You’re almost through your job interview, and the interviewer asks: “Do you have any questions about the role?”
When it’s your turn for questions, what you ask can go a long way to helping you learn about the role – and even impress the employer.
Asking insightful, thoughtful questions can help you gain a deeper understanding of the role you’re applying for and ensure it’s a good fit for you.
Director at Robert Half Australia, Nicole Gorton says having questions prepared can be a strategic move that sets you apart from other candidates. “It demonstrates your interest in the position and the company,” she says. “Simply saying ‘no’ when you’re asked if you have questions suggests you’re not prepared, haven’t researched the company or are not interested enough in the role.”
Here are some of the best questions to ask in an interview. Choose a range of questions that matter most to you, and ask several of them with confidence.
The role and expectations
- Could you tell me why this position has become available?
- What would a typical day in this role look like?
- What do you think are the three key qualities someone needs to shine in this role?
- Thinking about employees who’ve done this work previously, what set apart those who were good from those who were great?
- How long do you think it would take someone to be up and running in this position?
- How would you describe your leadership style?
- If a staff member comes to you with a problem, how do you usually address it?
- How do you like to delegate tasks?
- How do you monitor the performance of individual team members?
- What would you like me to know about you as a leader?
“The hiring manager won’t go into explicit detail about everyone, but they may share basic information about colleagues, managers and explain the size of the team and company structure,” Gorton says.
- Would I be working with a small or large team, and can you tell me a little more about the people I’d be working with?
- Who would I be reporting to and what would my contact with that person look like?
- Will I have a chance to meet my potential manager or colleagues during this process?
- How would you describe the dynamics of the team that I’d be working with?
- If I’m successful, do you have someone in my team who would act as a mentor or ‘buddy’ for the first little while?
“If you’ve done your research on the company, you may know these answers, but ask them anyway and listen carefully for the qualities most important to you. For example, employee appreciation, company-paid employee development opportunities, casual dress, and so on,” Gorton says.
- How would you describe the workplace culture?
- What do you enjoy most about working here?
- What would your staff say the most challenging thing about working here is?
- What are some of the biggest opportunities the company has at the moment and what does this mean for the staff?
- What makes people want to continue working at this company?
Training and development
These questions can help you find out if and how the company could help you stay on top of the latest news and best practices in your industry, Gorton says. For example, you may want to find out if you’d be able attend conferences or register for online courses.
- What types of professional development opportunities are offered?
- If I was offered this role, is there any training you think I’d need to undertake immediately?
- What do you imagine the career path to be for someone in this role?
- How do you help your team members grow and develop professionally?
- Can you tell me about your employee performance review processes?
“Learning more about the key objectives of the organisation will help to determine how you can play a part in achieving them,” Gorton says. “Asking about goals can also help you get a feel for the company’s performance and any struggles it may be facing.”
- What is the company strategic plan for the next 12 months, and how will it impact this role?
- What are the next steps in the interview process?
- Could you tell me the timeline for making a decision and when you think I can expect to hear from you?
- Is there anything else you need from me to help you make your decision?
- Is there anything that we haven’t discussed that you think is important for me to know about working here?
These questions can help you determine whether the role is right for you, and show your potential employer that you’re enthusiastic, interested and prepared. When it’s your turn for questions, ask a range of them so you can close off your interview with confidence.