Recently we were asked by a panicked relative of one of our employees what questions she should ask at an upcoming interview. Of course we were happy to provide some direction, and hence came the inspiration for this article!
The interview process is a two-way street; it provides the candidate with the opportunity to assess, as much as being assessed. By avoiding the chance to ask questions you could be missing a vital opportunity to evaluate how well the position and the company match what you’re looking for from a job.
So what questions should you ask a potential employer? To help you prepare for your next interview we’ve created a list of questions as a guide, however, the more personalised your questions to the particular job at hand, the better.
Asking for further position details will provide you with a clearer understanding of what the role entails. Make sure not to ask questions that have already been covered throughout the interview, rather be sure to ask for more details on anything that has been left unclear or unsaid.
- What would a typical day look like in this role?
- What are the biggest challenges that someone in this role might face?
- What are the most pressing projects that need to be tackled in the next three or six months?
As much as it’s important to know where the company is right now, it’s also good to get an idea as to the direction it is heading. Asking questions about the company’s longer term goals and objectives shows you are taking an interest in the organisation.
- How has the company grown in the past few years, and do you see continued growth in the future?
- What are the company’s main goals right now?
- How does the company differentiate itself against its competitors?
Professional and Career Development
Professionals today, need to quickly adapt to new technologies and processes and this requires updating and adding to existing skillsets. It’s important to know if the company encourages professional development, and what opportunities would be available to you should you get the position.
- Does the company support professional development and career advancement?
- What training programmes are available to employees?
- Are there career pathways for this role?
Understanding a company’s corporate culture can help you evaluate whether the company’s culture and values align with your own.
- How would you describe the culture here?
- What is the best part of this working environment?
- Are there any office rituals?
By asking questions like these, you’ll gain valuable insight into the position, company and team you could be working with while showing the interviewer you are engaged in the interview. Importantly it’s also an opportunity for you to assess if this role is a good job and cultural fit for you.
These questions are simply a guide, as other points may be more relevant to you such as team culture, performance or knowing more about your potential new manager.
For more interview tips see our article “How to Prepare for Interview Success”.