09/06/2012 04:01 pm ET Updated Nov 06, 2012

The Secret to Interviewing for a New Job

By Lauren Coulston, Integration Manager, Women & Co.

My husband was recently interviewing for a new job (which I'm happy to report he starts in just a few weeks!) and we were chatting about the interview process. The secret no one talks about is that you're not the only one being interviewed -- on the flip side, you are interviewing the hiring manager and company. Of course we all want to ace the interview, but it's just as important to be sure the job and company are a good fit for you.

Liz Bronson, Senior Recruiter, advises:

When interviewing, it's critical for YOU to interview THEM based on what you need as a candidate. Ask whatever you need to in order to make sure that it's an environment that works for you. Some people say not to put personal cards on the table. I disagree. If you need accommodations to make your personal life work, make sure that this job allows for that or you won't be happy there, and it won't be a good fit for either side.

So, as an interviewee, what questions should you ask on the interview? This same issue has been top of mind for the members of LinkedIn's new group Connect: Professional Women's Network, powered by Citi: It has been a popular discussion in the group, with over 50 comments! I compiled the top questions that were surfaced by the group:

Questions about the interviewer:

• What is the biggest challenge you face in the organization?
• If I were employed here, what one piece of wisdom would you want me to incorporate into my work life?
• Tell me about your work-life balance.
• What keeps you working here?
• How do you define success?

Questions about the position:

• Can you describe what my day would be like as well as what challenges I'd face if you hired me and I started tomorrow?
• Why the position is available? Did the previous person get promoted, leave for a better opportunity elsewhere, get terminated? Or is it a new position created because of growth?
• What worked well for the last manager?

Questions about the company:

• What's it like to work here?
• How would you describe the organization's culture?
• How is this company different from others you worked at previously?
• How does the organization handle advancement?
• How is performance evaluated?
• How is performance rewarded?
• What's the best/worst thing about working here?
• What helped make the previous person successful here?
• Do you laugh a lot here?

Hopefully you are now more prepared for your next job interview. What questions do YOU ask on an interview to determine if the position and company are a good fit for you? Head over to Connect and join the discussion.

About the Author:
As Integration Manager, Lauren manages Women & Co.'s strategic partnerships to syndicate content and build integrated programs on websites frequented by women. Lauren brings over 15 years of financial services experience and a passion for helping women feel financially empowered. Lauren holds a B.S. in Finance from Tulane University's A.B. Freeman School of Business. In addition to her role at Women & Co., Lauren is Co-Chair and Events Chair of the Citi Parents Network NYC and serves on the Citi International Women's Day Steering Committee.