QUESTIONS TO ASK IN AN INTERVIEW – WHAT ARE THE BEST ONES?
So what are the best questions to ask in an interview? it’s an area that a lot of people struggle with, you want to ask good questions that put you in good stead with your interviewer/s but you don’t want to come across as pushy or too forward.
Successful interviews aren’t just about having the right answers. They are about asking the right questions. Interviewers like being asked good questions – they report that it keeps them energized, engaged and interested in the person they are meeting.
When interviewers hear a question, they usually think about what might have motivated someone to ask that particular question and what it says about them – they may assess whether the question is insightful and considered or based on the questions asked they could think perhaps the candidate could have done more to prepare.
So what are the best questions to ask in an interview and what do your questions say about you?
You want the interviewers to know how much you want to be there; that you are as engaged and committed to the interview process as they are.
Often, it isn’t about being the smartest or most qualified applicant, though that can, of course, be a plus. It’s all about your attitude and willingness to learn.
My single biggest piece of advice? Don’t forget to make the interview work for you, remember, it’s your window to sell yourself and to gather as much information as you can, so that you can make a smart career decision based on what you hear.
So then what are the best questions to ask in an interview? my recommendation is to prepare five questions and choose the three most relevant ones/ones you are most comfortable asking in the interview.
Here are some sample questions that showcase you have come prepared and will help you learn about the company and interviewer:
How did the position come about? And how does this role fit within the organization’s broader strategy?
Lovely. Let’s get down to business from the start, by asking this two part question you are giving the employer the opportunity to sell the role/company i.e. the role has developed directly from our expansion activities and will form part of the success of our new division etc. etc.
What do you think are the most important qualities required for someone to excel in this role?
Ask this – and be prepared to have this question re-directed at you. You’ve obviously given your suitability to the role some thought, so here’s your first opportunity to shine.
What are the biggest challenges facing the company/department today?
Good question, but the interviewer may want to keep their cards close to their chest on this one so you might get a stock answer but they will value you for asking it anyway.
What are the training and development opportunities available to employees in the company?
This is a great question to ask as it shows ambition and most large/multinational companies love to ‘sing’ about their development opportunities, however smaller companies may not have as much emphasis on this area so just bear this in mind when choosing your questions.
Please can you tell me what the next steps in the interview/hiring process are?
Don’t just walk away at the end of it all or accept a generic ‘we’ll be in touch’. Try to get a sense of what the next steps are – who you might hear from and when.
Find more general info’ on interview preparation through the Skillslink interview process