Have you got some good ones lined up?
Knowing what questions to ask at interview is an essential part of your interview preparation. If you plan your job interview questions carefully you can make an extra impact during and especially at the end of your interview.
Questions to ask at the end of the interview
It is a clear indication that your interview is coming to an end when you are asked
‘Is there anything you would like to ask us about the job?’
Remember that time is short and so do not pull a long list of questions out of your pocket and start wading through them! Keep it short and to the point.
Questions to ask at interview
- Ask questions that show an interest in the company, the job and in your future colleagues
- Ask about the job itself, what you will be doing, what your responsibilities will be
- Ask about how you will be managed, who you will be reporting to and how much autonomy you will have
- Ask about your future team and what kind of collaborative work you will be doing
- Ask about training and development opportunities that may be open to you
- Ask about particular initiatives or projects within the company that you have read about in the press
- Ask about the impact of current affairs issues on the company
- At the very end of your interview, make sure you ask what the timescale is for decisions about who they will recruit and how they will contact you.
Questions not to ask at interview
- Don’t ask questions that might suggest unwillingness on your part eg about having to work overtime or travel away from home
- Don’t ask about salary at this stage. Wait till you have a job offer before raising this issue
- Don’t ask for information that is readily available on the company website or in the information they have sent you. This just shows you have not done your homework Don’t ask about benefits like company cars, pension schemes and social activities.
- Don’t ask complex questions about issues the interviewer is unlikely to be familiar with. Think about who is interviewing – an HR person will have a broad overview of what the company is doing so don’t make them feel
awkward by asking things they may not know.
Questions to ask during the interview
Asking a question during the interview can show that you are able to confidently participate in a two way discussion even under the pressure that an interview brings.
But make sure that the questions are relevant and linked in with the current topic of conversation.
There are three kinds of question you can ask:
Asking for clarification of a question
It is perfectly acceptable to ask for clarification if you are asked a question that you don’t fully understand.
This may come up if you are faced with an inexperienced interviewer who asks multiple and confusing questions. It is better that you check exactly what they want to know than to guess and ramble off in the wrong direction.
Asking if you can bring in additional information
You may be asked a question that is leading the interview towards something you feel is particularly relevant and which will show off your skills well.
It is fine to ask something like ‘Could I bring in my experience running a community project that raised £5000 here?’ This can be useful if you think the interview is stalling. You get to take control and drive the interview in the direction you want it to go.
Asking for more information about the topic under discussion
You could then follow on with a question about what future developments or challenges they see on the horizon This shows you have a real interest in the company, not just in your job.
Asking questions during the interview is a positive interview strategy, but be careful that you don’t take over by asking too many!
So make sure when planning your questions to ask at interview, that you have a range of options up your sleeve.
You should always have something to ask. Saying weakly that you have no questions is not an option!
And now read on to discover more successful interview strategies…