You have so many questions, which should you ask in an interview?
It’s getting towards the end of the interview for your dream job and you hear the one question that you knew would come…
“What questions do you have for us?”
In almost every interview that you attend, you’ll get the opportunity to ask your potential new employer questions.
You know not to ask how many sick days they offer but what should you ask?
What if your mind goes blank and you just stare at the interviewer with an uncomfortable look on your face?
What if they’ve already answered the 2 killer questions that you’d prepared the night before?
Asking intelligent and meaningful questions is one of the most important and under-rated factors when securing a new role.
Don’t ask extremely specific questions or questions that have no real significance.
This often shows a complete disinterest in the opportunity a real lack of preparation.
* See tip number 3 below for how to approach this.
Don’t ask questions about the company that could have been researched beforehand.
There are lots of questions that you could ask, and I’d highly recommend spending some time thinking about these before attending an interview to make sure you have a shortlist prepared.
That said, here are my TOP 3 go to interview questions;
This is such a great question as it’s very much double-edged..
Firstly , you get a real understanding of what the employer feels is the biggest challenge in you getting up to speed.
If you feel that this challenge is beyond your ability or not the direction that you want to go in, then better to know now than find out later.
Secondly , you get to reply.
You get the opportunity to talk about how that challenge excites you rather than scares you and the chance to talk about how you’ve overcome similar challenges in previous roles.
Avoid asking ‘What’s the culture of the company’. This is generally a very difficult question to answer and often closely follow by you nodding your head and saying “great, sounds good” – not adding much value to the interview.
A much better way to ask this question is by offering up some of your positive experiences over the years. Talk about which environments, management styles, team ethics etc. got the best from you in previous companies.
Think about something like this (adapt as appropriate);
“One of the things that I’ve really enjoyed over the past few years is working in a really collaborative team environment. Although I enjoy working on my own, when I’m working alongside similar minded people and I’m able to bounce ideas around, I find that I’m at my best.
How does this compare to the team culture/environment here?”
What you’re doing is offering up your experience and showing that you understand what gets the most out of you rather than just nodding your head and agreeing that the culture they describe is a good fit.
This question can be adapted for lots of different areas, maybe you had a great line manager or worked on cutting-edge products – think about what’s important to you and dig deep to find out if the new employer can offer similar.
I mentioned earlier that asking zero questions in an interview is a very bad idea.
Hopefully, with preparation, this won’t happen but sometimes you may get brain freeze or the company may have genuinely answered most of your prepared questions.
When this happens, fall back on “Can you tell me more about…”
If they’ve talked about the culture, the upcoming projects, the growth, the training or any other element of their business, ask for more information.
Often, they’ll have just scratched the surface so tell them that you’re really interested in the new product range that they’re releasing in summer, can they tell you more about it? It will get the conversation flowing and will show that you have listened and have a genuine interest.
I hope that these 3 simple questions help you prepare for your interview and remember, the questions you ask in an interview are an indicator of what motivates you so no matter how much you love your pets, don’t ask if you can bring your hamster to work!!