Seven questions to ask your interviewer
Interviews are a two-way street. To really impress an interviewer, you need to come prepared to have an intelligent conversation – and that means coming with well thought-out questions to ensure it’s not just one-way traffic.
Asking questions in your interview will not only give you a better insight into the job you’re applying for, but will show your interviewer that you’ve done your homework and have the curiosity and initiative to seek more information. Questions should be tailored to the specific role and company, but here are seven excellent questions you can ask to help make a good impression.
- Can you describe your ideal candidate?
The more you know about what the company is looking for, the more you can tailor your responses to highlight your skills that best represent this. No matter how polished your CV, it’s not going to make an impact if you can’t match your experience up to the key skills and attributes they are looking for.
- What are the keys to success in this role?
There’s a difference between talking about the role and talking about how to be successful in the role. A candidate who is interested in what they can bring to the company and how they can excel and flourish will impress any interviewer. You’ll also gain more clarity on the position to ensure that it’s the right fit for you.
- How do you measure performance?
Organisations approach performance benchmarks in different ways that often include hitting key performance indicators (KPIs) and conducting performance reviews. Finding out how the role you’re interviewing for is measured will help you understand how it needs to be approached and what aspects of your past performance you need to highlight. If you’ve achieved excellent performance reviews in the past or exceeded your KPIs in previous positions, be sure to mention this.
- What are the main goals for the business?
Discussing the business goals of the company will show your interest in the bigger picture, and this is particularly important for more strategic roles. You can also ask about the proposed direction and future growth of the company, and then describe how you can help the organisation achieve its goals.
- Do you offer professional development opportunities?
Don’t be afraid to ask about the professional development opportunities available at the company. You may be concerned about coming across as overly opportunistic but what you will really be demonstrating is your dedication to improving and developing yourself. An employee who strives to build their skills and capabilities is an asset to any company and this won’t go unnoticed by your interviewer.
- What’s your favourite thing about working for this company?
You may have done your research but you’ll never get the same insights from the company website as you will from someone who works there. The best part about this question is that it will help you establish rapport with your interviewer, as well as give you insight into the company culture. Demonstrating genuine interest in the organisation will set you apart from other candidates who are just going through the motions.
- What are the next steps?
Candidates often forget to discuss what happens after the interview. Should you expect a call or email, and within what timeframe? Are there further rounds of interviews or testing? Asking these questions will ensure you know what to expect and your interviewer will know you’re highly interested in the role. After the interview, it’s also good form to follow up with a polite email to thank the interviewer for taking the time to see you.
Remember: when it comes to interviews, preparation is key and this is your opportunity to get as much information as you can. Arming yourself with the right questions will not only impress the interviewer, but will provide you with invaluable insights.