As a job seeker, it’s essential to remember that an interview is not just an opportunity for the employer to assess your suitability for the role; it’s also a chance for you to evaluate whether the company and position align with your career goals and values. One way to demonstrate your genuine interest and gain valuable insights is by asking thoughtful questions to the interviewers. Here are ten of the best questions to ask interviewers during your next job interview:
1. Why Did You Join the Company? What Has Changed Since Then?
Understanding the motivations of the interviewers can provide valuable insights into the company’s culture and growth opportunities. Furthermore, learning about any significant changes can help you gauge the organisation’s adaptability and its potential impact on your role.
2. How Did This Opportunity Come About?
This question allows you to learn more about the company’s talent acquisition process and how they identify and attract top candidates. It can provide insights into their hiring strategy and give you an idea of the organisation’s commitment to finding the right talent.
3. How Would You Measure My Success?
Clarifying the expectations and performance indicators for the role demonstrates your commitment to understanding what it takes to excel in the position. It also allows you to assess whether your strengths align with the company’s definition of success.
4. What Would Make Someone Really Successful in This Role and Company?
This question invites the interviewer to provide more detailed information about the skills, qualities, and attributes that contribute to success within the organisation. Understanding these factors will help you determine whether you are a good fit for the role and the company culture.
5. What Impact Would I Have on the Team If I Get Hired?
By asking this question, you show an interest in understanding the dynamics of the team and how your potential contribution would shape their overall performance. It allows you to envision your role within the team and determine if it aligns with your career goals.
6. Tell Me About Your Team Culture and Management Style.
Understanding the company’s team culture and management approach is crucial for assessing whether you would thrive in that environment. This question can shed light on communication styles, collaboration, and the overall work atmosphere.
7. Where Do You See the Company Going in the Next Year? 5 Years?
Enquiring about the company’s vision for the future demonstrates your long-term perspective and interest in growth. Their response can give you insights into the organisation’s strategic direction and potential opportunities for advancement.
8. Where is the Company Placed in the Marketplace? What are Its Key Differentiators from Competitors?
Understanding the company’s position in the market and what sets them apart from their competitors is essential for assessing their competitive advantage and growth potential. It also demonstrates your understanding of the industry landscape.
9. What’s An Example of A Client/Technical Challenge You’ve Recently Faced?
Asking about recent challenges the company has encountered showcases your interest in problem-solving and your ability to adapt to complex situations. It also allows you to gauge the organisation’s resilience and problem-solving capabilities.
10. What’s the Question You Really Want to Ask Me But Haven’t?
This question adds a touch of cheekiness to the conversation, encouraging the interviewer to share any lingering concerns or curiosities they may have about your fit for the role. It demonstrates your confidence and can help engage the interviewer further.
Remember, the questions you ask during an interview not only provide you with valuable information but also showcase your genuine interest and preparedness. By asking these ten questions, you can gain deeper insights into the company, the role, and your potential fit within the organisation.
How To Prepare For Any Interview
Remember – you cannot over prepare for an interview, and the more you prepare, the more confident you will feel on the big day, giving you a competitive edge over other candidates. In the next section, we will dive into essential interview preparation tips to ensure you are fully equipped to showcase your skills and expertise.
Do Your Homework
Research improves your credibility and lets you ask fantastic questions. It demonstrates enthusiasm and motivation; the better you sum up the project/company and purpose of the role, the better you look.
Interview Preparation Tips: Company Research
Study these areas and use your knowledge to ask smart questions and make intelligent observations. Write notes or use other techniques to commit key information to memory.
- What does the company do? Use company/industry websites and Google. You should be able to describe all their products and services.
- Who are they? When was the company formed, what’s the size (revenues/employees/customers), the locations, do they own (or are owned by) other enterprises? Any insights into the culture?
- Who is going to be at the meeting? Follow them on Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+. Look for mutual contacts and see what you can find out.
- What news have they released? Check their site and search the net.
- Who are their competitors? Show how well you know the industry.
Interview Preparation Tips: Role Research
Use the job description/advertisement (and any other sources) to make a list of areas to examine. Handling weaknesses is crucial – identify what they are (more on this below).
- What is the project? Put together everything you know or can find out.
- Any technologies, methodologies, systems, or processes that you aren’t familiar with?
- Skills, qualifications or experience – what are you missing?
Prepare the Best Answers
Most of your effort will be spent crafting and practising informative answers for questions you anticipate. Always remember that the company has a business problem; try and understand what problem they are looking to solve, and frame your answers in this context. We always recommend interviewees to use the STAR framework, as it provides a structured approach for effectively communicating your experiences and achievements during the interview.
Have the Best Questions
Nothing creates a better impression than intelligent, thoughtful questions. Have a host of them ready. Use your company research to generate insightful queries that showcase your genuine interest and understanding of the organisation. Remember, asking thoughtful questions not only demonstrates your preparedness but also allows you to gather valuable information to make an informed decision about the role and company fit.
Be Ready to Handle Weaknesses
If you don’t match the “mandatory” requirements but are asked for an interview, there is obviously a reason for this. Employers will often be flexible for the right culture fit and an astute employer will hire for the company first and the role second. Prepare thoughtful and confident explanations that address any perceived gaps.
- Compile solid examples of when you have taken on a new role and learnt on-the-fly. Use the STAR framework to succinctly describe how you personally took action to learn a new skill/system/technology quickly.
- For education and certifications, research exactly what skills are obtained. Describe applicable skills learnt on-the-job and describe how you would address any perceived gaps.
Brush Up on the Basics
When creating your plan, don’t forget the basics, these can trip you up and create unnecessary stress. Even if you’re a seasoned job seeker, it doesn’t hurt to recap the basics – you just might learn something! Organise all the little things like dry-cleaning, haircuts, time off work and transport – enjoy the peace of mind and concentrate on the hard stuff.
Practise Positive Body Language
Non-verbal communication is so important – never underestimate how this impacts how people engage with you. Practice makes perfect – find a friend that is a great communicator and do some role-play. Interview training and coaching is gold for people who struggle with body language practices – a fresh perspective to identify improvements is essential.
Ready to take your interview skills to the next level? Download our free ebook “Job Interview Tips: How to Prepare for a Job Interview” and unlock the secrets to interview success.