Remember that when being interviewed, it’s an opportunity for you to interview the hirer, the company, the values and the culture.

Splitting these up into sub-sections can be helpful in identifying what you want to learn, how to structure the questions and what it is you want to know in relation to various aspects of the job and the company.

Some of the sub-sections you make want to consider are:

  • Role responsibilities and expectations
  • Questions about the Company
  • Company Culture
  • Interview Performance

Role Responsibilities and Expectations

If the correspondence surrounding responsibilities or expectations have been vague or you want to learn more, these questions can help you make a furthered informed decision on workplace responsibilities.

What are the responsibilities and daily tasks expected within this role?

Asking in person can help give a detailed explanation past the job spec of what the day will really be filled with.

Are there any specific challenges within this role?

This can help give you a better understanding of the major parts of the role and challenging tasks that come with it.

What qualities do you think are important for success within this role?

A good way to understand if those are qualities you have and if you can align yourself with what is expected.

What is the typical career path/is there an opportunity for career growth?

What are your personal goals? Finding out if the company offer avenues in which you can grow and progress your career is worth knowing if that’s what you want to do.

What is expected from the successful candidate within the first 3 months?

This will further show what tasks from the role and in what time constraints you’ll be required to work. 

How will you measure success in this role?

If the job doesn’t have obvious success measures, knowing what to focus on, if progression is your goal, is worth knowing.

Questions about the Company

These questions can help bridge any gaps in knowledge you’ve previously researched and a chance to find out company knowledge from an employee who is likely to know more than what is presented online.

What are the company goals within the next 5 years?

If one of your goals is to stay with a company for a prolonged period, then understanding the business plans for growth can help you decide whether they align with your vision of professional development.

What do you think are the biggest opportunities/weakness’ facing the department/company?

A currently topical question considering continual uncertain political environments. This kind of question will offer insight on department/company focus. 

Consider if there are any uncertainties or missing links in your own company research, anything you would want to know more about and ask in the interview.

Company Culture

Company culture and values have become a key factor in the decision-making process in recent years. With employees valuing the importance of a positive culture, values, morals and practices.

Could you describe the company culture?

A way to understand the culture as viewed by an employee/director to help you assess whether you would fit in.

How would you describe the working company culture?

Differing slightly from the overall culture. A company may have a very social aspect but when working, a very conservative attitude. Some offices are very flexible and open whereas some are very structured and traditional. It’s good to know whether the culture aligns with your personal working style.

Does the company organise or plan social events/is the team social?

If the social aspect is important, ask at the interview. Is this an aspect the company organises or encourages? It can be a useful question in understanding the type of social and working relationships. 

Interview Performance

What are the next stages and timeline of the interviewing process?

This will not only show your eagerness but also give you an idea of what to expect if your successful.

If you’re interviewing for a sales position, we recommend asking:

From what you’ve seen today is their anything you’re unsure about?

This shows a straightforward attitude, your interest in the role and personal feedback. It also allows an opportunity to overturn any objections the interviewer may have suggested.

Is there anything else you would like me to clarify about my qualifications or experience?

This offers the hirer a chance to remove potential confusion or go over anything they may have forgotten.

Choose questions that are appropriate for your role, the company and what is relevant.

Remember that it is usually considered inappropriate to ask about salary and benefits until the final stage. Doing so can show that your primary motivation is money and not the job, even if it is, it’s best to wait to finalise this.

Prepare a range of questions, that way if some are answered through your interview you have a back-up. Aim to avoid obvious questions with simple answers, it can make you appear that you perhaps weren’t paying attention or are unable to work out simplicities.

Finally, ensure your questions are concise and clear and avoid answering or over-explaining the question. You don’t want to appear as if your waffling or uncertain. Also, Good Luck!