What Should You Ask the Interviewer?

A job interview will quickly disintegrate into an interrogation or monologue unless you ask some high quality questions of your own. Candidate questions are the lifeblood of any successful interview, because they create dialogue and help clarify your understanding of the company and the position responsibilities.

In addition the questions you ask serve to indicate your grasp of fundamental issues, reveal your ability to probe beyond the superficial and challenge the employer to reveal his or her own depth of knowledge and commitment to the job.

Your questions should always be slanted in such a way as to show empathy, interest, or understanding of the employer’s needs. After all, the reason you’re interviewing is because the employer’s company has a piece of work that needs to be completed, or has a problem that needs correcting. Here are some questions that have proven to be very effective.

What’s the most important issue facing the firm, or department? You can perhaps refer to an article you have read and ask the interviewers opinion on how it affects the organisation or team. This is also a great way to subtly demonstrate that you have done your research on the firm.

What is the most important area of responsibility the role will cover?

What is the biggest challenge for the firm / team at the moment?

How is the team structured and where does this role fit in?

What would you like the person who is appointed to this role to achieve in the first six months? But be prepared to have this question redirected to you, so have a good response ready!

How do you see someone progressing within this role / the firm?  Be careful not to give the employer the impression that you will be looking for or expecting a promotion early on though.

Is there any particular skill you feel is critical to this role?

Is there a certain aspect of my background you’d like to exploit to help accomplish your objectives?

Questions like these will not only give you a sense of the company’s goals and priorities, they’ll indicate to the interviewer your concern for satisfying the company’s objectives.

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