Asking questions in an interview is a great opportunity to further endear yourself to the person or people that are interviewing you. It’s an underrated tool for prospective employees, as it provides a chance to show that you’ve thought deeply about the role and that you’re genuinely considering what the position will mean for you.
It also allows you to garner all the information you need in order to make a well-informed decision about the position in the event that you are offered it.
Some candidates, particularly younger or more inexperienced candidates, are often hesitant to ask questions because they’re concerned that either a) they might ask a “stupid question” or b) they mistakenly think that the employer doesn’t want them to probe too much.
Conversely, most employers love it when candidates dig in and show signs of genuine curiosity. Questions that highlight what it is you’re looking for from your next position and why you may have moved on from your previous job are also useful.
Advantageous questions to ask
Here are a series of questions that both display enthusiasm and will allow you to pick up beneficial information about the role:
In the first 12 months of my role what are the 3-4 outcomes I need to deliver for you to consider my recruitment a success?
What do you value most in employees?
Why do you enjoy working here and why have you stayed as long as you have?
What does the organisational structure look like and where would I fit in?
What are the plans for the organisation in the medium to long-term?
Do you have employees working remotely? What support and resources are in place for people working from home?
These questions are good because they are open and will lead to further discussion – they are not simple closed ‘yes/no’ questions.
Of course, you can also ask more specific questions relating to the particular company or the particular industry. These sorts of questions allow you to show that you are interested in the company and have done your homework.
An example of this kind of question might be:
I read that your company has a big sustainability focus at the moment and have introduced a number of new initiatives to reduce your carbon footprint. Can you elaborate on that for me please?
Asking questions of your interviewer is very beneficial for both parties but be careful not to go overboard asking too many questions. It’s best to choose a few good questions that get the interviewer talking and answer your most significant queries. It’s a mistake to go into the meeting with a long list of questions that don’t mean all that much too you. It will annoy the interviewer because they value their time, and it may suggest to them that you are overly demanding.