If you’ve got a job interview coming up soon, it’s very likely at the end of that interview, the interviewer will turn to you and say do you have any questions for me about this job?
And at this stage it’s very important that you have at least one or two questions ready to ask the interviewer if you want to maximize your chances of landing that job.
So, in this article, I’m going to share with you 13 good questions to ask interview stage and I’m going to show you how you can deliver them in order to move you one step closer to landing that job.
Before I dive into these questions to ask interview stage, I just want to give you a quick rundown of everything I’m going to cover in the article and if you want to jump forward to any of these points there are links in the description below that you can click to fast forward to those points.
Firstly, I’m going to explain why you need to ask questions in a job interview and how it helps you to get some of the best job of us on the market because, if you’re going to be asking some of these questions in your interview, it’s important that you understand that.
Then I’m going to run you through the 13 questions and tell you how to deliver them and explain how each one will help you move forward to getting job offers. At the end of the article I’m going to share with you three questions that you should definitely not ask at any interview. These questions will reflect badly on you and actually make the interviewer less likely to offer you the job.
So why is it important to ask questions at the end of an interview?
Well Firstly, it’s almost guaranteed that, you will be asked for questions at the end of your interview.
When I worked in recruitment I interviewed lots of people and I’ve also been interviewed myself plenty of times, so I can confidently say that the vast majority of interviewers will ask you at the end of it interview, do you have any questions for us?
It’s just the most common way of wrapping up an interview. It’s very important that you’re prepared for this part of the interview because if you’re just seated there saying oh I can’t think of anything then that could make you look a bit unprepared.
It could bring the interview to a bit of an awkward abrupt end and leave the interviewer of the impression that you’re not very keen on the job.
Secondly, asking the right questions will really impress the interviewer.
Asking some of these questions I’m about to run you through will make you look enthusiastic, make you look like you’ve researched the role properly and make you look like you’re keen on progressing within that company. All of these things are going to make the interviewer up more likely to want to offer you the job.
Thirdly, you need to ask certain questions to qualify the job to find out more about it.
A job interview isn’t just a chance for the employer to find out more about you, it’s also your chance to find out more about the job they’re offering and whether or not it’s right for you.
If you’re going to be giving up your time to work for an employer, then it’s important that you understand what they’re offering in return both in the short and the long term so that you can make an informed decision as to whether or not you want to take that job should they offer it to you.
Again, another reason to ask questions interview stage, is to build rapport with the interviewer.
If you can ask some questions to get them to open up a bit and perhaps start talking about their own personal experiences working for the company, then you can start to build a bit of a connection.
Get more of an informal conversation going and this can be really powerful because, if you can get somebody to like you then they’re much more likely to want to offer you a job at the end of the interview.
Now that you understand the importance and the purpose of asking good questions at interview stage let’s run through the 13 questions to ask.
Now it’s important to understand that you don’t need to ask all of these questions at the end of every interview because if you just reel off all of these questions that might seem a bit weird to the interviewer.
The questions that you actually ask will depend on a number of factors including what’s already been discussed in the interview and also the job that you’re applying for and you’ll probably need to adjust these questions to match your own style and these specifics of the job you’re applying for.
So think of these questions and more of guidelines than phrases to repeat word-for-word.
Question number one is, if I perform well in this role, where could I expect to be in six months or a year?
Now this question is good because it does two things. It shows the interviewer that you’re serious about committing to the role and this is something that will really impress employees because they’d like to hire people who are in it for the long run.
They don’t want to invest time and money into somebody who’s just going to leave off the three months and this question also gives you some insight into the opportunities that are available with this job.
So if the interviewer says to you that, you’re going to be doing exactly the same thing in a year’s time, then, that might be a bit of a red flag.
This is perhaps a bit of a dead-end job, and if on the other hand, the interviewer tells you that there are opportunities to move from this role to progress to get promoted to move around in the business to earn more money as you progress, then that’s obviously a really good sign that this could potentially be a good job that you want to stay with for the long run.
So overall this question allows you to demonstrate your fuz azzam for the job and the four we’ve put into the interview and also allows you to qualify the role for your own interests.
