Many candidates get so caught up preparing how to answer questions that they forget that an interview is actually a two way street, and a great opportunity for you to find out if you want to work for this company.
At the end of an interview, even if it has been a two-way conversation on the whole, the hiring manager is likely to close with “So do you have any questions for me?” Chances are, some things you wanted answering have already been discussed, so make sure you are prepared with a list of questions written down or in your head.
If you don’t ask any questions, you run the risk of coming across as unprepared or disinterested, which I’m sure could not be further from the truth. Asking questions will not only ensure you come across as a motivated, determined candidate, but also gives you the opportunity to highlight some more qualities, skills and experience.
When you are given the opportunity to be the interviewer for a moment, here are just some examples of great questions to ask your hiring manager:
What are the most important qualities for someone who wants to excel in this role?/What skills and experience would make an ideal candidate?
Asking this allows the interviewer to state exactly what they employer is looking for, and should they mention something you haven’t discussed, now is your chance to outline why you fit in with this criteria perfectly.
Can you tell me more about the day-to-day responsibilities of this job?/ How would you describe a typical day and week in this position?
Learning about the routine of this job role will enable you to gain insight into what strengths and skills are needed, and you can divulge more about your own skills that have not been covered.
Can you describe the culture of the company?/ What are the company’s values?
Asking about the company’s culture and values enables you to find out more about the company dynamic – from what their stance is to work/life balance to whether they do any fundraising events or work team building together.
What do you like best about working here?
Asking for the interviewer’s personal experience allows you a first-hand insight into the positives of working for the company. They will hopefully connect with you on a more personal level as they divulge their feelings.
What are the prospects for growth and advancement?/ What is the typical career path for someone in this role?
The company should be able to tell you about how career advancement works within the organisation. By querying advancement in your role, you show to your employer that you plan on being there for a long time, and take progression seriously.
Do you offer continuing education and professional training?
By asking this question you demonstrate that you want to become the best at what you do, and are interested in growing with the organisation. Expanding your knowledge is beneficial both for your own career and for their company success.
Where do you think the company is headed over the next few years/ What are the company’s plans for growth and development?
This shows a keen interest to learn more about what the company aims to focus on, and that you are keen for the company to be growing, as you grow within it.
What are the next steps in the interview process?/ When can I expect to hear from you?
Asking questions about the interview process allows you to have clear expectations about when you might hear back, how many other candidates there are, and if there is anything you should do in the mean-time. It saves you sending countless ‘Just checking’ emails and enables you to follow up appropriately.
So next time you are in an interview, prepare your questions beforehand and impress your prospective employer with knowledge and interest in the company and industry, and really determine whether this is the role for you.
David Lewis, managing director, integra people, warrington