Questions to Ask Yourself When Interviewing
There’s a lot of content out there about what questions to ask in an interview, how to respond to common interview questions, and what to do to stand out from the crowd.
Do you know what there’s not enough discussion about?
Questions to ask yourself before, during, and after the interview.
As great (or as not-so-great…) as the responses from the interviewer can be: it’s very important to ensure that this next step in your career (assuming you get the job) is a step worth taking.
With that being said, let’s break down some of the most important questions that you should be asking yourself when interviewing for a new role.
At a high level, these questions can include:
- What size of company do I prefer to work in?
- Do I genuinely like and support the products or services they sell?
- Do I even have interest in talking to their ICP?
- How volatile or sensitive is their industry and am I okay with it?
- In my own opinion, is the technology stack my role will interface with be sufficient for my preferences, career experience, needs, etc.?
- Am I aligned with their company values, morals, initiatives, and overall culture internally and externally?
- Where can I get more information to equip myself in my job search?
What size of company do I prefer to work in?
Some of us would thrive in a major company with well over 1,000 employees. Conversely, there are plenty of others that would see it as a less-than-ideal scenario.
There are pros and cons to each.
Larger companies often come with far more enablement, better-defined job roles, plenty of fancy benefits, lots of internal growth opportunities with clearly defined paths, etc.
On the flipside, however, there’s increased loose competition internally for promotions, raises, and bonuses as well as slower-to-move on certain projects at times, bureaucracy, and disconnect between organizational hierarchy levels and departments.
Smaller companies, particularly startups, allow for wearing multiple hats regularly (by choice and by necessity), quick opportunity for advancement, and large amounts of exposure to multiple facets of the business in a short period of time.
It’s not all good though: smaller companies can have longer working hours and harder-to-meet goals due to thin resources, smaller technology stacks for enablement, less formal training and direct access to mentors, and general financial volatility due to their market share.
Do I genuinely like and support the products or services they sell?
As many salespeople have had the misfortune of learning the hard way: it’s very difficult to do well in a sales role if you simply don’t like the product or service that you’re selling.
For some, liking it isn’t enough. Depending on your personality or professional goals, you may need to be thoroughly a fan of the product or even own it and use it yourself in order to sell with any vigor and passion.
The advice here is to be very honest with yourself about how much you need to enjoy, like, or support the product or service you would be selling.
Do I even have interest in talking to their ICP?
If you dread talking to certain job titles: perhaps you should avoid selling to that job title.
This logic needs to extend beyond job titles, too.
Knowing what industry the company sells their services and products to is very important for figuring out whether or not you will work well with their clients or potential customers.
If you don’t find a certain industry or role a topic you enjoy talking about or find yourself wanting to learn more about, then you probably shouldn’t be selling to that industry or job function.
Not having a passion or desire to work with the ICP will present itself, consciously or subconsciously, in your behavior and productivity. In many cases, shoe-horning yourself into a role that sells to people or businesses you’re not interested in can hinder your career growth long term.
How volatile or sensitive is their industry and am I okay with it?
As many of us have learned with the global pandemic, the volatility of industries can vary. This isn’t simply in terms of how much volatility exists, but how easy it is for industries to become more volatile, too.
While no one can truly predict what next curve ball will throw the world’s various industries into what feels like chaos at times, it’s important to know that some industries are historically more volatile than others.
Ask around and do some homework on the history of the industry you’ll be working in as well as the industries you’d be selling into. After that, ask yourself if the volatility of those industries is something you’re comfortable taking on.
Also, because someone is probably going to ask this question: No. There isn’t an industry free from volatility.
In my own opinion, is the technology stack my role will interface with be sufficient for my preferences, career experience, needs, etc.?
Some people want the best of the best technology at their disposal in their next role. They want a robust sales engagement platform like Outreach alongside the ability to create human workflows easily with Troops, which you can try free for 30 days in just 10 clicks.
There are other types of people that get a thrill working with limited resources, choosing the tech stack for themselves from nothing, or simply get a kick out of making whatever they have work for them.
For some businesses, this is by choice, while for most, it’s often out of necessity.
If you’re the type that wants a robust technology stack at your disposal, ask what you’re looking for when asking about the tools that will be made available in the role before asking the interviewer and hiring managers.
Knowing what answers you’ll accept beforehand can help you go in with a bar that they need to meet (and should meet) in order to be a role you’re excited to take and succeed in.
If you’re not sure what kind of answers to expect due to limited exposure and knowledge, that’s where websites like.
Am I aligned with their company values, morals, initiatives, and overall culture internally and externally?
This matters more to some than others, and that’s okay.
However, at the end of the day, if you don’t like the people you’re working with: it’s very hard to be great at the role and move forward in your career.
People buy from people they like, but they also work best with the people they like.
Ask about diversity and inclusion efforts of the company: both internally and externally, to ensure that this is a place where you will feel safe, welcomed, and celebrated for bringing your whole self to work. Websites like RepVue make this easier to see at first glance and can help you avoid cultural red flags.
Does the management style mesh with your workstyle? That’s another cultural consideration to be made by you during the interview style. Don’t be afraid to drop some colloquial nuggets of how you get work done and prefer to be managed, if you’re self-aware enough to provide that context.
Extend this further if you’d like any other morals or values that are important to you and “background check” the company, so-to-speak: this will create strong professional alignment between you and the company. That synergy will allow for fruitful relationships to be built while working there that will ultimately grow your professional network and advance your career significantly.
Where can I get more information to equip myself in my job search?
Other than networking and asking around, it’s always a good idea to take a tour of the company-in-question’s presence on social media or websites like RepVue.
RepVue is easy and free to leave a review on, plus it gives you access to real data from the insides of sales organizations in an array of industries. Check it out here.