You will often find blogs and guides on what questions to ask at the end of the interview and there are 100s more out there on social media and company blogs.
As Recruitment Consultants, we coach candidates through interview preparation. Our advice is; prepare at least 20 questions to ask at the end of your interview, as many of them will be answered through the process. But, what are the top questions you can ask your interviewer that will really make an impression? What will show your potential new employer that you mean business?
1. Why did you join this company?
This question is a great way of getting an inside view of what is attractive about the company. Another way of asking this is ‘Why would I want to work here?’ This will give you an idea of what your interviewer or potential manager is like and what he/she sees as important. Interviewers will no doubt have a fairly standard explanation of the companies’ activities, products, team, and culture, but this question helps dig a little deeper.
Asking this question demonstrates that you’re not just looking for another job but are genuinely interested in a long-term future.
2. How would my role affect the team and business in the short, medium and long-term?
This shows you are not just thinking about yourself, but rather where you fit into the wider picture. It changes the conversation to being about what you can do for the company rather than just about the role itself.
3. What are the company’s strengths and weaknesses compared to your competition?
Chances are, you’ll be interviewing with more than one company, for a similar role and in a similar market. This question gives the interviewer the opportunity to provide perspective on where they sit in the market and how they intend to either catch up with their competitors or remain ahead of them. You’ll also get an idea of how strategically clear and focused the business is.
4. What is the biggest challenge I will face in this role?
Most job interviews focus on the job itself, what you will be doing day to day, and a general company overview. This question demonstrates that you understand every role has its challenges. It also allows you the chance to highlight previous experience or qualities and demonstrate how you would overcome these challenges.
5. What does success look like in this role? And in the company?
You will have your own ideas on what success looks like to you, what you want to achieve, where you want to be and the time frames you have set yourself. The answer to this question will help clarify how closely this role and company can match your personal goals. Additionally, you’ll get an indication of the magnitude of the role, and the expectations of your potential employer has.
6. What are the next steps in the hiring process? And what concerns or hesitations do you have in progressing me to the next stage?
It is always a good idea to say how interested you are in the role (if you are of course) at the end of the interview and ask about what happens next. Often the interview can be a stressful experience for both sides, and this is where you can gain instant feedback. It will encourage the interviewer to tell you about anything he or she is unsure of, and gives you the opportunity to address and overcome any of those hesitations… as well as ensure you progress to the next stage of the hiring process.
Remember; the interview process is as much about you – the interviewee – as it is for the company in terms of determining fit. You need to gain as much information as possible to decide if it’s the right job for you. Asking these deeper level questions not only shows you’re a switched on candidate, but more importantly, gives you greater clarity to make the right choice about accepting a job offer.