This is your chance to learn more about the company, their vision and values, and how this aligns with the future role you’re hoping to score.
There comes a time in every job interview when candidates finally get the chance to ask a few questions of their own. Not only is this an opportunity to show you’re invested in the position, it allows you to demonstrate your critical thinking skills while ensuring the role and company are the right fit for you. More often than not, this time isn’t always used to its full potential. Occasionally candidates get flustered and forget the questions they had in mind and other times they’re just not sure of the hard-hitting questions they really need answers to. The following list of questions will help guide you toward discovering everything you need to know about the new role and the organisation you’re looking to join.
Getting back to basics
OK, before we get started – it’s important to remember your questions should ideally cover both generic and specific parts of the role you’re interviewing for. This means some of them will need to be quite general, whereas others will need to be way more detailed based on the role itself.
- How would you best describe the culture at this company?
If you’re the kind of person who works best around likeminded individuals, or for organisations that align to your own interests and values – chances are you’ll be happier in your role, do better work, and remain with the company for longer if you find a job that ticks these boxes. You want to make sure the organisation is the right fit for you – not just the other way around. This question is also a great way for you to suss out whether the company has demanding expectations of its employees when it comes to working out-of-hours or more socially relevant issues such as whether they actively promote team bonding and after-hours socialising.
- What do you love about working at this company?
This is always a fun question to ask any recruiter because it gives them a chance to speak from their own experience. This question not only ensures you get a solid idea of the culture within the business but gives you insight from someone who already works there. In getting such a personal sense of a company, you’ll be able to figure out very quickly whether it’s somewhere that will likely see you flourish going forward.
- What is an average day like in the office?
While each role may have different expectations and needs, it’s still worth asking this question to get a good sense of how the organisation operates day to day. You may know about the requirements of the role but how does that translate into the everyday? While this question is an important one – keep in mind it may be better reserved until your second interview.
- What are the salary expectations for this role?
Yes, money is hard to talk about and yes it can be super awkward to bring up the salary discussion but it’s important to ensure you and your interviewer are on the same page – particularly as time is so precious these days. If the position has a certain salary range that is way below your expectations, it’s important to know early on, and not after your third interview when you’ve committed a lot of time and effort into the recruitment process.
- What are some of the biggest challenges an employee in this position might be likely to face?
While the job description may have gone into deliverables and requirements of candidates, it’s important to get down to specifics if you’ve made it to the interview stage. This question will allow you to not only decide on whether you’re qualified or overqualified for the role – it may give you an opportunity to pre-empt or forward-plan your responses to any future questions if you get a second or third interview.
- Can you tell me a little bit more about the team you’ll be working with?
This question is super important when it comes to building your understanding of the everyday realities of your role. Is the team small or large? Will you be working solely with your team or do you collaborate with others? The more you know about your team, the better you’ll understand your role within it.
- Why has this position become available?
While you may not always get the most honest response to this question, it helps establish the context of the position if you know why it’s suddenly become available. Perhaps there’s been an internal promotion? Or perhaps the role is totally new, and this is a chance for you to shape it and make it your own? The answer to this question will help you decide on the approach you take to the position if you’re offered the role later down the track.
- What are you most excited about when it comes to this company’s future?
Again, by asking the recruiter a question that relates to their own thoughts, expectations and experiences within the organisation is a great way to get a true sense of the internal culture. It also ends the interview on a positive note for both you and the recruiter – leaving a hint of promise and excitement in the air.