It’s often helpful to remember that an interview is just as much about you deciding if this role/company is right for you, as it is about the employer deciding if you’re the right person for the job. Usually, an interviewer will give you the opportunity to ask questions towards the end of the interview, and asking the right questions can demonstrate your interest in the role and impress the interviewer, whilst also giving you some all-important insight.
You want to leave the interviewer with a positive impression and finish on a high note, so preparing your questions in advance is just as important as preparing for the rest of the interview. You might find it useful to have noted down your chosen questions beforehand, then if one of your questions is no longer relevant because it’s been covered, or a new question develops naturally during the course of the interview, you can write it down.
Here are some of our top tried and tested questions which you might find useful:
1. Why is this position available?
Finding out more about the history of the role; why it’s been created or is vacant, will give you an idea of whether you’re walking into an existing team where a precedent has already been set, or if the role is being newly created due to company growth, the part you’ll play in helping the company realise it’s plans for the future.
2. Describe a typical day in this role?
We often find that looking a list of duties on a job description can quite often misrepresent what a job will actually entail on a daily basis. This is a great question to ask to really get a feel for what an average day will look like. For example, if a job involves a mixture of administration and customer services, do you expect that to be 50/50, or are you going to be doing data entry for 90% of the day with just a small amount of time on the phone.
3. Who are the main people or groups I’ll be working with?
Every company is structured differently, and job roles with the same title can vary greatly between companies. This question could help you to understand where the role fits in, and who the main stakeholders will be.
4. What’s the most challenging aspect of the role?
This question can give you an idea of what you might come up against in the role, whether it’s having to deliver a complex project on a tight budget, or learning a new system, to internal politics. It can also open a conversation about your past experiences and how you can use those to help overcome these challenges.
5. What do you like about working here?
Unless you’re speaking to the owner of the business, you can learn a lot about a company by listening to your interviewer tell you their experiences; from the company’s culture to the path they’ve taken to reach their position now.
6. What’s the timeline for next steps?
A simple but important question, you’ll want to know what the next stage will be and when you can expect to hear back. Some companies might let candidates know the same day, whereas others may have a much longer turnaround, so it’s best to know where you stand from the outset.
Overall, our advice is to use the opportunity to your advantage, and devise the best questions which balance finding out information you genuinely care about together whilst demonstrating your commitment and interest in the position. Just remember to always leave questions about pay, holiday and benefits to the next stage!