10 questions to ask in an interview

When you are called for an interview, remember not to appear too focused on yourself, money or the TA/DA that you would need to be reimbursed. Honesty and frankness is appreciated, in the right dosage. Be prepared to ask your own set of questions during the interview to help decide whether you want to join or not.

What will my scope of work, roles and responsibilities be?
It's important to have an idea of the requirements as an employee. Nivedita Ghosh, consultant and client manager, ABC Consultants advises, "Seek clarity on the duties and responsibilities for that position so that it does not come as a surprise package to you."

What are the skill sets required for effective performance in the given role?
Understand what is required of you, if analytic ability or thinking out of the box are needed, you need to be able to deliver on the same count. According to Nishant Mohan, director, VentureBaron Technology, a Mumbai-based company, "This helps in understanding if the company is aligned similarly or if you will find it difficult aligning yourself to the organisation's goals and objectives."

What is the guidance offered in the initial stages in the organisation?
This will decide how smooth your transition will be into the company. If efforts are made to help you fit in, chances are the
effort will reflect in other aspects as well. The more willing the organisation is to train you during the initial period, the better your reults and the more the intention of the company to make the relationship work. It is like the company is investing in you.

Is there an acclimatising camp to get used to the systems, work culture of the organisation?
Many companies place high importance on this, reflecting the organisation's ability to deliver on its promises and investment
in human resources. Srinivasan, HR director, HCL Technologies, says, "It's important to know this so that you have a clearer idea about whether you will find the right fit, whether the atmosphere is formal or informal."

What are the KRAs on which I would be assessed?
All employees are evaluated based on key result areas. Know how your contributions will be rated, be prepared and be willing to deliver.

Is there an annual appraisal system where my deficiencies would be discussed for self improvement?
Be open to appraisal and always strive towards self improvement. Remember that this is not personal and a process,
be willing to change and mould yourself into your job.

What is the salary structure and other benefits?
Most employers will make an offer, so you rarely have to broach the topic. Be careful in your negotiation process, don't appear to be too money-minded. Mohan warns, "Try and understand the salary break-up because an unfavourable break-up may result in lower income and more taxes."

How much does the company invest in their employees through learning and development programmes?
Srinivasan feels that your career landscape is also determined by the kind of career development programmes that are offered. Know what you can expect, be aware of whether you will get it or not if you join.

What is the reporting structure?
It's important to understand this process early so that you avoid making any blunders as part of the company. Many companies state there is no hierarchy, but it is better to understand that it does exist in some manner. Openness should not be taken as a given, be sure to maintain a certain decorum and ethical approach at work.

What does the organisation think about work-life balance?
At a personal level this is important to be kept in mind. Srinivasan shared, "It will not be a question that puts to rest your doubt in terms of deliverables but it will give you a sense of how flexible the company is in terms of other needs."

An interview is a two-way process, be prepared to be able to respond to an opportunity to ask questions. Remember, each work space is a learning experience, be open to change and handling challenges as part of your work. Give it your best shot and don't be scared to accept your limitations, work hard to learn at work and achieve success.


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