So much of the preparation for a job interview goes into considering how you will answer difficult questions, that it’s easy to neglect the importance of coming up with some questions to ask. We’ve probably all been there at one time or another – drawing a complete blank at an interview when we’re asked if we have any questions. Well, so you don’t face that awkward moment, we’ve put a few ideas together for you:
Banish talk of benefits
First and foremost, don’t ask about benefits, it sounds grabbing and presumptuous, so avoid questions about pay, pensions and holiday at your interview – those are all things to ask once you’ve been offered the job. So sidestep those questions for the time being and come up with something more interesting.
Why has this role become available?
This question can give you a valuable insight into the organisation, if it’s a newly created role, it will give you an understanding of the growth and priorities of the company moving forward. You might also be provided with an insight into the office culture – whether there is an opportunity for promotion or whether there is a fast turnover of staff for example.
What are your expectations of this role?
Asking this question will give you an understanding of what your priorities would be in the role. You could tie the question into a specific timeframe like - what would you expect the successful candidate to achieve in the first month, then in the first year – giving you an idea of the associated targets.
Ask a job specific question
Also, come up with a question which shows your understanding of the role, and puts you in that role, so the interviewers visualise you doing the job and working as part of their team.
Do you have reservations about appointing me?
A brave question, but one which gives you the perfect opportunity to nip any reservations they have about you in the bud and to redress their concerns. It will also offer you the chance to add anything you meant to mention earlier and have forgotten, like additional skills, qualifications or experience; you’ve left out of previous answers.
Instead of asking what’s a typical working day like? Find a variation on this theme, like, if you were to offer me the job, what could I best do to prepare for it or what could I expect in my first week?
Ask a question that touches on their plans for the organisation, like, how do you see the company developing over the next few years? What are the company’s priorities moving forward? Then round off your interview by asking:
What do you like about working here?
This is a great question for encouraging people to open up and chat about life in the company, how fulfilling the work is or how friendly the office ethos – giving you an insight into whether it’s the right place for you.
It’s all too easy to draw a blank when you are put on the spot at interview – but we hope these questions will help you to avoid an awkward silence at interview and give you a better understanding of the company too.
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