This is part of our interview series. For more interview advice click here.
Interviews are challenging; they offer a brief window to demonstrate your experience, technical skills, soft skills, asking you to relax and be yourself while showing who you could be and demonstrate the depth of your research while displaying quick, spontaneous thinking. The process can be very daunting, but it’s important to remember that as tough as they are, an interview is a two way street. They’re about establishing not only that you’re right for the job, but also that the company and the job are right for you.
Asking your interviewer questions is important as it establishes that you’re interested in the company. By asking questions you can display ambition, goals and drive – remember that your interviewer may have seen tens of other candidates, so a single, more personal conversation around an unexpected question will help you to stand out above the rest.
There are no set questions you should definitely ask – it depends entirely on the type of interview and what you’ve already discussed. Instead our expert consultants have put together a guide of the type of questions you may want to consider asking and what they say about you.
What can I expect from the role?
What challenges am I likely to face in the first three months?
How could I truly excel in this role?
What’s the typical career path for someone entering this role?
These questions show your interviewer that you’re seriously considering how suited you are to a role and demonstrates that you may already be planning how you can have the most impact in your opening months. Asking about the career paths and options will display drive and motivation and most importantly, by asking these you’re making your interviewer picture you in the role.
What is the future of the company?
Where do you think the company is headed in the next 5 years?
What are your plans for growth?
Have you considered XX…
These questions demonstrate that you’re thinking about the future of the company outside of the role you’re interviewing for. As we’ve previously discussed, demonstrating the value you can add to the workplace is one of the best ways to impress a prospective employer and these questions show that you’re already thinking about how you can do this.
Remember that being bold can pay off. Matthew Stanford, head of our tech division recently had a candidate that broached a whole new area of business that his interviewers hadn’t considered. He shared with them a plan he had put together on how they could approach this target market, which impressed them enough to offer him the job.
What is this workplace like?
What do you like most about working here?
What can you tell me about the company culture?
What can you tell me about the team I’d be working with?
Questions of this style are designed to forge a social connection with your interviewer. As we’ve previously mentioned, soft skills are in high demand and any personal interaction will help you to stand out from all the other interviewees.
Finally, don’t be afraid to ask what the next step in the process is.
What questions have you asked or been asked at interview? Share them in the comments below.
Worried about an upcoming interview? We can help you at all stages of your job search, from career and CV advice, interview coaching, job analysis, salary benchmarking and more. Contact us here.