Asking questions at the end
You'll frequently hear the question at the end of the interview, “Do you have any questions for us?". People often don’t take this part of the interview very seriously and might just think up a couple of half-hearted questions, just to have at least asked something. But in reality, this part of the interview is a great opportunity for you to dig deeper about the role and the organisation and establish if it's a good fit for you. It's also the chance for you to leave a good impression with the employer.
Think of questions that show you’ve thought about the job and how it relates to you. Compile a list of possible questions, and then whittle them down to the one or two you consider most appropriate.
Avoid contentious issues such as 'how long will it be before I get a car parking space, or first pay rise?', although these might be important for you. Don't ask questions where the answer can be found in the company literature.
Don't ask about
- employee benefits
- annual Leave
- sickness policy.
These subjects should not be discussed in the interview, unless the employer brings it up first. You can of course, talk about money and benefits at the time of a job offer.
Questions to ask
You should think of some questions in advance, ahead of the interview. Questions that can help you understand the job and the employer better, such as:
- What would success look like for the first six months in this role as a new employee?
- Can you tell me what the biggest challenges facing this position and the wider department are?
- How would you describe this organisations culture and values?
Besides having some questions prepared in advance, the interview itself may raise further questions for you. This is great as it shows to the employer that you're engaged and were paying attention to what they were saying.
Examples of this can be along the lines of the following:
- "You mentioned earlier that you like to empower your employees, which sounds great! I'm wondering, what methods you use as a manager to motivate and inspire your team?"
- "You talked about how important it is for your team to become multi-skilled and to learn about as many aspects of this organisation as possible. What training and development opportunities do you offer to help your staff achieve this?"
- "Referring back to your comment earlier on the need for the person who secures this role to be able to ‘hit the ground running’, what tasks or projects would be deemed a priority to enable this to happen?"
Other questions you could ask
"What do you enjoy most about working here? "
This is a great question to pose, as it often puts the interviewer on the spot, makes them smile and they have to think on their feet about why they like working for the organisation. This is where you should get a better understanding of if working for this employer is for you.
"Is there anything about my experience, qualifications, or anything discussed in this interview that would make you hesitate in offering me this position? If so, it'd be great for me to discuss anything on your mind."
Ask this question with a smile! It's a bold question, but one you should consider asking. Sometimes, if the interviewer has any small doubts, you can use this opportunity to banish those reservations and end the interview in a confident fashion. Use positive language and offer a solution to the potential issue.
Finally, the last question you should ask in an interview is enquiring as to what the next stages are in the process and when you might expect to receive feedback. Read our article about what to do after the interview.