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Cheat Sheet... questions to ask at your next job interview

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Cheat Sheet... questions to ask at your next job interview 

Let’s be honest, we have all walked out of an interview and wished we’d asked a better question or at the least prepared for that aspect of the interview. While preparing for an interview is overwhelming enough; remembering to ask the right questions after can really send you into a spiral.

As one expert says, ‘interviews should never be one-sided, interviewees should take control as well, and the only way to do that is to engage with the interviewer on the same level’.

With more and more interviewees engaging with their future and potential employers to see if they are the right fit for the organisation and its future plans, being prepared with a list of questions is always a bonus.

In this article, we highlight some quick tips and scenarios to help guide you through the last phase of your interview but potentially also separate you, and make you stand out from the others.

While it is ok to ask the basic questions pertaining to the role, make sure that you don’t ask the same questions covered in the interview, instead go into more detail with questions like:

What qualities are you looking for in the person you are hoping to appoint?

It might sound like a good starting point but it is vital for both parties. Asking this question will not only help you grasp what is exactly needed, but it will also set you up from the start. Yes, the interview is there to prove that you are the right candidate but asking the interviewers straight away is a good place to start.

What would a typical day look like in this role?

A great way to understand the demands and challenges of the job that will help you determine if it is a role in which you will truly excel.

What are the biggest challenges that someone in this role might face?

Asking this question will show your ability to address and tackle possible problems before they even surface, detailing why the last person left the job and tip you off on the path to success.

Other pointers to take on board would be to get an idea as to the direction the company is heading in. Asking questions such as the company’s growth, future goals and objectives shows that you are taking an interest in the organisation.

With more and more professionals constantly updating and adding to their existing skillsets, it’s also important for you to find out if the company encourages professional development. Questions like - does the company support professional development and career advancement; what training programs are available to employees; are there career pathways for this role - could highlight what you can expect out of the position.

Asking about the company’s culture and values will also help you evaluate whether they align with your own.

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”.

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