The ten best questions to ask during a job interview

We know interviews are scary – we’ve been there – but think of job interviews as conversations rather than interrogations.

It’s just a chat, only a bit more formal than the ones you’re used to having with your friends down in the pub on a Friday night.

First they’ll ask you some questions. Then, more than likely, the tables will turn and you’ll chuck a few back at them.

But it helps to not sit there like a lemon so when they ask ‘is there anything else you’d like to know?’ have something up your sleeve and say ‘yes’!

Now we’d draw the line at barking at your interviewer’s dog, for example, but having something to say shows confidence, gives you the opportunity to reinforce your suitability and helps you understand the job better.

With that in mind, here are 10 great questions to ask your interviewer. Strap yourself in, this first one’s not for the faint-hearted:-

1 Do you have any doubts about whether I am suited to the role?

This rather bold question takes guts, but shows that you’re willing to take criticism and learn from feedback from the get-go.

Be ready to expand on anything your interviewer flags up, showing them you’re confident about your skills and achievements.

2 What are the most important challenges the company is facing?

From this you can gain insight into the overall position of the company. After all, a small business won’t have the same concerns a huge corporation will.

You’ll get to understand the overarching company aims and ethics, while showing the interviewer you’re not just interested in yourself but the business as a whole.

3 How will you evaluate short- and long-term success for the new employee?

This shows you want to be successful and make an impact from the start, but expect to remain within the company for a decent amount of time. It’s almost like saying ‘I want to make you proud, so tell me how to do that’.

Another way to phrase it is splitting it into two questions: ‘What would someone need to do in the first three months to impress you?’ and ‘How will long-term performance be measured?’

4 What do you enjoy about working here?

This question would give you some genuine insight into what your interviewer really thinks – assuming they answer honestly of course!

You’re making a direct human connection with them, suggesting you are interested in their experiences and trust their opinion.

Which may or may not be true.

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5 Could anything be improved in your department and, if so, how can I help?

This positions you as a problem solver and suggests you are keen to pull your weight.

It’s exactly the sort of question interviewers want to hear.

So ask it.

6 What sort of training does the position offer?

This question shows you’re keen to learn and want to advance your skills to help add further value to the company.

So ask it.

7 Is there much scope for growth and promotion in the future?

This question shows you’re ambitious and want to climb the career ladder.

In turn, it tells you about the direction you’d be likely to go in, helping you decide whether it’s the right role for you.

Remember, an interview is not just a chance for them to suss you out – it works the other way round too.

8 What are the most and least enjoyable aspects of the role?

Here you can get some real answers about how tough you’re going to find the position.

Do the benefits outweigh the demands?

It also shows the interviewer you’re thinking about things practically.

9 Can you tell me about the team I would be working alongside?

Your interviewer will tell you about the people you’ll be working with on a day-to-day basis so consider whether this sounds like the sort of clientele you’d like to be surrounded by every day.

Whether you get the pure, unadulterated truth or not is another matter so we’ll let you make the call on that one.

10 Where do you see the company in five years?

This is one last chance to put them under the spotlight – it can be a tricky one to answer because interviewers need to tread a fine line being hopeful and being realistic.

The answer should allow you to assess the company’s overall health and success rate.

Last but not least, a final few handy little tips…

Firstly, make sure you pay attention to the answers – the last thing you need is for them to put you on the spot and realise you didn’t listen to what they had to say.

It can also be a good idea to slip in the research you’ve done on the company in the form of a question.

For example, if your prospective new employers have picked up a new client then you might ask if this is likely to change the landscape of the job or future prospects for the company.

Finally, remember to always react positively to their answers. Oh, and if they haven’t told you already, make sure you ask when you should expect to hear back from them – that last one should help your own peace of mind.

Give us a call if there’s anything we can do to help. Failing that good luck!

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