Most people get nervous over job interviews, and understandably so. You’ve got to impress the interviewer over countless other candidates, which can be stressful. With so much on your mind it’s no surprise that most people forget that interviews go both ways and, when given the chance, you should push your interviewer with some well thought out questions. But which questions should you definitely ask, and which ones should you avoid at all costs?
When you interview your interviewer, you should strive to achieve three things: make sure the interviewer has no reservations about you, demonstrate your interest in both the role and the company, and find out if this employer is the right fit for you.
To accomplish this, you should prepare three to five questions per interview, although you may only get to ask three as a good interview will answer some of your questions before you’re given the chance to ask. In this article we will be discussing the five best and five worst questions you could ask your interviewer.
5 Best Questions to Ask
1. What skills and experiences would make an ideal candidate?
This is a great open-ended question which can cause the employer to state exactly what it is they’re looking for. If the interviewer mentions anything you have yet to cover, this provides you with the chance to revise your answers and address those needs or concerns.
2. What are the biggest challenges facing your staff?
Every successful business is challenged by problems, so employers are always on the lookout for problem-solvers. This question allows you to show that you’re thinking about how you can help the team before you’ve even started. On top of this, it can sometimes encourage the interviewer to envision you working in the position. This can also give you a sense of how the company will see you when you’ve started your role, as if they won’t be able to tell you what you can help with, you may not be as valued as you’d like.
3. What constitutes success in this position and how is it measured?
This question promotes your interest in being successful and will answer how you get ahead in this company. Listen closely to the answer, as depending on how it lines up with your own motivations it can be a good indication of if this employer is a good fit for you.
4. What training or professional education do you offer here?
You should never stop learning throughout your whole career and most employers will be looking for people who are willing to embrace this. By asking this question you can show the interviewer you’re keen to expand your knowledge and skills; ultimately growing with the company.
5. What is the next step in the process?
This should be the last question and one you should always try and ask. If you want to proceed, it will show that you’re interested in moving forward, and invites the interviewer to tell you about the how you will progress and possibly even what your competition for the role is looking like.
With a bit of luck, there won’t be a next step as they’ll offer you the job.
5 Worst Questions to Ask
1. How much does this job pay?
When asked at the wrong time, this can be one of the worst questions to pose to a potential employer. During the interview phase, you will want to come across as interested in the job, the employer and the work you will be doing. Expressing interest in the salary too early on could be counter-productive. The general rule of thumb is to wait for the employer to approach the subject themselves once a job offer has been made. If you’re working through an agency (such as Beyond!) then we can help negotiate this after your interview.
2. What kind of company is this?
Asking what the employer does emphasises how little research and preparation you conducted prior to attending the interview. With most companies having a website and social media, there is no reason you shouldn’t have any knowledge of the company you’re interviewing with.
3. How many hours will I have to work and do you expect me to work weekends?
Asking about the hours you would be working could imply that you’re hoping to work as little as possible. Whilst it is important to know what hours you are expected to work, this can again be highlighted and negotiated once an offer has been made.
4. How did I do?
It’s only natural to want to find out how you performed during an interview and receiving feedback is vital to improving your interviewing technique. However, asking during an interview puts your interviewer on the spot and they are rarely in a position to answer properly. Once the interview has concluded, you can formally request feedback via email during the follow up phase.
5. Not asking questions at all.
Showing a lack of interest or comprehension by not asking questions during the interview process is by far the worst thing you can do. It could make you look desperate and willing to take any job under any circumstances.
As you can see, there are a good number of varied questions you can ask employers which do more than just provide a little insight into their business. Carefully thought out questions can really promote your interest for the role, enthusiasm to work for their company and your desire to learn new skills. You can also use these questions to make an informed decision on whether or not the specific job and company is the right fit for you. If you need further advice on attending interviews, then feel free to get in touch with one of our consultants today.