Asking questions during (or answering the ‘do you have any questions for us?’ question at the end of a job interview) can be daunting. In fact, to not ask the interviewer(s) any questions is often seen as somewhat of an interview faux pas, and so it’s important to arrive prepared with a few options in mind.
We recommend having between 3-5 questions prepared ahead of the interview day. This way, should a couple of them be answered during the interview process, then you will still have a couple of options to-hand that you feel comfortable asking.
It sounds simple, but there are a few reasons why it’s so important to prepare and to consider your choice of question(s) carefully:
- You don’t want to ask a question with an obvious answer
The interviewer will have expected you to carry out some research before the interview day. This means you should know the basics about the company – including what the company does, its mission statement, the size of the company, how many branches there are etc.
Try not to ask a question that a quick Google search or read of the company website couldn’t answer.
- You want to demonstrate your interest in the company and role
Throughout the interview process, you will no doubt want both your qualifications and enthusiasm to shine through. Asking questions is a great way to both reaffirm your credentials as a candidate, and demonstrate a genuine interest in the role.
- The interview process is a two-way street
It’s important to remember that as much as you are interviewing for the role, you should also be assessing whether or not the role is right for you. That’s why it’s important to be asking the right questions that will ultimately help you to decide whether or not you would like to accept the job, should you be offered it.
5 Example Questions to Ask at a Job Interview
Of course, the questions that you shortlist to ask during your interview, should ideally be specific to the company and job role that you are applying for, but to help give you some direction, we’ve shortlisted some good questions that you could take with you to your interview. Better still, we’ve detailed why they are good questions to ask:
What do you particularly like and dislike about working here?
This is a great question to ask to find out more about the working environment, and also about your interviewer. After all, your interviewer may be the person you end up working alongside or reporting to.
Their response may also help you decide whether this is a role you would be happy in and whether you would enjoy working alongside the interviewer. Remember, you may spend more time working in this new job than you do enjoying your free time – so liking the role and who you work for is crucial.
What would my typical day / week / month look like working in this role, and what problems would I be able to help solve for the team?
The answers to this question will help you to get a feel for what your typical day would look like and then you can decide whether that sounds like a mix of work that you would enjoy. It will also give you an immediate idea of an objective and understand how you can add value to the team.
Do you feel that there are any reasons why I wouldn’t be right for this role?
This is a great question because it shows guts. Rather than waiting for feedback after the interview, it allows you to get some while you’re still in the room. Avoid getting defensive when responding to their answers, but it gives you a good opportunity to address any reservations your interviewers may have head on.
Do you offer any regular training or professional development opportunities as part of the role?
If you can, suggest some specific things that you would be interested in being trained up on. Should you be successful, you could be trained either in-house by your employer’s team, or off-site by an external company. Either way, it’s a good question that allows you to show knowledge and a desire to learn the subject matter, as well as receive assurances that you will be looked after and have the opportunity to develop in the role.
Would there be opportunities for me to progress within the business as part of this role?
Speaking of development, it’s important to remember that (in the case of most job applications), you are applying for a career – not a stop-gap job. This is why it’s a good idea to ask about the opportunities for progression within the role and whether you can expect regular reviews and salary reviews.
As important as it is to be armed with questions – you can also expect to answer some difficult questions. Perhaps the most difficult question to answer at an interview is the ‘what are your salary expectations?’ question. If the thought of answering this question has you feeling nervous, then check out our earlier blog where we run through how to answer questions about salary expectations in an interview situation.
The above are just five of our question suggestions, but if you feel that you need more help in your job search, then visit the careers section of the University of Salford website, or visit our careers team. You can find more information about the help on offer at https://www.salford.ac.uk/askus/work-and-careers.