Your job interview is also a time for you to learn more about the company you’re interviewing for. When you’ve answered their questions about you, it’s time to turn the tables. But what are the best questions to ask in your job interview?
That moment when your interviewer says ‘Have you got any questions you’d like to ask me?’ They’re hoping to find out how interested in the role you really are. It’ll also give them a steer on how thoroughly you’ve prepared.
But these few minutes are also a chance for you to find out if the role and company is right for you. So don’t waste your chance to dig down into some vital information. This will help you decide if they should be your future employer.
So, avoid an awkward silence, and maybe even career tumbleweed. Have these best questions to ask in your job interview, up your sleeve ready to go.
Best question: ‘What are the biggest strengths you’re looking for in this role?’
Why ask it? Depending on your interview’s answer to this question, you can use your next reply to highlight your own strengths. Hopefully you’ve already done this in the main part of the interview, so this gives you another shot.
For example, let’s say your interviewer cites teamwork as the most important strength their ideal candidate has. You can then bring up an example of when your teamwork and collaboration skills have helped you succeed in another role.
Best question: ‘What would my first two months in this role look like?’
Why ask it? Asking a question that commits your interviewer to a timeline shows you take forward planning seriously. It’s also your chance to try and picture yourself in the job. If you don’t get told about any upcoming projects or don’t seem to be included in any of the key objectives your team’s tackling in the first few months then that could be an alarm bell.
Best question: ‘Can you tell me what kind of roles people in this position have gone on to do?’
Why ask it? Obviously, if the last three people in this role quit because of stress, it’s unlikely that your interviewer will be in a sharing mood. But asking about the career progression of your predecessors can give valuable hints about the type of grounding this role will give you for the next steps in your career. It could also show how seriously the employer takes training and development.
Best question: ‘While I was doing my research, I noticed that your company [insert fact here]. Can you tell me more about that?’
Why ask it? Chances are you know a brief history of the company. You may also know what they want their next steps to be.
But asking something that’s based on the research you did while preparing for this interview can take things one step further. You could mention something you spotted on LinkedIn or Instagram, the company’s news page archive or a press release that’s gone out.
Best question: What’s your favourite thing about working here?
Most interviewers are used to the tables being turned on them and so might have something they answer every time. It’s still interesting to find out what they value in their working day.
If their eyes light up with genuine enthusiasm about their workplace, that’s great. But if they seem to be trotting something out or their eyes glaze over while they’re answering, it could be a hint of things to come.
In fact we’d probably add this to our list of warning signs to look out for during a video interview.
Best question: ‘Do you think I’m a good fit for this role?’
OK, asking this question takes guts and you might possibly be cringing inside if you do ask this. But it shows you’re self-aware and are committed to getting this job.
Your interviewer may bat the question away by saying that they’re going to be reviewing everyone who’s interviewed and will get back to them. They could also be honest enough to express doubts about a part of your CV or your career history. And that will give you a chance to try to alleviate any concerns and show you’d be a good fit after all.
Plus, this moment will give your would-be boss a taster of how you take constructive criticism if you do end up getting the job.
Spending some time thinking about the best questions to ask in your job interview won’t just help impress your interviewer. Going through this process before you meet will benefit you, too. It will help you think more about what you want from the role, as well as what you’re looking for from the next company you join.