What Questions Should I Ask at the End of an Interview?
At the end of almost every interview, you’ll be asked whether you have any questions for the interviewer. And you may be surprised at how few people are prepared for this stage of the interview. Admittedly, it can be difficult to come up with original questions that haven’t already been covered during the interview. But there are a number of things you can ask which are unlikely to be discussed, and that show your interest in the role.
The trick is to have several questions lined up, so even if your interviewer brings up a few of them, you’ll have more questions in reserve for the end! We’ve come up with several questions you can ask once an interview has finished, which may also inspire a couple of your own!
What is the Purpose of an Interview?
Job interviews are an opportunity for both the candidate and the company to learn more about each other. For you as the candidate, this means that an interview is a chance to showcase your skills, and run through your past experience. You need to demonstrate that you’re capable of fulfilling the role, and whether you’d fit in with the rest of the team.
You should also bear in mind that an interview can help you decide whether you want to work for a particular company. Just because you’re offered a job doesn’t mean you have to take it - if you got a slightly weird vibe during the interview, you may decide to turn the position down.
What Should You Expect During an Interview?
For most people, an interview means stress. No matter how much you prepare, you can’t predict what questions you’ll be asked, and there is often a lot of pressure to impress. And when we’re stressed, it can be more difficult to articulate ourselves in the way we want. But there are some things that just about every interview will have in common, so you can do your best to psych yourself up for it!
During the interview itself, you’ll be asked about your employment history, and will probably need to give specific examples of your achievements. So if you’ve worked in a similar role, or performed identical tasks in previous jobs, you can essentially show that you’re ready to step into the position straight away, with little additional training required.
At the end of the interview, you’ll be asked whether you have any questions about the job, the company as a whole, or perhaps your department. As tempting as it may be to say that you have no questions, you do need to come prepared with a few.
Why Should You Ask Questions?
If you’ve done enough research on the business, or have worked in the exact same role before, you may not have any good questions to ask. But asking these questions isn’t just about getting an answer - it’s also a way to show your enthusiasm for the position, and hopefully demonstrate that you were engaged during the interview. So don’t ask something that has been discussed at length during the interview!
Candidates who ask questions at the end of an interview also tend to get a better feel for the business, so can often gage how satisfied they’d be in the role. You might therefore wish to ask a few questions about the company once the interview is finished, to see if it would be a good fit for you.
You may not want to save all your questions for the end though. While it’s important to save a couple of questions until after the interview, you should also be asking questions throughout. The whole point of an interview is to find out whether the candidate and the business are a good fit for each other. This means that it should be a conversation, not an interrogation! The interviewer wants to know if you’d fit in with the company culture, and you should be trying to determine this at the same time.
Good Questions to Ask in an Interview
It’s a good idea to go into an interview with a short list of questions for the end, in case several of them are addressed during the conversation. Diverse questions would be best, so a few about the business, the team, the role, as well as your training and development. We’ve listed a few examples below, to help you get started:
- What does a typical day in the role look like?
- What sort of projects would my team be working on?
- What are the main challenges in the role, particularly in the first six months?
- What is the training process?
- How do you see this role developing over time?
- Where do you see the business heading in the next few years?
- Can you tell me more about the team I’d be working with?
- Does this team work closely with any other departments?
- Who would I be reporting to?
- How would you describe the company culture?
And at the very end, perhaps make sure the interviewer has all they need from you, or if you’re able to provide them with anything else that would be helpful. This should not only help the application process run more smoothly, it will also demonstrate how keen you are about the job role.
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