Questions you should be asking in an interview

Photo by Van Tay Media on Unsplash

So, do you have any questions for us?

The answer to this is always… Yes! 

Questions show you’re interested in the role, they show you’re doing your own due diligence and they show that you know interviews are a two-way street. 

If you don’t have any questions it shows you’re not particularly interested in the role and gives the impression that you’ll probably take any job you’re offered.

It’s important to choose your questions wisely, a good question can be the difference between a job offer and a rejection. Hiring managers’ are always impressed by well thought-out, relevant questions.

It’s important to have a few questions ready to go as it’s likely some of your questions will naturally get answered during the course of the interview. And if your one question gets answered proactively by the interviewer then you’re stuck with “No, you’ve answered all my questions already” – and we don’t want that!

On the flipside, you don’t want to extend the interview by an extra half an hour so choose your questions carefully. But if you do have some burning ones, tactfully squeeze them in during the course of the interview to get all of your answers – this also makes the interview feel more like a conversation (which is always a good thing!).

I’ve split these questions into 4 key areas…

Company

You want to show enthusiasm and interest in the company you’re interviewing for. How does this role fit into the grand scheme of things? You also want to know if this company is heading in the right direction – will there still be a role for you in 2 years time? 

  • Where is the company heading in the next 3-5 years?
  • Biggest challenge the company will face in the next X year(s)?
  • How will this role contribute to the future plans of the company?

Role

This is your chance to find out how you can really be a success in this role. The answers to these questions will also help you prepare for later rounds of the interview process. They will also show you how to progress up the organisation once you’ve secured the role.

  • In 1 year how will you know I’ve smashed this role?
  • How will I measure my performance so I know I’m having a positive impact?
  • What will surprise me most in the 1st week/month about this role? (This is a more positive way of asking “What’s bad about the role?!”)
  • How did this role come about?
  • What does progression look like in this role?
  • What’s the most successful hire you’ve made? What does success look like in this role?
  • Who didn’t succeed? Why?

Manager

This is such an important area people forget to ask about in interviews. The person sitting in front of you will be the most important person over the next few years when it comes to your own professional development – choose wisely! People also enjoy talking about themselves so if they’ve enjoyed the interview then you’re on to a winner!

  • What’s your background?
  • How did you come to work here?
  • What’s kept you here?
  • What’s your management style?

Close

The interview is about to end and this is the opportunity to seal over any cracks that may have appeared during the interview. If there are any outstanding reservations from the hiring manager, this is your chance to allay those fears. This also gives you an idea for timescales so you can align them with any other interview processes you may be involved in.

  • What additional skills or experience do you wish I had that would make me a better fit for the job?
    • This is a hard question to ask (and answer) but it’s also a nice way of saying “What reservations do you have about me?”
  • What are the next steps in the process? When can I expect to hear back?

Don’t Ask

  • About money – this should be done outside of the interview
  • What’s the worst thing about working here? They’re not going to be honest and you’ve created a negative tone in the interview
  • Anything you can find out in 2 minutes on Google or LinkedIn – This shows lack of preparation

Thoughts/questions/feedback welcome. Have I missed any good questions? let me know…

I hope that helped.

Ash

My YouTube Channel for further interview advice!

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