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The questions you should be asking at interview

By on 09.12.15 in Your Job Search

A job interview is not just about you - the candidate - being grilled to find out your suitability for a particular role, it is also your chance to ask questions of your own. Indeed it is a vital part of the selection process, so it is important to be properly prepared. It is no good sitting there with a blank look on your face when it's your turn to do the asking. You need to show your curiosity and interest - try and combine questions about the job and the company. 

There are two main reasons why you should be asking well thought out questions. Firstly, when done well, it confirms to your future employer that you are, without doubt, qualified to do the job. Secondly, you are interviewing your employer, just as much as they are you - so it is your chance to dig deeper into the culture of the organisation and their way of working. In short, you want to be as certain of them as they are of you. 

There are any number of questions you could ask at an interview, but you want to keep it focused to a couple of topics. It is best not to bring up holidays, benefits or bonuses at this stage. A lot of employers will tell you about them as you progress through the process. Here at Direct Recruitment, we recommend you prepare between three and five questions to ask. Having a couple of extra ones up your sleeve is a good idea, since we find that some of the questions are frequently answered during the course of the interview. 

Here are a few we think you might want to consider: 

What sort of skills and experience makes an ideal candidate in your opinion? This is a great open-ended question that will see the interviewer lay their cards on the table. They have to tell you exactly what they are looking for, so it is your chance to highlight your skills set if they mention anything that has not already been covered.

You could also ask 'what is the biggest challenge your staff has to face and how do you think I might contribute to solving it?' This is a great question to ask. It will make your potential employer think about you working at the company and you are showing your collaborative approach to working by seeing yourself as being part of the answer. 

Asking how they determine KPI's and what constitutes success in the role you are applying for is a good to know. Even at this early stage, it is essential to get a handle on their expectations of you and the role. Your interviewer should be able to clearly set out goals and how they will be measured. If they can't, then alarm bells should be ringing loudly in your ears. 

Quiz your potential employer about the team you will be working with, ask them about staff turnover and why the person who previously fulfilled your role left. If the culture is good, then turnover should be low. An honest answer about why the vacancy has arisen - be it good or bad - will help you gauge whether this company is for you. 

Make sure you ask about continuous professional development. A company who invests in its talent with regular training is more likely to retain its talent than one who puts no emphasis on it. Furthermore, it lets the interviewer know that you are ambitious and want to learn and develop. 

Just before you leave, do ask about the next steps in the recruitment process. Ideally, get some sort of timeframe to expect feedback in and ask when the next round is scheduled. Once you are out, do call us for a debrief. We will speak to the client ourselves, but it is good to get in first with your perspective on how the interview went.