No matter how many interviews you attend, you may still feel you don’t quite know what the does and don’ts of asking an interviewer questions are.
Why ask questions?
First of all, it is important to ask your interviewer questions as this shows the hiring manager your interest in the role you are interviewing for.
If you don’t ask any questions, this can quickly give the hiring manager the impression that you are disinterested in the role. Equally asking poor questions such as; “How much holiday days do I get?” or “How much do I get paid?” or “How long is the probation period?” are just as bad as not asking any questions. These questions are clarified when the hiring manager offers you the role in question.
Asking the right type of questions, you will be able to gain more information around the role, company, team and hiring manager. Obtaining this type of information will help you to make a more informed decision around the role. It will also show the interviewer your level of interest in the role.
An interview should feel like a 2-way conversation rather than a question and answer scenario. This will help to avoid feeling like you are part of an interrogation. Prepare some questions for the interview to help you make a conversation with the interviewer.
Your new role?
1. How has this role come about?
The answer to this question will let you understand the history of this role. It will clarify the reasons why the position is vacant or why the company has created it. It can also indicate to you the possible progression within the company you can achieve.
You can also use this question to start a conversation around industry trends and market developments.
2. Are there opportunities for career progression within the team/ company?
This question will demonstrate to the interviewer that you have thought about your future within the company if successful and have career ambitions.
The answer to this question will show you how the company nurture and recognise talent.
3. What does a typical day in your team look like?
This will help you to see whether the role is the right fit for you.
Your new team?
4. Can you tell me more about the team?
The answer to this question will give you more of an understanding of the team. You may learn the team size, what other roles there are within the team and the hierarchy of the team too.
Try to find out as much as you can from the interviewer about your team members as it is crucial to understand if you are a good cultural fit for the team.
5. Who will my key stakeholders be?
This question will help you to understand which departments you will be liaising with the most. You may be able to understand the types of tasks you will be carrying out for different department.
For example, in the Facilities Management sector, you may be a Mechanical Engineer on multiple sites consisting of schools. Not only do you have key stakeholders internally like a Scheduler/Works Planner but external too such as the Caretakers, Head Teachers or Secretaries.
Finding out more about the interviewer
6. What is your background?
As the interviewer will often be your manager or a key internal stakeholder, it is useful to use this opportunity to get to know more about the. This will usually give you more insight into their experience in terms of companies they have worked for even what they studied in university.
7. Do you enjoy working here, and why?
Asking the interviewer how they view their experience and what they enjoy about working for the company will allow you to understand the culture of the team and business.
Finding out more about the employer
8. How long do employees remain in the business?
This will give you an idea of the duration of an employee tenure with the company. Remember there pros and cons of high or low staff retention, and you should try to understand what the reasons could be.
9. What does the roadmap for the business look like?
This question will let you know if the business has plans to expand into other markets or open new locations in the years to come. It will also give you an idea around the dynamic of the business.
10. What are the challenges and opportunities faced by the business?
This question will help you to understand what position the business is in and any other information, including new product/ service development.
Learning and development opportunities
11. Is there training opportunities?
The is a great question to ask as it would mean that you would be able to gain new skills which will benefit your career and the business.
12. How and when is performance reviewed?
This question will portray to the hiring manager that you are focused and career-driven. The answer will help you to understand that there is structure and regular monitoring of your progression.
What are the next steps?
13. So, what is the next step?
At the end of the interview don’t be afraid to ask the hiring manager what the next steps in the process are going to be and what time the frames are.