Do you have any questions? Yes, the answer is always YES!
With our recent tip for candidates to always prepare questions for your interview, I mentioned one or two questions that you can ask the interviewer, as well as advising how imperative it is that you always prepare at least 2 questions that you can ask at the end of your interview. By asking questions it shows that you interested in the role and the company. It may be that the hiring manager who was conducting the interview covered all the details that you wanted clarification on, but always be prepared to ask questions. If you answer ‘No’, it may come across that you are not that interested in the role.
So, this is your chance to get information you would like to know about the company you are interviewing at. You’re there to find out information about your employer as much as they’re there to find out about you. The more details you know, the better you will be able to decide if this is the job for you.
Prior to any interview, do your research and find out as much as you can about the company and what they do so you can ask very specific questions. Asking questions is an opportunity to highlight your skills and impress them with your knowledge on what they do. For example, the company may have been through a recent merger, or acquisition, you can then ask how that has affected the company culture if at all.
What to ask the hiring manager? Here are a 16 examples you can choose from;
- What do you like the most about working here?
- What is your background?
- How did you secure the role here?
- What’s the working environment and culture of the company like?
- Can you tell me about the team I’ll be working with?
- What skills and experiences would make an ideal candidate?
- What constitutes success at this position and this company?
- What are the opportunities for career development within the company?
- What are the company’s plans for growth and development?
- What are the biggest challenges in this job?
- What’s the most important thing I should accomplish in my first month of working here?
- How would you describe a typical day in this position?
- What is your background?
- How did you secure the role here
- What is the next step in the process?
- Have I answered all your questions?
What to avoid asking.
Of course, there are questions that you should most definitely not put on your list to ask at the first interview. Try and keep the focus on asking about the company, the team you’ll be working with and job and try not to ask questions that are ‘me’ focussed at that first interview stage. The initial interview, you want the potential employer to be able to see what it is that you can do for them. So those type of questions not to ask are about salary, health insurance, vacation time, work hours per week, and other concessions. Once you’ve been offered the role you can then turn the focus on yourself.
‘Yes’ or ‘No’ answer questions, instead ask Open ended questions
By asking open ended questions you will create a dialogue between yourself and the employer, which naturally will help build rapport between you.
Avoid asking multi part questions
It can be overwhelming for anyone to be bombarded with a question that is ultimately asking more than one question at a time. You will find the question won’t be answered in its entirety so break the question down and make sure that you are asking one specific thing at a time.
Avoid asking questions on one topic
Ask a broad range of questions, so covering the job itself, culture, future projects etc. It will demonstrate curiosity and interest in the role and company. If you ask continually about your manager and how they manage, management style, it can come across that you may have issues with authorities.
To help you, here are some specific questions to avoid:
- What does this company do?
- If I get the job, when can I take time off for holiday?
- How many days sick do I get?
- How much does this job pay and do you
- Can I change my schedule if I get the job?
- How long do you get for lunch?
- Do you give tea breaks?
- Do you monitor internet usage?
- Did I get the job?
Preparation is key
Always prepare so you have a handful of questions to answer. It may be that one of your questions was answered during the interview, so by preparing at least 2-4 solid questions to ask, you should be ready to turn the tables on them and not run the risk of having no questions to ask them. Use this time to solidify your interest desire and skills to do the job. You don’t want to miss out on an opportunity by coming across as unprepared and uninterested.