Going for an interview can be a nerve-wracking experience but remember, you are interviewing your potential employer as much as they are interviewing you. So at the end of the interview when you are asked, ‘have you got any questions?’, don’t be shy - take advantage of the opportunity. Not only could the answers help determine whether the company and the role is right for you, depending on what questions you ask, it will show the employer you have really done your research and you will be remembered - for the right reasons. Try and pick at least three stand-out questions from this list - we do not advise you ask all 12!
1. How has this vacancy arisen?
E.g. Is it maternity cover? Has someone been internally promoted? This question also lets you know if it is a new vacancy that has recently been created. If it’s a new post, then ask why it’s been created, if it’s an existing one, ask who you’ll be replacing. This is also a chance to further discuss your potential duties and find out how your performance will be measured.
2. If I was successful in gaining the role, can you tell me more about my day-to-day responsibilities?
This not only shows enthusiasm for the role, but will give you a chance to find out what a typical day in the job would entail and what your employer's expectations are. This is also a good way of figuring out if the job really is for you.
3. What are the opportunities for growth and development in this role?
Discussing potential promotion opportunities will show you see longevity with the employer, and will help you understand what it would take for you to advance within the company and whether the role could open new and exciting opportunities in the future.
4. Where do you think the company is headed in the next three to five years?
Again, this shows you are thinking about the company’s bigger picture and you see longevity, as well as proving you have a genuine interest in the business.
5. How would the person in this role contribute to this vision?
This shows your eagerness to be involved in the future of the company and if you know the potential role could play a large part in plans for the future - it could help sway your decision if you are offered the job.
6. What are the challenges of this position?
Hearing about the challenges of your role will help you further decide whether the job could be the right fit for you.
7. What further training will I receive?
This questions often prompts employers to discuss any inductions on offer, even if there is no formal training to be had. It also gives you a chance to find out more about personal and career development within the role.
8. What do you think are the most important qualities for someone to excel in this role?
Although you should know whether your skills, experience and qualities are a fit for the role, asking this question will further help you figure out whether your skills align with what the company is currently looking for. It is also another way of finding out more about the role itself.
9. What do you like best about working for this company?
This gives you a chance to build up more of a rapport with the interviewer and also get an insider’s view on the company you could be working for. If the interviewer loves their job and the company, it should come across positively. If they are unhappy then they may struggle with this question and it could be a red flag.
10. How would you describe the company's culture?
This question can give you a broader view of the company’s values and employee engagement.
11. Is there anything we haven't covered that you think is important to know about working here?
This shows enthusiasm and will also give you peace of mind you know all you need to know about the role and company.
12. What's your timeline for making a decision and when can I expect to hear back from you?
It is important to ask what the next steps are in the hiring process. Not only does it show that you’re enthusiastic - it means you will not be sat by the phone for days, waiting to hear from the employer and will give you peace of mind.
And finally, remember you should always discuss salary during the interview, even if it is just to confirm the advertised salary. See our ‘negotiating your salary at interview’ post for more guidance on how to approach the topic and what questions to ask.