Questions to ask at a job interview

When you’re being interviewed, the spotlight is supposed to be on you. You spend the meeting convincing this person that you’re the right person for the job, but when the opportunity arises for you to ask the questions, it can leave people stumped! Here are our tips for some great questions to ask at a job interview. 

To make sure the employer knows you’re prepared and interested in the role, have some pre-meditated questions ready to ask at the end of the interview.

An interview is just as much about whether that business suits your needs. There is nothing wrong with taking advantage of the opportunity to ask questions. In fact, most managers will appreciate your interest. 

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.

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 some inspiration, here are a few great questions to ask at a job interview: 

What do you love about working here?

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. You may even get to discover how your interviewer got their start in the business and how they progressed.

What did you do to get where you are in your career?

This question will give you an idea of not only the career pathway your interviewer has taken on their journey to where they are today, but also their character.

Did they overcome any obstacles or challenges on this journey? Was it a tough ride or smooth sailing? This might give you an insight into the type of culture the business embraces as well.

You can follow this question up with an enquiry specifically about the workplace culture. As the old saying goes; the fish rots from the head down. 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 are the future plans for this business?

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 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.

When it comes to the best questions to ask at a job interview, remember that asking questions and showing interest will leave a lasting impression with your prospective employer. 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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