So you’ve answered all of their questions, and you’ve made it through the interview unscathed and wham bam there it is, the dreaded question:
“So, do you have any questions for us?”
You can cover so much ground in the interview there is indeed a good chance that they have answered all of your questions or at least answered all of the obvious ones.
That’s why I created a list of 21 intelligent questions to ask in an interview. I wanted to create a guide I can quickly look at to select some good questions that will impress my interviewer but also help me to decide if I want that role and to work at that company.
Why You Need To Ask Questions in an Interview
Interviewers expect you to ask questions. If you don’t ask questions, they will assume you are not interested in the position or have not prepared for the interview. Remember, you only get one shot at this so choose your questions wisely.
How to Choose the Right Questions to Ask at Interview
Here are some things to keep in mind when selecting the right questions to ask:
• Ensure questions are smart, engaging and relevant to the company and role
• Choose questions that show you are interested in the role and wish to excel in the position
• Choose questions that demonstrate you’ve prepared for the interview and researched the company
• Pick questions that are focused and open-ended and avoid questions with a yes or no answer
• Don’t ask questions that have been answered in the job spec or already in the interview
• Ask questions that are easy for the interviewer to answer so avoid multi-part questions – you’re not testing the interviewer
• Avoid questions that are “all about me” so don’t ask about salary, holiday allowance, work hours per week/month, and other benefits. Demonstrate you can benefit the company so don’t ask how they can benefit you. Save these until you get offered the position.
Choose 4 or 5 Questions to Ask
My suggestion is that you remember at least 4 or 5 questions to ask. Also, I don’t always wait to ask questions at the end of the interview as I generally find the best interviews are the ones that are more like a flowing conversation. That said, do pick some good questions to ask at the end of the interview and choose ones that you don’t think your interviewer will have answered already during your interview.
Intelligent Questions to Ask at Interview
I’ve split this into three sections so that you can easily find some good questions to ask based on what is important to you.
The Company, Its Culture and Its People
An interview is a two-way process and your chance to get to know what kind of company you will be working for and the people you will work with. These questions allow you to delve into the company culture and its people.
1) What do you like most about working here?
2) What is the turnover of staff like in the team and company?
3) How long does someone typically stay in this job?
4) How would you describe the company culture and management style?
5) Who are the key people I’ll be interacting with on a daily basis?
6) What are the biggest challenges facing the team right now?
The Role, Responsibilities and Tasks
Job specs can be a bit deceiving, and I like to understand precisely what I will be responsible for and what the meat of the work will be. These questions help you to decide if you do actually want to spend your days in this role and doing these tasks.
7) Why has the position become available?
8) Where does this role fit into the team structure?
9) How long does someone typically stay in this job?
10) What are the companies key objectives for the next 5 years and how will this role contribute to them?
11) Can you tell me more about the day-to-day responsibilities of this job?
12) What do you think are the most important qualities for someone to do well and excel in this role?
13) What are the one or two things that set the very top performers in this role apart from the good or average performers?
14) What are a couple of things I could do to quickly become a top contributor in this role or in the organisation?
15) What are your expectations for the person in this role during the first 3 months?
16) Can you share with me some examples of the types of projects I would be working on?
Career Prospects, Learning and Development and Future Opportunities
If you are on a career path and always looking to move up the career ladder then use these questions to assess future opportunities with the company. I love learning and companies that invest in their workforce with training and development or on the job learning can be great places to work to improve your performance and develop skills.
17) How is performance measured and reviewed?
18) When and how will feedback on my performance be shared with me?
19) What does your company offer in terms of learning and development?
20) What is the typical career path for someone in this role?
21) Are there prospects for promotion in the future?
Don’t Forget To Ask About Next Steps At The End Of Your Interview
These are good additional questions to ask at the end of the end of the interview to help you get an understanding of what you need to do next and how long you will be waiting to hear for a decision about this role.
When are you hoping the person you hire will start in this role?
What are the next steps in the interview process?
When do you expect to make an offer?
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