7 good questions to ask at an interview

Author
Dan Mason, Editorial manager
Posted
May, 2019

This is a chance for you to find out more about the employer and display your enthusiasm for the role, so make sure you have some questions to ask your interviewer

Your interview is going well. You've answered all the recruiter's questions confidently and the session is coming to a close. One of the final things you'll be asked will be, 'Do you have any questions for me?' To have a chance of securing the job, always say yes.

Having a list of questions to ask an interviewer makes you look interested, enthusiastic and engaged - all qualities that the employer will be looking for. It also gives you one final chance to further highlight your relevant qualities and experience. Not having any questions to ask will give the impression of unpreparedness and a lack of interest in the role.

Try to come up with at least four or five questions to ask the interviewer. That way, if one or two of them are answered during the earlier discussion, you have backups in place.

Avoid asking questions that focus too much on what the organisation can do for you. Save questions about salary and holiday allowance for when you've got a job offer. Also, stay away from questions that require a yes or no answer, as you're likely to find this information on the company's website.

While it's okay to ask your interviewer to clarify certain points, avoid asking about anything that has previously been covered. You don't want them to think that you haven't been paying attention. If you need a little inspiration here are some good questions to ask at an interview…

Can you tell me more about the day-to-day responsibilities of the role?

Asking this question enables you to learn as much about the role as possible. The interviewer's response will provide insight into what specific skills and experience are needed, and will also help you decide if the role is right for you.

The answer will give you an idea of what the employer's expectations are, so if you're offered the job there should be no surprises when you start.

How could I impress you in the first three months?

This is a good question to ask at the end of a job interview because it shows potential employers that you're eager to make a positive contribution to the organisation.

Pay close attention to the recruiter's response as it will tell you how they want you to perform and will highlight particular areas of the job you should be focusing on during the first few weeks of employment.

Are there opportunities for training and progression within the role/company?

Enquiring about development opportunities demonstrates to the interviewer that you're serious about your career and committed to a future with the organisation.

You don't want to be stuck in a dead-end job so if you're unsure of the typical career path for someone in this role, asking this question will help you to assess whether a long-term career with the company is a possibility, or if you'd need to move on to gain further responsibility.

Where do you think the company is headed in the next five years?

The response you receive will give you an insight into the company's progression plans and its place in the market, while giving you a general idea about job security. You may also get a heads-up on any major upcoming projects.

Asking about future plans shows a real interest in the organisation and reiterates your commitment to the company.

Can you describe the working culture of the organisation?

Asking this question is a great way to assess the working environment of the company and it gives you the opportunity to discover whether you'll fit in.

From the recruiters response you'll learn if and how the organisation prioritises employee happiness, of any benefits on offer and what the work-life balance is like.

What do you enjoy about your job?

Everybody loves to talk about themselves and this question enables you to build up a sense of camaraderie with your interviewer. This question requires a personal response, so you could learn a lot from their answer.

You'll get an insider's view of the company culture and working environment and you may even get to discover how your interviewer got their start in the business and how they progressed.

Can you tell me more about the team I would be working in?

This will help you understand the way the company is structured, who you'll report to and the department the role sits within. These are the people you'll work most closely with, so it's worth trying to find out about the team dynamic and working methods.

Depending on the response, it may also give you the opportunity to mention any experience or success you've had working in similar teams - just to give the employer one final example of how well you'll fit in if you get the job.

Other useful questions to ask at interview include those about:

  • performance appraisals
  • opportunities or challenges facing the department/company
  • company-specific projects or campaigns.

If the employer doesn't give an indication of what happens next then a good way to wrap up the interview is by asking about the next steps and when you can expect to hear from them.

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