Questions to ask in an interview
Preparation is the not-so-secret weapon in any interview, particularly when tables turn and suddenly, you’re expected to be the one asking the questions – especially at the end of the interview!
A successful interview shouldn’t feel like a Q&A – it should be an open, two-way conversation that benefits both parties. Remember, as much as you’re trying to work out whether this is the job role for you, the interviewer is also determining whether they’d like to see you join their team!
With this in mind, it’s critical that you don’t rehearse your answers to their questions in advance. Some thoughtful planning and preparation can be really beneficial but try to avoid sounding too scripted. However, when it comes to them asking you for questions during or at the end of the interview, it’s best to have a few lined up to avoid becoming flustered – or even worse, having none at all.
Here are seven good questions to ask during your interview:
On a typical day, what would my to-do list look like?
Even the lengthiest job descriptions don’t always go into detail about the day-to-day tasks in the role – they’re far more likely to focus on the biggest picture and list the qualities the employer is looking for in the ideal candidate. Don’t miss this opportunity to get further clarification on what the job may entail.
How does this role integrate with the wider team?
Here’s your chance to reinforce your excellent communication skills and, if applicable, your understanding of other departments. If you’re interviewing for a more senior position – let’s say, Head of IT Infrastructure – then you may want to turn this question in to ‘how does this role fit into the company’s overarching strategy?’.
What does success look like to you?
If you’re lucky enough to land the role, you’ll know how your performance will measured before you’ve even set foot in the door, which means you’ll be able to get off to a great start. Besides, the interviewer will see that you’re driven by producing successful outcomes.
What opportunities for learning and development do you offer?
Employers don’t want to see their staff stagnate – and even if they don’t already have a training scheme in place, they’ll be keen to see your interest in developing your existing skills and gradually acquiring new ones.
Where do you see the company in five years?
With the popularity of a job-hopping culture, many companies are beginning to value company loyalty more than ever before. By asking about their plans for the business’ future, it shows that you’re looking to be in it for the long-haul, rather than using the role as a short-term stepping stone.
Why did my application stand out from the others?
Now, this is a rare opportunity to get some valuable insight into what’s working well on your current CV and cover letters. If you’ve been job-hunting for some time or you’re in a more junior position, this bold question will not only make you stand out from the crowd, but it’ll help you determine how to approach future job applications and interviews.
What happens next?
This is a question that shows you’re curious but also confident. Plus, you’ll need to know the answer in case you’re offered a job by another employer while you’re waiting to hear back from them. Be prepared to receive a vague answer, but don’t be afraid to press for a specific cut-off point. After all, you need to keep your options open until you’re offered that perfect role.