Your heart is racing, your palms are sweaty, and you’ve spent way too much time talking to yourself in the mirror the past few days. Yep, your first job interview is here. But just as companies rely on job interviews to determine if you are a fit for the role or their brand, an interview is your opportunity to assess if the job is right for you. Coming prepared with questions to ask in a job interview will help you decide if this is where you’re meant to be.
Old Navy’s Vice President of Human Resources and Boys & Girls Club Workforce Readiness Partner Michelle Weber says one of the most common mistakes candidates make is not coming prepared with questions to ask in a job interview.
“I always suggest sticking to three or four questions based on what is most important to you,” says Michelle. “Do you care most about culture? Scheduling? Training? Think about what you need to know to decide if the job is the right fit for you.”
Four Questions to Ask in a Job Interview
As a hiring manager responsible for Old Navy store employees across the United States, Michelle offers four questions to ask in a job interview as a place to start.
Can you describe the company and team culture? Could you share an example(s) of how I might experience that in the role I am applying for?
What do you (interviewer) like most about the organization? The team?
What training will I receive, and over what time period can I expect the onboarding process?
What advice would you give a new hire joining the team?
Michelle recommends asking your questions once the interviewer has completed their questions. If not offered, request the opportunity to ask a few of your own questions at the end of the conversation.
Do Your Homework
In addition to preparing questions to ask in a job interview, Michelle stresses the importance of researching the company you’re meeting with prior to your interview.
“Not having done previous research is one of the biggest mistakes we see candidates make. Come prepared and informed about the organization you’re interviewing with, and know why you want to be hired for the role in which you’ve applied.”
Research doesn’t have to be overwhelming. You can start to learn about the company, their objectives, focus areas and culture by reviewing their LinkedIn page, company website and social media channels. Be sure to look at their about us page, mission and values, categories of offerings and even the charitable causes they support.
Michelle also recommends making eye contact with your interviewer, speaking with confidence and arriving early. “If you’re not early, you’re late,” Michelle says.
Even though you may be nervous, job interviews are the first step into what could be your dream career. For Michelle, her interview at Old Navy as a teenager changed her life.
“I was once a young 18-year-old girl looking for a job who wound up finding a meaningful career instead. It’s so important that we support and give back to the communities where we operate our Old Navy stores. I’m proud to support Boys & Girls Club kids by providing opportunities, training and access to potentially find a meaningful career in retail like I did.”
See more advice from Michelle to be successful in your first job:
Great Leaders Start Here
Research shows that when we introduce young children to the world of work, they're more likely to dream big and connect what they're learning to future career opportunities. Starting as early as age 6, Boys & Girls Clubs help young people explore their passions and interests, develop employability skills, and apply knowledge in real-world settings like Old Navy's This Way ONward program so they can become anything they can dream.
This Way ONward empowers young people aged 16 to 24, who often lack access to jobs, with valuable work experiences to develop the necessary skills and confidence to succeed. Learn more about all the ways Clubs are preparing young people for college, careers and life.