Here's What “You’re Interviewing Them as Much as They’re Interviewing You” Actually Means

As you prepare for an upcoming interview, your loved ones are wishing you good luck, and at least one says:

Remember, you’re interviewing them just as much as they’re interviewing you.

You nod and smile, because you’re pretty sure you’re supposed to know what this means—but in reality, you have no idea. After all, you aren’t planning to lead with “Tell me about yourself,” or end by laying out a timeline for next steps.

But this isn’t common advice simply because it sounds good. It’s meant to be helpful, and if you know how to translate it, it truly can be. With that in mind, consider these three potential meanings:

1. “Look for Red Flags”

Before the interview, the hiring manager reviews your resume. The in-person meeting is a follow-up where they make sure you’re not just perfect on paper, but someone they’d want to work with in real life.

Similarly, you’ll do your research on a company. Think of this as your chance to see if it matches what you’ve learned so far. For example, if you’ve read the culture is people-centered and collaborative, look to see if colleagues appear to be interacting in the hallways or conference rooms, or if everyone’s wearing headphones.

Additionally, just a like a hiring manager would mentally deduct points if you were late (or rude), you’ll do the same. Do they keep moving your interview around? Make you wait an hour in the lobby? Do you just get a gut feeling this isn’t the place for you? These are all red flags.

2. “Get Your Questions Answered”

Hiring managers use the interview to clarify any lingering questions from your application. For example, you may be asked why you’re qualified even though you don’t possess traditional experience, or exactly what your last management role entailed.

Are you unclear what exactly you’d be doing each day? Or whether they really care about work-life balance? This is the time for you to get answers, too. (Unsure what to ask? Check out these questions.)

Oh, and if the hiring manager gives strange answers, that falls into the red flag category, too.