Interviews work a lot like a conversation, with questions being asked by each party. We are often told that there are a right and wrong ways to answer the interviewer’s questions, but it is also important to understand that the questions you ask are also important.
Your opportunity to ask these questions typically comes at the end of the interview. It offers a chance to learn more about the company culture, the challenges and opportunities the organisation is facing, and what being in this job is really like, and it shows that you have enthusiasm for and genuine interest in the job.
It’s highly recommended to ask your interviewer relevant, thoughtful questions. Doing so will give you a better understanding of whether the position is the right fit for you. Consider preparing a list of 5-10 questions to ask ahead of time. Having a written list of pre-prepared questions will help in the instance that you get nervous and don’t remember what you wanted to ask, or questions don’t arise organically during the interview. Examples of questions that you may like to ask include:
Can you elaborate on the day-to-day responsibilities this job entails: This question will be important for you to take into consideration as you determine whether this job is the right fit for you.
What are the characteristics of someone who would succeed in this role: This question will give you an idea of the qualities they hope to see in the person they hire and will help you determine if the role aligns with you.
What are some of the challenges you’ve seen people in this role or on this team encounter: This question will give you a clearer view of what this job is like and give perspectives on potential hurdles so you have a more holistic picture.
If I were in this job, how would my performance be measured: Asking this question will provide you with specific information about how you can succeed in this job.
What does the career path for someone in this role look like: This question can signal your interest in growing at this company.
What other functions or departments does this team work with most often? What are the characteristics of a successful collaboration: This is a question to ask if the company is a large or mid-sized business, and knowing how to collaborate will be a crucial part of your ability to do the job.
What do you like best about working here: This question can be a casual way to engage your interviewer on a personal level and, if appropriate, be sure to respond to their answer with examples of why you believe this type of environment is a great fit for your personality and working style.
What challenges has this company faced in the last few years? What challenges do you anticipate in the coming years: This is a great question if you’re interviewing with managers or senior leadership. It shows your interest in the performance of the company and can give your insight into the pain points they experience.
What changes or innovations in the industry are you most excited about: This question allows you to see how passionate the interviewer is about this company and industry.
What type of growth do you see the company undertaking in the next 5-10 years: Formulating next-level questions by asking about something that stems from your interest in the future of the company shows the depth of your interest in the company.
How would you describe the company culture: This is a great, straightforward question to hear about how the interviewer would describe the company’s culture.
What are the most important values of your company: Companies often have missions or values that drive the decisions, attitudes and goals of the company. Knowing and understanding these values can give you great insight into the type of culture that’s set.
What are examples of company events: The answer to this question will give you insight into if the company promotes camaraderie amongst the employees and what type of events they celebrate.
How would you describe the office environment: You can better understand the culture of a company by knowing how employees would describe the office environment.
Asking thoughtful questions will elicit responses that will help you determine if the job is right for you, and is just as important for the interviewer deciding if you are right for the job. We offer interview coaching as one of our specialty services, and can provide you with insight and examples of how to answer interview questions, but also on what type of questions would be best for you to ask as follow up questions.