Although it might not always feel like it, a job interview is a two-way street. The interviewer will try to dig beneath your polished veneer (hopefully) to find out what really makes you tick, but there comes a time when the tables will turn. At the end of every interview, applicants will be given the chance to ask a question or two of their own, and this is not an opportunity you should waste.
In this article, we’re going to take a look at four questions to ask in a job interview to show how committed you are to the role and to reveal a few insights that will help you make a more informed decision about the position.
1. “Is there anything on my CV or that we’ve discussed that makes you question whether I’m a good fit for the role?”
There’s no beating around the bush with this question, and nor should there be. This is your one chance to address any concerns the interviewer has before they make their final decision. Even if you don’t get the job, the interviewer’s response will highlight the skills, character traits and the parts of your CV that you may need to work on in the future.
2. “What are the key challenges the person you hire will face in this role?”
Getting a job interview is hard, but so is dragging yourself out of bed every day to do a job that you hate. This is your opportunity to make sure that doesn’t happen. Although the job description will provide some essential information about the role, it will only tell you what the employer wants you to know.
By asking this question, you can try to dig beneath those corporate cliches to understand what day-to-day life in the role will be like. For example, are there budgetary constraints that will make it difficult to put your plans into action, or are there interdepartmental politics that you’ll constantly have to battle against?
3. “What do you like most about working here?”
This is a great question to ask as it puts the interviewer on the spot and could potentially reveal more about the organisation than any amount of research you can do. Of course, the interviewer is under no obligation to tell you the truth, but you might be able to read between the lines.
For example, if they respond enthusiastically and tell you how wonderful the culture is and how well employees are looked after, that’s a great sign. However, if their response is stilted, delayed, lacking detail or quite flat, you could potentially conclude that it’s not a great place to work.
4. “Where are the people who have held this position before me now?”
“Are there opportunities for career progression?” is one of the most common questions to ask in a job interview, but we think this question asks for a little more detail and makes it difficult for the interviewer to be vague.
If previous holders of the position have been promoted and are now further up the chain, that’s a great sign that there’s scope for career progression and that the organisation promotes from within. If they’ve left to go elsewhere, it could be a sign that the only way to progress is to leave, or that the organisation is not one that people tend to hang around in for a long period of time.
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