You’ve likely heard it said that a job interview is not only an opportunity for an employer to consider you, but also a chance for you to determine whether their company is right for you. So, after the to-ing and fro-ing that is the formal interview, and you get to the part where you’re asked if you have any questions (and you know its best practice to actually have some), you might want to keep a few of these up your sleeve to impress your interviewer and gauge some important information that may help to decide your future:
1. Have I answered all your Questions?
This is a great jumping off point to ensure, generally, you have covered off everything the interviewer was hoping to gauge from you. It’s also a good chance to check how well you’re doing. If the interviewer asks you for further information about something in particular, it’s another opportunity for you to shine.
2. Do you have any hesitations about my suitability for this role?
While this question puts you in a vulnerable position, it demonstrates your confidence in openly discussing your weaknesses. It might also offer insight into whether you have a good chance of progressing or not.
3. How has this position come to be?
This question allows you to determine whether the role is a stepping stone or something less opportunistic. Asking it can provide you with explanation about whether the role is new or existing; whether you’re filling someone else’s shoes or if you can it your own.
4. What are the challenges of this position?
This one doesn’t just let you know what you’ll be up against if you’re successful in obtaining the position, it can also present a red flag if an interviewer tells you there are no challenges, isn’t aware of what they are, or spouts a list a mile long. Adapting the question to ask what the challenges of immersing yourself into the organisation will be also shows self-awareness, and a confidence in wanting to rise above your weaknesses.
5. Beyond the hard skills required to successfully perform this job, what soft skills would serve this role?
Knowing the skills the organisation thinks are important will give you more insight into its culture and management values, so you can evaluate whether you’d fit in well. This questions also provides an opportunity to identify any skills gaps you might have and begin working on them, if needed to proceed.
6. What would a typical day in this role look like?
Asking this question shows you’re eager about the role and gives you a better idea of what the job would be like on a day-to-day basis. An open conversation about the expectations of the position and its responsibilities can provide you with the information you need to determine if the role is one you want and have the skills to be successful in.
7. How would you describe the company’s culture?
Do your values and goals align with the company’s and its employees’? This question will assist you in finding that out. If the organisational culture is structured and regimented and you’re not, or if it has strong political or religious beliefs that differ to yours, it might not be the right fit for you. At the same time, responses to this question might alert you as to whether the organisation is employee-focused or otherwise.
8. Where do you see the company in one year, and how would the person in this role contribute to this vision?
Demonstrate to your interviewer that you can think big-picture with this question. It shows a willingness to stay somewhere long-term and a desire to make a lasting impression on whatever company you end up with. It also sets clearer guidelines around potential growth for you in your role, and a vision of where the organisation is headed.
9. What do you personally like most about working for this organisation?
Create a sense of camaraderie with the interviewer by asking them for their opinion. As human beings, we usually like to talk about ourselves, or offer our advice, particularly when it comes to things we know well. This question gives you a chance to get the interviewer’s insider view of the positive aspects of working with a company.
10. What qualities have helped people to succeed this position in the past?
This question gets the interviewer to reveal how the company measures success, and knowing this will help you to understand what it would take to advance your career at the organisation. It also demonstrates to the interviewer that you care about your future with the company and assists you in deciding if it is the right one for you.
11. What is one of the most interesting projects you’ve worked on here?
This is a great question because it gets the interviewer thinking about their own positive experiences with an organisation, and therefore becomes a solid conversation starter. By asking for a specific example, you can get a better idea of what the job entails and how people function in certain roles, as well as some of the achievements of the team / organisation, what has already been done, and what might still remain for you to tackle or be a part of.
12. Do you have a timeline for making a decision?
Having an idea of the timeline the interviewer is working to is crucial in allowing you to make your own decisions. And, asking about a decision as opposed to an offer is not solely about the successful interviewee but also about when you might be notified if you aren’t successful.
What are YOUR go to questions? Share it with us below!
Lauryn McGuiness is a Recruitment and HR professional with 15 years' experience who specialises in recruiting Project Professionals, Business Analysts & IT Specialists. She currently works for Connect One Recruitment