Are you asking the right questions when on interview?

Are you asking the right questions when on interview?
Article contributed by Paul Wheeler
Written on 12 March 2015

How many of us say, "Er, no thanks" or "I am sure I will think of some later" when asked by an interviewer if we have any questions?

What does this say to the interviewer? That you are happy with everything they have said and everything that they haven't?

An interview is a 2 way street - it has to be right for both parties, otherwise there may be issues further down the line, so if you want the right answers, you have to ask the right questions.

So, lets suppose that you are in the interview, have researched the company, the job role and the person who will be interviewing you, you have impressed with your knowledge and understanding and given some good examples of scenarios in relation to the interviewers questions. Thats the start and middle part of the interview taken care of, but now it is drawing to the end you need to close it effectively. In short, questions will be expected.

Here are some examples of questions you may like to ask:

1. What is the largest problem facing your team and how could I help you solve this problem?

Here you are showing the potential employer that you will be a valuable member of the team and because its a question based in the future, it helps the interviewer to see you in the position.

2. What do you like about the company?

Here you are relating to the interviewer in a personal manner and therefore making a connection. It was also give you a good idea of the benefits of working with the company and if the answer does not have any enthusiasm attached, that could be an indication of any warning signs.

3. Who would I be working directly with?

Not only will the answer give you a good idea of the people you will be working with on a daily basis, you are speaking in the future tense again, assuming you will get the job. "Positive thought projection"

4. Who was the previous person in the role?

It is a good idea to research on social media previous to an interview to find out who the person in the position was / is. This way you can compare your skill set with theirs to ensure that you are on the right tracks when it comes to the position itself. You may also find out why the person is leaving / no longer in the position, this could give you a better insight as to any promotions in the future, staffing conflicts, organisational issues etc

5. How would my performance be measured/managed?

There will possibly be KPI's (Key Performance Indicators) expected in the role which will be used to measure your performance, so you need to understand these requirements and ensure that you feel comfortable that you can achieve these targets effectively.

6. Where to from here?

When the interview has come to the end, you should definitely ask what happens next. The interviewer may give away clues here: "we have a few more people to interview", " we will let your agency know", "we will contact you if you are successful to invite you back for a second interview"

If, you are offered the position on the spot, think very carefully as to why. Although it is flattering, it may be wise to say you feel flattered and ask for time to think, obtain the offer in writing and set a deadline with an answer.

Remember, you don't get if you don't ask.

Walker Andersen - It's all about time