Question number two is, do you offer any opportunities for training qualifications or development?
When you ask this question, you’re basically telling employers that you’re looking to get qualified, you’re serious about this career path and that’s another great sign that you’re looking in long terms of this role and it also helps you to qualify to the benefits on offer at the company because ideally you want to work for a company who like to progress their staff and like to train them up and see them move forward.
You don’t really want to be working in a place where they don’t offer you the training you need to progress because that might mean that, you get stuck in that particular role for longer that you need to be and that’s going to slow down your career progression and your earnings potential for the future.
Question number three is, what is the most common next step to progress to from this role?
While asking this question, you are indicating to the interviewer that you’re keen to progress within the company and that shows you’re ambitious.
Generally speaking, employers like ambitious people because ambitious people will strive to get things done and they generally achieve good things for their employers.
Their answer to this question will give you some indication to the natural career progression of this job and how quickly you can reach the level you want to ultimately get to.
You might also find this question as a question that allows you to build some rapport with the interviewer because if there is a manager within that particular area then you may find that they share their own progression of story with you and this will allow the conversation to become a bit more personal.
It also allows you to connect with them a bit more and find out a bit more about their background.
Question number four is, what do people find most challenging about this role?
Every job comes with challenges, so it’s important that you understand what they are before you start that job and asking the interviewer directly.
Asking somebody who works in the company will give you much more honest answer than some of the information that you’ve perhaps already seen on the job advert.
Also, once the interviewer has shared these challenges with you, you can use this as an opportunity to sell yourself.
For example, you could perhaps empathize with the interviewer and talk about some of the similar challenges you’ve faced in previous roles and talk about how you overcame them.
This should give the interviewer some confidence that you’ll be able to deal with some of the challenges that they’re talking about that comes along with this job.
Question number five is, what results would you expect from a new hire within the first month or first three months of starting this job?
This question is probably best for junior positions or people making a career change because, if you’re an experienced candidate moving into a role you’re familiar with, you should already know what’s expected of you however if you are moving into something new then it’s a great way to get a good understanding of what you’ll be doing from day one in the job.
It also shows the interviewer that, you’re thinking about getting started and you’re conscious that you want to deliver the best results for them from the moment you get started.
Question number six is, can you tell me what an average day or week looks like in this role?
If you feel like the interviewer hasn’t given you much detail on the day-to-day activities of the role, then this is a really good question to get them to open up a bit and actually show you what a common day looks like in the role.
It also just shows that you’re diligent and you’re keen to learn more about the role.
But, be careful not to ask this question if you’ve already discussed the role length or it might look like you’ve not been paying attention. You could alternatively ask about specific areas of the role that you feel haven’t been covered during the interview.
Question number seven is are there any performance targets in this role?
This question is a good one to ask so as to get a real quantified sense of what’s expected from you in the role and also what you need to do to get promoted upwards.
How you react to the answer of this question can have a real impact on the interviewer’s opinion of you.
If you’re looking shocked and horrified when they’re reading off these targets, that might worry them a bit but if you sit there and nod confidently then that will appear as though you’re confident and you could actually hit those targets.
Question number eight is, what are the company or department’s plans or goals for the next few years?
Asking this question will show the interviewer that you’re taking a real interest in the company’s future and that’s a great sign for them because it shows you’re a team player and you’re not really interested in yourself.
It will also give you a really good idea of the company that you’re dealing with.
If they tell you that they’ve got big plans to expand over the next five years and that’s a great sign for you because ultimately you want to be working for a company that’s going to be around for a long time.
Conversely if they tell you they’ve got no plans for progression or can’t give you any real concrete ideas of where they’re looking to grow there might be a sign this is perhaps not a company that you want to work for so questions once I have been mainly focused around showing you for the role and further qualifying it for your own needs but the next three questions are going to be purely focused on building a rapport with the interviewer.
I would recommend only asking these questions after you’ve already asked perhaps one or two qualifying questions about the role because if you dive straight in with some sort of personal rapport building questions without asking serious questions about the job first then it might seem a little bit forward.
