What questions do you ask prospective employers?

If the E-Learning Heroes jobs boards are any indicator, there are a ton of e-learning and instructional design positions out there, waiting to be filled. And in my opinion, demand for talented designers/developers is only going to rise as companies continue to look for ways to deliver learning and performance solutions that are more accessible, scalable, and cost-effective.

So what does this mean for you? It might mean you have a growing pool of jobs and employers to choose from. While this is good news, for some of us, the prospect of resumes and lengthy interviews is a big ole’ job-hunting buzz kill.

But the interviewing process doesn’t have to be a grueling, anxiety-filled, elimination challenge. Rather, I like to think of it as a match-making conversation. Your prospective employer wants to get to know you and what skills and knowledge you bring to the table. More importantly, interviews are a chance for you to get to know them and find out how they can support and nurture your career as well as how the company culture and values align to yours.

But how do you really know you and a prospective employer are a good match? And what questions should you ask to find out? 

Here's a summary of some of the community’s best ideas and advice for making a new job love match.

Cary Glenn: “I had an interview the other day and one question I asked was, ‘What is a typical day like?’ In the past I have also asked, ‘Why did the last person leave this position?’ If they were promoted that is a good sign.”

Jessica Nelson: “I always ask, ‘Do you support continuing education opportunities?’ and ‘Are your designers part of the Association for Talent Development (ATD)?’

Continued learning is important for me, and I have to work for an organization that supports it as well. It is a great way to see if they reimburse memberships and tuition, but also if they have any associated initiatives that go along with it. Some organizations will pay for programs, but will not actually allow you to attend (time off of work etc.). These questions are an easy way to get a glimpse into their culture.”

Ashley Chiasson: “...I also ask ‘What do you love most about working here?’ This question gives you a good idea about what the organization is like.”

If salary isn't discussed, I'll ask about the position's salary range...because let's be real, that's a pretty important piece of information. I'll also ask about what type of benefits the organization provides.”

Tim Slade: “Asking question back to the interviewer is SO important!

I always ask, ‘What aspects of your job keep you up at night?’ This question can help you understand what might be stressful about the job or the work environment. This can also help you understand how you might be expected to support that individual (assuming that you'll be working for him or her).”

Daniel Brigham: “A few questions I have asked...

  • What assets are available to me for building courses? (image asset library? Money for purchasing stock photos, video, audio clips, graphic designer in another department?)
  • Who is the LMS administrator? (important if YOU don't want to be that person)
  • What is the basic process for building courses here? (This gives you insight about how robust their training is.)
  • Have you implemented any blended learning? (Of course, this also gives you the opportunity to talk about your knowledge of xAPI, yada yada.)
  • May I see samples of your elearning? (A good sign if they show you.)”

Natalia Mueller: “...I'm also big on flexibility. If a company doesn't offer flex schedules, we just aren't a good fit. As a working mama it tends to be another cultural indicator that's important to me. When I feel like a company cares about me, I care back. It fosters a great deal of loyalty and that's the kind of environment I prefer to work in.”

David Glow: “I like to ask - ‘What key challenges do you see for this position in the next 6 months? Year?’

They can either answer by noting what organizational opportunities they want you to step up and address (outline big wins you should keep your eye on), or they may note the constraints in the position (i.e. timeline, resources, budget, office politics).”

What questions do you like to ask in a job interview? Jump into the conversation and share your ideas with us! And we’d love for you to follow us on Twitter where we post the latest and greatest news about everything e-learning.

Be the first to comment