You expect lots of questions to come your way during the interview but are you prepared for your interview to be a two-way street?
Preparing a set of questions you can ask the hiring manager at the end of an interview will show your interest in the role and company, but it's also the prime opportunity to find out if the job is right for you.
Not having any questions makes you look unprepared and uninterested, so make sure you research the company and make notes of topics you can ask about. Your best bet is to prepare at least five questions in case some are answered during the interview or you forget any.
Here are a few suggestions about what to ask when it’s your turn to call the shots.
Have I answered all your questions? – This gives you a good chance to clarify any questions or doubts the interviewer still has. You can also expand on answers you may have given during the interview and it will give you a good idea of how you’re doing so far.
What is your company culture like? – It’s a good idea to find out what the company’s philosophy is and if you can see yourself fitting into their environment.
What are the day to day responsibilities of this job? – Hopefully, this will shed some light on what your day to day in your new job would look like and if it sounds like something you want to be doing.
What are your expectations for this role during the first 30 days, 60 days, year? – Find out what expectations they have for the role to see if it aligns with what you’re looking for in your new role.
What are the biggest challenges you’re facing? – Asking about their challenges not only makes them think but also is a way of uncovering trends and issues in the industry.
Who do you consider to be your major competitor? – You should have already researched the company’s competitors but getting your interviewer’s insights can be useful and could be different from the information available on the internet.
What are the challenges of this position? – This question will help you identify areas the role will be focussing on over the next months.
What qualities are the most important for doing well and advancing at this company? – This question can uncover information that’s not in the job description and gives you a chance to show you’re a good fit for the team.
Is this a new position? If not, why did the person before me leave this role? – Asking this will uncover what happened to the person doing the job before and why and how they left.
If you had to sum up the company in three words what would they be? – This can give you an interesting and spontaneous insight into what the company is really like and gets the interviewer thinking.
What do you like best about working for this company? – Asking your interviewer about their personal experience at the company is a great way to gain insight into the company and to make a more personal connection. Watch for any tell-tale signs here in their expression or body language that might indicate some issues or underlying negativity.
Where is the company headed in the next 5 years and how can I grow in this job? – Find out if the company is growing and if there is room for you to progress your career over the coming years.
Can you tell me a bit about the team I would be working with? – Some companies will volunteer this information and even introduce you to the people you’d be working with during the interview process. If not, it’s a good idea to clarify what the team looks like and what the pecking order is.
What are the next steps in the interview process? – This is a great way of finding out how many stages are left in the hiring process and clarifies when you can expect to hear from them.
A version of this blog was first published on the Understanding Recruitment blog.