Whilst most job candidates are reasonably well versed in the questions that a future employer will ask them at an interview, very often they forget that they should be asking questions too.
Asking questions shows a sign of interest and when a hiring manager asks “What questions do you have for us?”, they won’t be impressed if you say none!
It’s a two way interview, you are assessing them as much as they are you – are they the sort of company you want to work for, can they offer you the career path you need, can you see yourself fitting in with the team? This is no time to be shy and reticent, the employer expects you to ask questions so don’t let yourself down. Always ask an open question – which will elicit a full answer rather than a closed one which can only be answered by a Yes or No. i.e. all open questions begin with How, What, When, Where, Who or Why.
And don’t leave your questions until the end of the interview – make sure you are really listening to the employer’s questions and where necessary ask them a question back i.e. to seek clarification and ensure your understanding.
Ask several questions on different topics i.e. the job, the company, the prospects, the process and really listen to the answers, show interest and ask another question leading from the answer if you want them to expand on this.
Here are some questions you can choose to ask at your next interview (but not all of them!) -
“How would you describe the responsibilities of this role?”
“How would you describe the company’s management style?”
“How would you describe the company culture?”
“What exactly are looking for in the successful candidate?” * If you ask this one early enough you can ensure you offer them the perfect candidate!
“What are the most important skills required in the job?”
“What are the prospects for career advancement?”
“What are the priorities in this job?”
“What are the most challenging aspects of the role?”
“What do you like about working here?”
“What don’t you like about working here and what would you change?”
“What are the company’s plans for growth & development?”
“What is the next stage in the recruitment process?”
“When are you looking for someone to start?”
“What would keep you from offering the job to me now?”
“Are there any other questions you need to ask me to convince you I am right for this role?”
Questions NOT to ask:
“What does your company do?” – you really should have done your research prior to the interview.
“I’ve got a holiday booked for next month – are you OK with that?” – discuss things like holidays etc., after you have been offered the job.
“How long is the lunch break?” - :-/
“Are the working hours flexible?” – asking questions about the company benefits is not relevant at this stage, it’s about the job.
“How does you sickness benefit work?” – red flag alert – how are often do you expect to be sick?
This is obviously not a list of ALL questions you should or should not ask but hope they give you food for thought. Let us know if you have any other questions you feel are worth asking (or ones you should never ask).