’s the difference between a healthy company and an unhealthy one.