Interviews are at the heart of what we do here at Bridgewater. Every day we are interviewing and getting to know different candidates. So, we know the difference between a good interview and a bad interview. Remember, you have one opportunity to impress your interviewer. Thorough preparation and demonstrating enthusiasm for the role are two sure fire ways to do this. A great way to show a potential employer you’re keen and prepared is by having good questions to ask at the end of an interview.
In addition to this, the interview isn’t just for the benefit of the employer, it’s about you, too. Finding out more about the company and the job is essential. Otherwise, how do you know it’s the right fit for you? Asking questions at the end of an interview will help you to make an informed decision.
Interviewers can tell when you haven’t prepared for an interview. No, really, they can. It’s more than likely that your interviewer can conduct interviews in their sleep – they know what they’re doing! So, if you think you can pull the wool over their eyes, it may be worth reassessing your plan of attack. In other words, make sure that you prepare beforehand.
There are various different aspects involved in preparing for your interview: researching the company, preparing answers to generic questions and knowing exactly what you want to get across. However, another aspect of your interview planning should include the questions you’d like to ask at the end. Try to think of questions that show you are really interested in the position you’re applying for and maybe some that the interviewer may not expect.
During your interview, remember to listen carefully what is being said at all times; it’s just good logic and manners. However, another benefit to this is that you will be able to formulate additional questions based upon what the interviewer has said. Keep a mental note until you are asked “Do you have any questions?”.
It’s wise to prepare a few (at least four) different questions to ask, just in case the interviewer answers any of them during the interview. That way you have a back-up. Asking a question that you’ve already been given throughout the course of the interview is a big no-no.
Below are some examples of questions to ask at the end of an interview, plus the reasons why you should be asking them. Whether you use these questions or they inspire you to create your own, they will certainly come in handy during your job hunt!
How has this position become available?
The answer to this question can tell you a lot about the role and the company. If it’s a new position, that usually indicates that the department is growing. Perhaps the person who formerly held this post has been promoted, or maybe they left. If it’s the latter, try to (politely) find out why. Be wary of any flippant or dismissive explanations.
How does this business help to develop its employees?
This question has a dual purpose. It shows that you are keen to develop and grow, which employers like to see. However, it also helps you to understand what support you will receive.
What’s your favourite thing about working here?
This is a personal question and makes the interviewer feel like you are taking an interest in them. Building rapport in an interview is essential to doing well. This question also allows you to get the opinion of someone who already works at a company you could be working for.
What would a typical day in this role involve?
A job advert is there to sell the opportunity, so it will tell you all about the more interesting aspects of the role and leave out the more mundane. Asking this question in an interview not only shows that you are genuinely interested in the position, but gives you a real idea of what your day-to-day job could be like.
Will I get to meet my team/manager during the recruitment process?
Again, this shows that you are enthusiastic. Your relationships with colleagues can make or break your workplace happiness, so getting to know the team as early as possible is crucial. If you can’t see yourself fitting in, it may not be the right job for you.
In your opinion, what would success look like in this role?
This is a great way to find out what is expected of you and how to potentially progress.
Is there an existing or envisioned progression path for this position?
Unless you’re looking for a dead end, it’s always best to find out where the position could take you. If the answer is in line with your goals, great. If not, you need to add a point to the cons list. Bonus: this question shows the interviewer that you have long term ambitions.
Avoid questions that could portray you or your intentions. For example, during your interview, try not to ask about money, holidays or anything that can wait for now. It’s best to hang on until later or refer back to the job ad.
All in all, having good questions to ask at the end of an interview is what will separate you from your competition. So, make sure you prepare and that you speak up!