Often candidates spend all their preparation time preparing answers to questions from an interviewer – when in fact there will likely be the opportunity for you to ask questions too! And the questions you ask can be a strong reflection on you as a candidate – so it’s well worth preparing 1 or 2 really good questions for your interviewer as well:
1. “What are the next steps in the hiring process?” – often a good closing question, demonstrating that you’re keen to progress and confident that you’re a credible candidate. Often candidates will ask “when am I likely to hear” which can come across a little pushy – a broader question on the process demonstrates an understanding that recruitment can be tricky and that you’re willing to be flexible to that.
2. “What are the typical career paths for those that succeed in this role?” – this question demonstrates that you are ambitious for a bright future beyond this role, but that you understand the importance of earning that – ie succeeding in this job first.
3. “What do you see as the key deliverables for the successful candidate in the first 6 months?” – shows that you’re enthusiastic and keen to start planning how you’re going to succeed in the role.
There are a couple to use with real caution – or even avoid!
4. “What impact has Brexit had on this department? (Or any other current affairs topic) – whilst this can demonstrate a strong environmental awareness for factors that might be opportunities / threats for the future, only open up a discussion about a topic like this if you are ready for an informed debate on it! Best to avoid controversial topics altogether – you’re not likely to know which side of the fence your interviewer sits on and it’s a big gamble to take!
5. “What are the hours like” – there’s a risk of coming across as uncommitted if you’re already worrying about working long hours before you’ve been offered the job!
6. “Can I take holiday at any point in the year” – while you might legitimately need to find this out due to family commitments it’s best to wait until you’ve been offered the job to ask this question. It would also be worth rephrasing it to “at what time of year are there generally restriction on taking annual leave”. When thinking about your questions to ask the interviewer try to put yourself in their shoes and imagine how your question would come across to them.
Top tip – while your interview is important and will be prevalent in your mind remember that this is just one part of the application process. Make sure you balance your time and allocate sufficient time to preparing for your assessment centre day and psychometric tests. Remember numerical reasoning tests and verbal reasoning tests are the psychometric tests most commonly used by employers so it’s important to focus on these types of tests.