Great questions to ask in a job interview
When you get to the end of a job interview you can feel like you’ve gone 12 rounds and you just want to go home, take off your nice clothes and rock in a corner. So when the interviewer asks if you have any questions, a lot of you will simply shake your head and stand up to leave. That is a terrible mistake.
Until this point the interviewer has led the interview. Even if you have responded admirably to every question, this is a chance to show another side of you. This is a chance to take charge, grab it. The candidate that comes armed with sincere and interesting questions will stand out head and shoulders above the rest.
Here are a few good questions to get you started, and have follow-ups planned.
1. What are the possibilities for progression?
It shows you’re looking to the long term, it shows ambition and it shows you believe in yourself enough to see yourself climbing the ladder. An interviewer will be delighted to hear this question because they know they can invest in this employee and there will be real prospects of you staying for a long time.
Hiring the wrong person is expensive, but a good employee leaving can cost the company as much as three times your annual salary by the time it all shakes out. A good employee that wants to stay and work their way through the ranks, then, is worth their weight in gold.
2. What do you offer in terms of in-house training?
Again, it shows that you’re looking to the future and you want to better yourself from the outset. This is an admirable quality as it shows that you’re not content to simply take the job and watch the clock. Anybody that wants to take on extra work to improve their position is going to be a safe bet in terms of attitude and application.
3. What happened to the last employee in my position?
What you want to hear is that they have been promoted within the company, or they left to take a high paid job elsewhere with all the skills they acquired. You don’t want to hear they are in the local institution after being driven mad. Ask this with a smile and the interviewer will know that you’re prepared to ask challenging questions, but you’ve done it the right way.
4. How will my success be measured?
Word it this way and it sounds confident and clear, and it also invites them to tell you about the corporate philosophy. You want to hear about regular appraisals, a friendly approach to work and a clear set of guidelines and, where appropriate, targets that are defined at the start. This is a question that you really need to be satisfied with, as companies with no clear objectives for their staff can turn into the hardest taskmasters.
5. Will I have someone I can ask as and when things come up?
This question is good on a number of levels. It positions you in the job in everybody’s mind, it shows a level of humility and an understanding that you simply cannot know everything – and the answer will tell you a great deal about the team environment.
There are more, there are always more, but this is a good start and should put you head and shoulders above the vast majority of candidates.
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