Good questions to ask an interviewer
It’s always a good idea to ask questions during an interview. It shows interest in the position and gets the interviewer talking rather than just asking questions. I don’t mean questions about the company – that would only indicate that you hadn’t done any research on them beforehand. But it’s definitely OK to ask questions about subjects relevant to the position you are interviewing for. Leave the questions to the end in case the interview has already covered any of the subjects. Some good questions are:
1.) What exactly would my day to day responsibilities be?
I realize that you may have received a job description, but job descriptions can be out of date and they are static documents that may not reflect the dynamic nature of the role, or the balance of emphasis of each duty. The role is the fundamental reason that you are joining the business so it is fine to seek clarification to ensure it meets your expectations.
2.) Can you describe a typical week or month in the job?
While the job description can tell you what your duties may be, it does not really give you a live impression of the role. Asking this question will give you a more realistic impression of the role, so you can really understand how you feel about the position.
3.) What are the key challenges/objectives for the job holder over the next three months?
This is in part a trick question. You are trying to get the interviewer to reveal if there are any genuine crises lurking within the role, e.g. are you joining a sinking ship? At the same time, by using positive terminology like challenges (as opposed to issues), you are showing the interviewer that you are motivated, you are someone who likes to achieve and that you want to support the manager/business in achieving their objectives. Its a star question.
4.) When did you join the business?
This is another trick question. If the manager has joined recently e.g. within the past six months, then it is likely that the department may be a little unsettled and going through some change. Not a problem, but something to be aware of. As a positive, it’s a gentle relaxer question as most of us like to talk about ourselves. During this process they may open up more and you can learn useful things about the company.
5.) Is this a new role? If yes, ask them to explain why it was created? If no, ask them how the role became available?
You are trying to understand if there is anything bad, wrong or problematic with the role which caused the employee to resign or to be fired. If the employee was promoted or simply moved on to better things then all is good. However, if the employee was fired or resigned (in an aggravated way), it could indicate that there is something wrong with the role itself, which could mean you could end up in a similar position to the previous role incumbent.
6.) What are the training and development opportunities?
The employer’s website may make some reference to this, but many do not. Training and Development is crucial to you doing your job well and to helping you meet your career objectives, so its good to know your employer’s position on this. Also, this will show that you are ambitious and thinking ahead.
7.) Is there anything in my application that may prevent you from offering me the job? Would you like me to clarify anything?
In sales terms, you are effectively trying to close the deal. You are now showing the interviewer that you are positive about the role and that you are open to feedback about any deficiencies you may have. If you do get a useful answer from the interviewer, it gives you the chance to address these issues immediately, and if you are able to address those concerns, you move one step closer to getting the job.
8.) What is the next step in the process?
This is a simple but important question as by inquiring and showing curiosity about the future process, you let the employer know that you are genuinely interested in the role.
9.) May I have your business card?
Ask each interviewer for a business card and then you will be able to send them a thank you note.