You may feel like job interviews are very one-sided, but a good interviewer will always give you the opportunity to ask questions. Rather than squirming in your seat as you try to think of something intelligent to say, plan ahead for this eventuality. The questions below will give you some options and could give you a better idea of whether you really want the job or not.
- Do you offer training? This shows that you are willing to learn new skills and bring added value to the company. It will also give you an idea of whether the firm is interested in your personal and professional development.
- How does the role fit within the organisation as a whole? This indicates that you are interested in the way the business operates and are willing to operate as part of a team. It will also give you a better idea of the hierarchy involved and who you will be reporting to.
- What are the most and least enjoyable aspects of the role? Show that you are willing to engage in less thrilling aspects of the job with this question. It may help you decide whether there is anything you might be asked to do that you couldn’t bear, for example a lot of admin or extensive travel.
- Can you tell me a bit more about the vision and culture of the organisation? This demonstrates that you are willing to commit to the company’s aims and fit in well with its ethos and practices. It may also provide an eye-opener about the firm’s social scene.
- Will there be promotional opportunities? Show your ambition and suggest that you plan to stay with the company long term with this question. If the answer is no you may decide not to pursue the opportunity after all.
- Are there regular appraisals? This suggests you are prepared to receive and respond to feedback. It will also give you a better idea of what is expected of you and whether the appraisals will provide you with the opportunity to voice any concerns.
- You recently acquired a new product/company/team. How will this affect the organisation? Asking this will show that you have done your research, or listened carefully during the interview, and that you are interested in the future of the business.
- What are the biggest challenges the firm is facing at the moment? Again, this demonstrates your willingness to get involved and take on challenging elements of the role. It may also give you a heads up about any potential downsides of the job.
- Will there be targets to work towards? Asking this question makes it clear that you are prepared to deliver real results and that you understand the value of commitment and responsibility. From your point of view it will give you a better understanding of their expectations.
- 10. Is there a probationary period? Show that you are willing to prove yourself before being given a permanent contract with this question. Remember that there is always a possibility that you will not pass your probation, so there is a risk involved in accepting a role that involves a trial period.
Research the company carefully before you decide which questions to ask. It is important that you know as much about the culture of the company and interviewer as possible so you are able to ask appropriate questions. Try to pitch them in a positive tone so that you appear interested and eager rather than simply finding out how many hoops you’ll have to jump through if you’re offered the job.