You might be looking at getting a summer job, or thinking ahead to next year. Whatever your situation, it’s quite likely that you’ll be considering employment soon. Even if it’s a casual opportunity, you need to make sure that you are really impressing your interviewer.
Whilst interviews are a way for employers to determine if you are right for the role, they also provide an opportunity for you to suss out the company. So, make sure you fully utilise this. Asking questions at an interview not only shows that you are interested and have conducted your research – but it also allows you to discover fundamental elements about the business. All the things that are important to you, but they may not overtly advertise.
Here is a list of strong questions to ask in your interview – you might not need to use them all, but even a handful of these will demonstrate to your employer that you are the successful candidate.
1. What is your favourite part/most challenging aspect about working for this company?
This is a great question to ask as it can sometimes throw interviewers off guard, meaning that you tend to get a very honest answer. What your interviewer values as their favourite aspect of the company will shed some light on the company as a whole, whilst the challenging aspect will highlight any potential problems that you may face. Phrased as above, this question also demonstrates to your interviewer that you are tactful and can approach potentially sensitive subjects professionally.
2. What is the company culture like?
The interviewer’s response to this question will help you assess what the working environment is like at the company and whether this fits with your personality. For example, is it a relaxed environment where everyone is allowed to leave early on a Friday, or are you expected to put in a lot of overtime and follow a work-hard-play-hard ethos?
3. What sort of scope for progression and development is there here?
Demonstrate to your potential employer that you are interested in committing to the company and growing with them. Asking about development opportunities highlights that you are serious about your career, whilst also helping you to assess whether the role is in line with your career goals.
4. What do you think is the most challenging aspect of this role?
Use this question to gain an understanding of any potential hurdles you might face within the role, as well as the level of responsibility that the position may hold. This is also a good question to demonstrate to the interviewer that you like to think ahead.
5. Can you tell me about the team that I will be working with?
Not only does the phrasing of this question subtly suggest that you have already got the job, demonstrating your confidence to your prospective employer, but it is also good to get a feel for the dynamics of the team and how you will fit in.
6. What is the next step in the recruitment process?
Demonstrate your enthusiasm for the role by asking when you’ll hear back from the employer. At this stage, it is also worth asking how many people the employer is interviewing, as well as how many people applied for the role as this will give you a better understanding of the competition. However, do not ask about salary at this stage! Your salary is open for negotiation after you’ve received the job offer, not during the interview process.
Remember, when you’re given the chance to ask questions at the end of the interview, use this time wisely to find out key information about the company and reinforce your suitability for the role. In addition to these questions, it will also be useful to consider particularly what you value in the workplace, so that you can generate more questions accordingly.
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