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Andrew Arkley|August 2, 2017

Questions To Ask In A Job Interview

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It’s all very well answering them, but many people fall down when it comes to thinking up questions to ask in a job interview.

You already know that it’s a good idea to thoroughly practice answers to common interview questions, and when the interviewer asks the inevitable ‘do you have any questions for me?’ you should be just as prepared.

Remember, this part of the interview is your opportunity to demonstrate your research, knowledge and interest in the company and gauge whether it’s right for you.

By not having pre-prepared questions to ask the interviewer or hiring manager, you can appear disinterested and underprepared. Getting it right, however, will help you end on a positive note and differentiate yourself from other candidates. 

Without further ado, here are some of the best questions to ask in a job interview.

Ask about the people 

You’ll spend a lot of time with your co-workers, and your relationships with them will largely shape your experience at the company.

With this in mind, it’s a smart move to try and get an idea of how people at the company interact. This will also help you uncover a bit about the company culture, and how you would fit into it.

Try questions like:

· Can you tell me about the team I’ll be working with?

· Who is someone you admire in the company, and why?

· What sort of things does the team do together?

· How would you describe the company culture?

· How would you describe the management style?

· Does work tend to be more collaborative or more independent?

Ask about progression

On paper it may seem like your dream job, but if it isn’t leading in the right direction, it might not be the role for you.

Use one of your questions to try and ascertain what sort of opportunities there are for progression, both within the role and onwards, and what the company will do to support your development.

Try asking the interviewer questions like:

· Are there opportunities for training or professional development?

· What does success look like in this company?

· How will my success be measured in the first month / 3 months / 6 months?

· Where have previous employees in this position progressed to?

· What career paths are there in this company?

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Ask what they like about the company

This question will keep the conversation moving in a positive direction while giving you a glimpse into how much the interviewer enjoys working for the company, and what you could expect if you took the role.

It may also help to uncover red flags; if the interviewer finds it difficult to answer the question, it could be an indication of a less-than-desirable work environment.

Try questions like:

· What do you like most about working here?

· If you could improve one thing about the company, what would it be?

· What achievements are you most proud of in your job?

· What do you think sets this company apart from its competitors?

· What does a great day look like to you?

Ask about challenges

As with the previous question, asking about what makes the interviewer’s job difficult will give you an insight into the inner life of the company and could prevent unpleasant surprises later on.

It may reveal something about the sort of support employees receive when they face obstacles, and what resources and procedures are in place to help them perform well.

Try questions like:

· What are the current challenges that this department / team faces?

· What is the biggest challenge you see the company facing in the next five years?

· What can I do in my first 30/60/90 days that will most help you and the team?

· What are the biggest hurdles the team faces in helping the company achieve its goals?

Ask what they’re looking for

There’s no harm in clarifying exactly what the company is looking for from their new hire. Asking this question will help you judge whether you’re a good match for the role.

It will also give you an opportunity to talk about any accomplishments or skills you haven’t already mentioned, and address any concerns the interviewer has about your suitability.

Try questions like:

· What sort of skills are you hoping the person in this role will bring to the team?

· What qualities would someone need to be successful in this role?

· What makes the difference between someone who is just fine in this role and someone who excels?

· Is there anything about my experience that concerns you in terms of me being a good fit for the role?

· What does an average day or week for someone in this position look like?

· Are there any day-to-day responsibilities that aren’t included in the job description?

· Are there any weaknesses from my CV or interview that you’d like me to clarify?

Ask about the next steps

The wait for a response after a job interview can be as stressful as the preparation for the interview itself. 

No two interviewers have the exact same hiring process, so it can be helpful to use this opportunity to get an idea of their timeline.

Try questions like:

· When can I expect to hear back from you?

· If I’m successful, what are the next steps in the hiring process?

· What can I start working on now so that I can be more effective if I’m hired?

Questions to ask in a job interview: summing up

There’s a lot of scope when it comes to good questions to ask in a job interview, so think carefully about what you want to know about the company.

It’s not just about collecting information for yourself though. The questions you ask at the end of an interview will give the interviewer an idea of what you value in an employer, and what you’re interested in.

And one final tip – prepare more questions than you think are necessary. You might find some of them get answered during the main body of the interview – and you don’t want to ask something you should already know!

Good luck! Of course, before you get to this point, you’ll need to get yourself an interview – and for that you’ll need a killer CV. Why not use PurpleCV’s CV writing service to make yours the best it can be?

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