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Turn the tables: questions to ask at an interview

Turn the tables: questions to ask at an interview, image by Eleaf
Image by Eleaf

When your half-hour interrogation at the hands of the interviewer is at an end it is your turn to pose the questions. The interview is a two-way process and inevitably, you will be asked if you have any questions. Obviously you are out to impress the interviewer with your capabilities and potential to do the job but it is equally important to get the information needed to establish if you want to work for the company.

Never pass up the opportunity to ask the interviewer questions. If you do, not only will you miss out on gaining useful additional information, but you will seem disinterested, passive and, worst of all, lacking the intelligence to think of any! It is important that your questions display common sense and are not just asked for the sake of it. Base your questions around these four areas: the organisation, the role, the interviewer and closing the interview.

Here are some examples of questions you can ask in these areas:

The organisation
-Where does the company stand in the market in relation to it competitors?
-What has been the growth pattern of the company over the past five years?
-What obstacles does the organisation expect to meet to achieve its goals?
-What is the organisational structure of the company?
-Does the company provide training?

The role
-Where will I be based?
-How is success in the role measured?
-What promotional opportunities are available?
-Who will I be working with and who will be my boss?
-Why is the job vacant?

The interviewer
-How did you decide to join the company?
-How long have you been working at the company?
-Why do you like working here?

Closing the interview
-Do you have any concerns about my experience and/or qualifications?
-When should I expect to hear from you?
-What is the next step?

By asking insightful and relevant questions you will demonstrate a genuine interest in the role you are applying for. If you find yourself searching unsuccessfully for an appropriate question simply say that you think they have already covered everything you wanted to ask. When you are invited to ask questions remember that in reality this is another chance for the interviewer to assess you; so be prepared!


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