You’ve found your dream job, invested hours on your application and made it to an interview.
You’re feeling positive about the way the interview is going until the end when you’re asked if you have any questions. Your mind goes blank. Whether you forgot to prepare or feel like your interview questions have already been answered, you have nothing. But what you ask at the end can play a big part in whether you’re successful. Having at least five interview questions in your back pocket can make or break an application. Here are our tips for preparing:
1. Avoid the typical responses.
At the end of an interview, when it’s time to ask questions, we often default to answers like ‘no – you’ve already covered everything’ or ‘what’s the next step in this process?’ There’s nothing wrong with the latter, but neither response will impress a recruiter. They’re looking for questions that demonstrate a genuine interest in the position and what it entails. So, in planning what to ask, remember that those defaults aren’t enough.
2. Ask about a typical work week
An interview is not just about whether you’re a good fit for a role. It’s also about making sure the company and the job align with your expectations. Using the time at the end of an interview to really get a read on what the position looks like in real life is important. Think about what information you need to really understand the role. Ask what a typical work week looks like for either the person currently in the position or for the team you will be working in. As well as providing valuable insight into the position, this question will also show recruiters that you’re keen to understand the role in detail.
3. Ask about the culture
Finding a company that has a healthy positive culture is just as important as the job itself. Make sure you have a question prepared that shows you understand that. Consider the following: ‘How does the company look after its employees and what wellbeing initiatives are in place?’ The answer to this question will tell you about the workplace culture and how much an employer cares about the wellbeing of its people.
4. Ask about challenges
There are challenges in every job so it helps to have insight into what those are, prior to accepting a new position. The end of an interview is an excellent time to ask what the current challenges are, both in the position and within the wider team. Asking these questions shows that you’re thinking about how you would and could deal with these if the role was yours. It also gives you a chance, early on, to spot any red flags.
5. Ask whether you’re a good fit
Asking whether a potential employer sees you as a good fit can be daunting, but it’s a fantastic way to get instant feedback. Consider asking whether there may be anything holding a recruiter back from hiring you and whether they see you as a good fit. It’s scary but valuable. You’ll have a good idea of where you stand when you leave the interview even if it’s not what you hoped for. Feedback always presents opportunities for growth and improvement – so this will help you identify any areas that need work.
6. Ask, what does success look like?
By asking what success looks like from the employer’s perspective you will gain insight into what outcomes are expected. Knowing what you will need to deliver will give you a broader understanding of the role and whether it is right for you.
Asking well thought out questions at the end of an interview can really pay off. By using our guide, you’ll be able to plan your questions carefully and show you’re really thinking about what it would take to be successful in the position. It also means you’ll avoid panicking towards the end, particularly if some of your questions have already been answered. Prospective employers will favour candidates who do the work here – so make sure to prepare ahead.