Questions Candidates Should be Asking at Interview

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Questions to ask at interview

You’ve got the interview of your dreams, and you’ve spent time thinking about all the questions that you could be asked and how to answer them. However, have you thought about the moment it comes to the “and do you have any questions for us?” section?

Having a few questions prepared and ready to ask shows you are interested and serious about the role. The right questions will demonstrate a depth of intelligence and understanding of the company as well as showing that you are ensuring that the company is the right fit for you. 

Beware of asking questions that are easily answered by a quick look at their website, or you will look like you have spent no time researching the company. And if a question has already been answered during the interview process, don’t ask it just to have something to ask, as you will look like you weren’t paying attention.

Here are a few of our favourite questions:

1. What are the future plans for the growth of the company, and how does this team fit into this plan? Are there any upcoming projects that you can share with me?

Asking this question shows that you are genuinely interested in the company and that you are interested in growing with them. It also tells you whether it is a company that has no real idea of where it’s going and, therefore, what sort of place it is to work for.

2. Can you tell me your favourite thing about working for this company?

Encouraging the interviewer to talk about themselves builds a bond with them and will help you to know what the company is like to work for. Blank looks from all should be a warning to you that the company does not have a great culture about it!

3. I really want to make a success of this role. What’s the main thing you think the winning candidate should bring, and how would you like them to demonstrate this within the first few months?

The great thing about this question is that once they have responded, you can demonstrate how you would bring that skill to the role and how you have bought it to previous companies in the past.

4. What was it about my application that made you want to interview me?

This gives you an excellent chance to expand on any traits about you that they have seen as positive. It also gives you a chance to highlight anything you might have forgotten to say about yourself during the stressful interview section!

5. What would be my key priorities in the first few months?

This question will help you to find out how well they’ve thought out the role and whether it has a clear and defined purpose. It also gives you the chance to expand on or reiterate any of your skills that you might have missed.

6. How does the team bond, and can you tell me about any office traditions?

If you want to find out what a team is like to work with and whether it’s a happy place to be, this question will help you to do that. If they can’t answer it, it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a bad place to work, but a great answer will show that it is a great place to work!

7. And finally, is there anything about my CV/application or anything I’ve said so far that you would like me to expand on, explain further or give a better example of?

Hopefully, the reason for this should be clear. If they feel that anything you said wasn’t enough, this will provide you with the opportunity to provide a fuller answer.

The question-asking process should be an interactive one. You should not be asking questions and then blankly staring glass-eyed while they respond. It should encourage conversation and give you a chance to understand the business and show more of your true self.

Always spend time looking through the company website, social media, and any news items about them to see if that generates any questions that will make you look like you’re up-to-date and you’ve done your research.

One final thought

Make sure you try to be concise and ensure the interview goes approximately within the timeframes originally agreed (if you know this). As a guide, around 30 – 60 minutes is usual.

Within that time, you need time to talk about yourself and your experience, and the interviewer needs time to talk about the company and the role. Any time left at the end can be used for additional questions. If you are running out of time, ask the 1-2 questions most important to you.

If your interview is with the recruitment agency, they will only have limited information about the company and its role, so their interview timeframe is typically shorter. Depending on the role, it would typically be 15-45 minutes.

Good luck with your interview!