So you have applied for a new job and received good news, the company would like to interview you. People often think that a job interview is all about a company asking a candidate questions. But it is certainly a 2 way process – candidates should always ask some questions. Otherwise, how do you learn what you need to know – to be able to decide if the job is a good match to you.
Our advice as Executive Headhunters – a Candidate should always prepare about 5 key questions.
The best questions to ask at an interview are those that give you important information about; the company, the job, the people that you would work with and your career development potential.
Asking questions shows that you are genuinely interested and take your career seriously. It makes a good impression.
If you do not ask questions – the person interviewing you may feel that you are not very interested.
The best time for a candidate to ask questions is at the end of an interview. You should prepare your questions in advance. Have them written down so that you can refer to them easily.
Example Questions to Ask at Interview
About the Job:
These questions will help you to understand if the job is a good fit to you. If it will excite and motivate you, be interesting for a number of years to come.
Can you tell me what are the main daily activities?
This will help you to understand what a normal day will look like.
What are the top 5 personality traits needed to succeed in this job?
This will tell you what is required to be successful. And if your skills are a good match.
What do you feel are the biggest challenges of this position?
It is good to know potential issues that you may face. It allows you to prepare for them.
Are my work duties fixed or will they change?
This is especially relevant for people that like to do new things, or get bored easily.
Is any specific training needed to succeed in this job?
If you require training to do a job well – you need to know if the company provides this.
Assuming things go well, in the future what is the next step in the career path?
If you are ambitious you will want to know what are the medium-long term opportunities for career growth.
What are your expectations for the first 6 months?
It is good to know from the beginning what your potential employers expectations are. So you can work hard to meet these.
About the Company:
A company website only tells you so much about a business. The best person to learn the “reality” from is an interviewer.
How would you describe the corporate culture?
This is key. You want to work for a company that has a corporate culture matching with your personality type.
Who do you see as your largest competitor?
You may have an idea of the company’s big rivals. But it is good to know what the company thinks itself.
What are the biggest opportunities for the business?
This helps you to understand the company’s focus areas for growth and business development.
What are the biggest challenges facing the company right now?
On the other hand, you may want to know about the issues that the business faces.
Why do you like working for this company?
Your interviewer has firsthand experience working for the business. This question again helps you to understand the corporate culture better.
Can you tell me about the people I will be working with?
Most jobs involve working as part of a team. Learning about your colleagues will help you to decide if you are a “good fit”.
About the Hiring Process:
These questions will help you to know what’s going to happen next and how quickly they want to hire.
What are the next steps in the interview process?
This shows that you are eager to proceed. It also helps you to prepare for the next stage if invited.
When would you like the person that is hired to start?
Again, this is a very proactive question and shows that you are genuinely interested and excited.
Is there anything else that I can provide that will be useful?
This gives the interviewer a chance to ask anything that they forgot to ask earlier. Also it shows that you are thoughtful and have attention to details.
While you are here you should check out This Article which gives our tips on how to write and structure your Resume / CV to make it powerful and professional!
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