When preparing for a job interview, much of your time will be devoted to thinking about the questions you are likely to be asked. This is wise, as the bulk of the interview will be spent answering questions from your potential employer and it's always good to have some potential responses ready.
However, it's important that you also think about the questions you are going to ask. This is a vital part of the interview process. On one hand, you get to find out a bit more about the position on offer and whether it's right for you. Furthermore, it shows the employer you have a genuine interest in the role and are keen to learn more.
So, what sort of questions should you be asking in an interview? A few possibilities are listed below.
What is the company culture like?
When companies are hiring a new employee, their skills and experience are only part of what they look for. It's also important that the candidate fits in with the organisation's culture and way of doing things. As a result, it's always worth asking interviewers about this. Doing so will show you're interested in fitting into their company and also gives you a better idea as to whether it's the kind of place where you would like to work.
What are the most challenging aspects of the role?
This is always a good question to ask, as it offers an extra opportunity to demonstrate why you're the right person for the job. You can explain how you would handle the challenges thrown up by the position and what makes your skills and experiences relevant.
How is performance assessed?
Another good question. This allows you to learn more about how the position works, while also making a positive impression on the interviewer. By taking an interest in how work is assessed, you showcase a focus on good performance and a commitment to delivering real results.
Are there opportunities for progression?
As interview questions go, this is one of the most important. It's vital to know the answer, as if you're looking to develop your career, you don't want to end up stuck in a job where there is no opportunity to move up the ladder. Furthermore, you'll show the interviewer you're a motivated individual with a desire for personal improvement.
What plans does the company have for the future?
This question represents a good opportunity to learn about the direction your potential employers are taking. Asking this shows your interest in the business and suggests you have an eye on the long term and will not be looking for a new position at the first opportunity. It also turns the tables on the interviewer, who may well have asked you the classic interview question 'where do you see yourself in five years' time?'
Who previously held this role?
Asking this question is an excellent way to find out a little bit more about your potential employer. You'll get an indication as to whether the previous holder of the position was promoted, sacked or chose to leave the company. If it's the former, you'll know that the company offers genuine opportunities for progression.
Do you have any doubts about my suitability?
There is a little bit of a cheeky question, but it gives you one last opportunity to address any concerns the interviewer may have about your suitability for the role, something which could well be the difference between landing the job or not.
When should you ask questions?
Most interviews will finish with the interviewer asking if you have any questions and this is the ideal time to discuss some of the enquiries you prepared beforehand, provided they haven't already come up in conversation.
You should also be willing to ask questions during the course of the interview if the opportunity presents itself. This demonstrates your interest in the role and what the interviewer is saying, and can also serve to make the process more like a conversation rather than an interrogation in which you are being continually bombarded with questions that need answering.
Remember, the key to a successful interview is to seem confident and genuinely interested in the job on offer. Ask questions in a positive and enthusiastic manner and you'll have a better chance of making the right impression.