When you are invited for interview, we know that the type of questions that tend to present the most angst are the ones you will be asked. Anticipating the questions that you will face are, as recruitment agencies in London know, a usual cause of nerves! However, you may also find yourself feeling anxious about the questions you should ask.
It’s very common to be given room at an interview to ask your own questions. So, how can you determine which questions to ask that will help you form an opinion on whether you are a good fit for the role and also which highlight you as an excellent candidate?
1. Skills based questions
We typically think of skills based questions as going in one direction only. However, asking for clarification of the skills needed and how they are applied shows that you are thinking beyond the basics to actually doing the job. This helps you to determine which skills are most important.
2. Questions about colleagues and reporting structures
It’s very difficult, as an interview candidate, to think ahead to your actual working life. However, the culture of the organisation is crucial for you to be able to commit long term and develop your career here.
We recommend asking questions about who else is in the team, including their roles. Ask also about the reporting structure. Answers to these questions can give clues about what it will be like to work there.
3. Ask about employee retention
It might feel awkward to ask, but you should feel able to ask about employee retention levels. If a prospective employer isn’t prepared to be open in their answer then this is telling in itself. It’s useful to determine how long employees stay for as it reveals if there may be any underlying problems.
4. Ask why the last person left
Again, asking why there is a vacancy or why the last person left can be revealing. It’s encouraging to find that the last person has just been promoted, for example. A hiring manager should be willing to be honest with you.
5. Questions about the future for the employer
Use your research into the company to ask relevant questions about the future for the organisation. You could ask about expansion into new markets, or for information about expected growth. Pinning your question on relevant industry news shows that you’ve done your homework and are interested and engaged. Answers to this question help you to envisage a long term future with the company.
6. Ask about the early days
Ask what your first few weeks and months will be like within the organisation. This will reveal if there are cohesive and structured onboarding processes which are more likely to lead to a successful transition. It also helps you learn about how you can add value quickly.
Using your own questions to find out more about working for an employer can help you to come away from the interview with a better idea of whether you will want to accept a job offer.
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