Asking questions at the end of an interview helps to make the process a two-way street and allows you to leave a positive lasting impression.
You should be assessing the employer just as much as they’re assessing you because you both need to walk away convinced that the job would be a great fit.
So when the tables are turned and the interviewer asks, “Do you have any questions for me?” take advantage of this opportunity. It’s the best way to determine if you’d be happy working for this employer, and whether your goals are aligned with theirs.
We recommend preparing around 5 questions as it’s likely your interviewer may cover off areas like the induction or training during the interview. Try not to ask something the interviewer may have been asked multiple times, or something you could have found out yourself. Try to ask something no one else has.
If you’re working with a recruiter, why not ask them the questions first – try to find a question they CAN’T answer, something highly relevant that shows your intelligence and that will give you a real insight into the role, the company, or your interviewer personally.
Luckily, there are plenty of smart ones to pick from:
• You mentioned there will be a lot of presenting/researching/liaising; what do your most successful people find satisfying about this part of the role?
– This question can serve two purpose; it demonstrates your listening skills and associates you with being successful in the role and finding it satisfying.
• What types of training opportunities do you offer?
– This is a classic question – it highlights that you’re keen to advance your skills and add further value to the organisation.
• Is there scope for promotion in the future?
– This is another classic question. In a similar vein, it emphasises a determination to make progress and over the long term.
• Can you tell me how the role relates to the overall structure of the organisation?
– With this question you’re drawing attention to a preference for teamwork. It looks as though you want to know where you would fit in and how your contribution would affect the rest of the company.
• How would you describe the work culture here?
– This signals that you want to operate at your optimum and understand that for this you require a positive environment. This indicates you’re a good self-manager who is aware of how to get the best out of yourself.
• In what way is performance measured and reviewed?
– This question flags up that you appreciate the importance of delivering real results. You will be seen as someone who understands the value of commitment, reliability and returns.
• What are the most important issues that you think your organisation will face? OR You have recently introduced a new product/service/division/project; how will this benefit the organisation?
– These variations both show that you are interested in the job and employer behind it too. It will be apparent you have done some research, done some thinking, and are now eager to hear their analysis.
• What do you like most about working for this company?
– This question is important because it lets you create a sense of camaraderie with the interviewer because interviewers — like anyone — usually like to talk about themselves and especially things they know well. Plus, this question gives you a chance to get an insider’s view on the best parts about working for this particular company.
• If you were to hire me, what might I expect in a typical day?
– Obviously this shows your eagerness about the position, but it also gives you a better idea about what the job will be like on a daily basis so you can decide whether you really want to pursue it. A frank conversation about position expectations and responsibilities will ensure not only that this is a job you want, but also one that you have the skills to be successful in.