Question number nine is, do the company or team have many social events?
So not only is this a good question for your own benefit because you’ll learn something from the company’s culture and the kind of things they do outside of work.
Also it will get the interviewer to start talking a bit more casually so you can have a bit more a real conversation with them once they start talking about team drinks and charity events, then they’ll drop their guard a bit and the formal atmosphere of the interview will come down a bit and you can start to build a bit more of a connection with them.
Question number ten is, what do you enjoy about working here?
Now, not only does this question give you some insight into life within the company, it’s also another question that will get the interviewer to open up a bit to start talking about their own personal experiences within the company which will again allow you to get a bit more natural conversation going with them.
Question number Eleven is, how long have you been with the company?
Again, this is just a really nice open-ended question that will allow the interviewer to talk a bit to share some of their experiences with you and again it’s something that’s likely to get more of a natural conversation going so those are the free rapport building questions.
The final two questions in this list are what’s known as closing questions. These are questions that are designed to bring the interview to an end and also move the interviewer closer to the idea of offering you the job.
Now, it’s important to note that you should only ask a closing question once you’ve already asked some qualifying and rapport building questions. Because if you ask a closing question straightaway when they ask you if you have any questions, it will look a bit rushed and perhaps feel a bit awkward.
Question number Twelve or the first closing question is, what is the next step in this process?
This shows the interviewer that you are keen to move forward and that’s a good sign for them because they only want to hire people who are keen to work for them.
They will probably just say something like we’re seeing a few more people and we’ll be in touch in the next few days. But, just asking that question slightly plants that idea in their head that they might be progressing you forward to the next stage.
Question number Thirteen or the second closing question is, is there anything else you need from me at this stage?
This is a good question to ask because it makes you appear helpful. You’re asking if you’ve done everything you can for the interviewer and they could perhaps imagine you acting the same way when dealing with their customers or their clients.
But, it’s also another way of sort of subtly pushing for the job offer. It’s your way of saying I’m happy with everything.
What do I need to do to get this finalized so that the full list of 13 questions to ask interview stage, help you move forward to secure that job offer?
Before I wrap up the article, I just want to quickly share the free questions that you should never ask at any interview.
Question number one that you should never ask at any interview is, how much holiday do I get or how long is my lunch break?
Obviously things like holiday and regular breaks are important but you shouldn’t be asking about time off before you’ve even been offered the job.
It will make you look like you’re not really taking the interview seriously and also personally if I was interviewing somebody and their first burning question to ask me was when do I get time off then that would be a huge red flag for me because, it would make me think that they’re not really willing to work that hard.
If you want to know those things and you haven’t already learned that so far in the application process, then the best thing to do is wait until you’ve been offered the job and then you can check for those details in the job offer.
Question number two you shouldn’t ask at any interview is, how quickly can I get promoted?
Although a lot of the questions that I mentioned previously that you should ask are related to progression and promotion, they’re really talking about the long term not the short term.
Whilst employers will want to hire people who are keen to progress within the role over the long term, they wouldn’t want to hire somebody who thinks they can just walk in and within three months jump up six job levels because that’s just not realistic and it makes it look like you don’t have a lot of respect for what they do.
It could make you seem a bit arrogant so yes, you should absolutely be asking questions about progression and promotions but you need to be clear that you’re talking about the long term and firstly you’re more concerned about doing the job that you’re being interviewed for.
Question number three you should never ask is anything about salary or rates.
Now salary is a bit of a funny topic because some interviewers will happily discuss it whereas others really don’t like it and they find it a big put off if candidates start to discuss money at interview stage.
So I think the safest thing to do is to avoid it unless the interviewer brings it up themselves. you should have already had some information on the salary by the time you get to interview stage anyways.
So you shouldn’t have too many questions by now and it’s also a lot smarter to start discussing salary once you’ve actually been offered the job because once you’ve got the job offer you’ve got more freedom to ask questions around the salary and perhaps even negotiate particularly if you’ve got more than one job offer on the go.
So that brings me to the end of this interview question article.