Asking your own questions in a job interview shows your enthusiasm for the role and the company. It is perfectly acceptable to ask a few questions during and after the interview – and the employer will openly accept them.
This is your chance to show your keen interest in the role and to also further impress the interviewer. So when they ask you if you have any questions of your own at the end, now’s your time to shine.
Avoid questions that focus upon your self, like salary and holiday entitlement. You are there to impress and show the employer that you are the right fit for the company. It isn’t an opportunity to see how much pay you can squeeze out of them.
Here are our top 5 awesome questions to ask at a job interview.
1. Can you tell me more about the daily responsibilities of the role?
It’s important you ask this question so you can be 100% happy that you are making the right decision if offered the job. Your interest in some of the specifics will also impress the employer.
Don’t get into too much detail with this question, and ask the employer to summarise a few key aspects of the role. Let them take charge of the answer and be careful not to probe too much and allow the conversation to last a long time. If however the employer is happy to go into specifics, then fine. However you may find that some employers like to give just a brief overview – again, this is absolutely fine.
Take notes as they speak so you can jot down the important details. Taking notes during the interview will also further impress and boost your chances of success.
2. What training do you offer and are there any opportunities
This question goes together nicely with the previous one, as you are trying to establish what the company can offer you. Training is an important part of any job, especially for the first few weeks or months. By asking this type of question you are trying to show the company that you are keen to understand how they function, and that you don’t want to fail.
In regards to further opportunities at a later stage, you need to be very careful asking this question. The position you are applying for right now is your main focus, so don’t sound too confident and be already looking at the manager’s job!
However, you may want to give a small hint that you are here to stay for a long time and want to commit to the company. That could of course lead to a promotion in the future, or to be given more responsibility and become deeply involved in the company’s future. So phrase this question very carefully and make it clear that you are open to progression and taking on more responsibility if required.
3. What are the company’s plans for the next 5 years?
The interviewer will often be taken by surprise when asked this question as it shows an interest from the candidate in the future of the company. Most employees focus on taking each day as they come, but the potential managers of the future will focus upon what comes next.
Someone who looks ahead and takes an interest in what the company has planned for the next few years is clearly someone who is committed and dedicated to their career. You may also be able to offer some suggestions or ideas on how you could help. Think this one through before you enter the interview, and explain how you could feature in the company’s plans.
4. What would be expected of me in the first few months?
Some companies have a probationary period of around 3 months. During this period the new employee will be trained and given tasks to perform. They will be assessed and a decision on whether to continue after the probationary period will be made.
Although this sounds a little daunting, you will find that this is very common and will benefit both parties. You may find that you are struggling and unable to perform to the standard required. You may be unhappy with the role and find that you don’t fit in or this job isn’t for you. During or after the probationary period you can communicate with your manager and let them know your feelings, which may mean you decide to leave. So you can see that this period allows you to see if this was the right choice.
On the flip side, the employer also has the chance to see how you get on. You will hopefully receive adequate training and be given every opportunity to achieve the level required to continue with the company after the probationary period. Now that you know how this works you can then ask the question – ‘What would be expected of me in the first few months?’
Even if there isn’t a probationary period you are hoping to find out what type of training is given to new employees. This question should hopefully give you a better perspective of how the company functions and allow you to prepare for your first day if successful. It also shows that you are already beginning to see yourself in the role and what you can do to ensure it goes smoothly.
5. What is the working culture of the company?
This question helps to build up a rapport and to get to know a more personal side of the company and the interviewer. The manager will love to talk about the company’s culture and how they are involved with this. Depending on the level your manager is at, they may even have a heavy influence on company socials and every day activities. So this could be a really nice way to connect with the interviewer and talk about something a little different.
The company’s working culture is also important to you, as you want to know that you will be comfortable with your environment. If you are someone who likes to attend company socials and have a few jokes and games at work to keep motivated, then the answer the interview gives is very important. You may find that they rarely have any socials and the culture is quite stale and too ‘business’ for your liking. On the other hand, you may find that the culture seems a little too crazy for your liking and maybe the constant partying could make you feel uncomfortable.
If the culture seems to be on the right level for you, then try to let the employer know this during the interview. They also want to see that you’d fit in well with the team, so it’s important you align yourself during the interview and show that you are on the same page.