Interview advice usually focuses on how you should answer questions, not how you should ask them. When your interviewer throws it over to you for questions, don’t be stuck for something to say!
An interview is not only your chance to impress your future boss, but also a marvellous opportunity for you to get a look behind the scenes of the company and to figure out if you really want to work there. Before you make any formal commitment, it’s important that you’re fully clued in about what to expect.
Visiting the HQ for your interview lets you get a sense of the company culture, the vibe within the office itself and how the staff interacts. During the interview itself, you have an invaluable opportunity to mine a potential employer for info when they throw it over to you for questions. Don’t go overboard, but have two or three in your head that you can use. Here are a few good questions to ask if you’re really stuck for inspiration.
How would you describe the work culture here?
This question is important because while it’s interesting to hear what an interviewer will tell you about the company culture, it’s also good to hear how they talk about it. This will say a lot about the lived culture within the company so make sure to have your BS-detector switched on for this one. It also shows that you’re eager to get the best out of your performance as part of the team in a way that works for everyone.
What does success look like for the company in the next few years?
As a potential employee, it’s good to know that your future employers have a clear vision of where to take the company. If you have a sense of the wider vision, it’ll be easier for you to see where you fit into that. It’s also important for employers to see that you care about being part of their long-term goals and plan to be with the company for a significant amount of time.
How do you see this role contributing to the larger company goals?
This question shows that you’re eager to visualise yourself as part of the company, and are eager to make an impact on its success. This gives the impression that you’re a self-starter who wants to hit the ground running. It also tells you how much the company has considered their hiring strategy.
Is there scope for promotion in the future?
This is a good question because it shows that you’re ambitious and eager to grow within the organisation, instead of soaking up experience and then taking it elsewhere. It also shows that you’re not looking for a job that you can coast in, but one where you can keep challenging yourself and developing your skills. This is good news for any employer.
How is performance measured and reviewed?
This question highlights the fact that you appreciate the value of real results, and that you understand that you’re expected to deliver on expectations. Every employer is looking for a ROI (return on investment) on each hire, and by asking about performance review protocols, it shows that you’ve already got your eye on the prize.
What are the major challenges facing the company right now, and how could I contribute to overcoming them?
Every company in every industry faces a host of obstacles. Whether they’re trying to break into a market, or trying to maintain their place at the top of it, there will always be problems that need solutions. By asking this, you’re showing that you take an active interest in the business challenges ahead, and are willing to take ownership of beating them.