An inquisitive candidate is an interested one...
There's a moment in every job interview when the tables turn. A moment, usually toward the end, when all of a sudden the interviewer becomes the interviewee.
While you may have stayed up late the night before rehearsing your answers to those tricky - but always asked - questions: 'What's your biggest weakness?', why are you right for the role?' and 'where do you see yourself in five years time?'. Responding in the right way is essential if you want to be seriously considered for the job. Yet when the tables turn - which they will - and you respond with a 'Um, yeah, um, so, do you like working here?', then you may have just thrown the interview away.
The right questions cannot only make you more appealing to your potential new employer, but they're also a chance for you to check that you really want the job on offer.
But what are these right questions we speak of? Great question! And you're in luck, because we've got the answers. Below are the smartest questions to ask in a job interview.
What do you expect from this role in the next three months, six months and year?
Questions like this show you as someone who is thinking about what the job will actually entail - someone ready to take on key tasks and responsibilities and also help the company move forward. As for the interviewer's answer, well this gives you the opportunity to assess what will be required of you and if that is something you're comfortable with.
Why are you recruiting for this role?
Getting into the nitty-gritty details will make sure you leave your interview well-informed. If you're feeling bold, you can also ask why the last person left the company to give you an insight into possible career progression. Alternatively, if somebody left for a pressing reason it will allow you to analyse potential pain points in the role.
Is there any reason why you don't feel I would be right for this role?
To you, this question may seem like handing in the towel but to an employer, it will show you wish to constantly improve. It's also a great way of getting instant feedback on how the interviewer feels about your suitability.
What kind of off-hours stuff does the office do to hang out after work?
Rather than say your biggest asset is that you're a 'team player', this question says it for you. It gives the interviewer the opportunity to share that the company has a life outside of work. It will also show you what kind of work environment you will be entering into. Will it be an office that never speaks to one another or one where you can make lifelong friends.
How are you different from your closest competitor as an employer?
AKA 'why should I work here instead of ______?' This type of question puts the interviewer on the spot, giving them the opportunity to sing their company’s praises. You can tell a lot about the company by how enthusiastic the interviewer is when listing the key differences and better features they have to offer. This will prove valuable when deciding on whether the role is right for you.
What is the usual salary range for this role?
Bring it up salary in the first interview. Most employers would rather you ask it as soon as possible because if you’re looking for a certain salary and the position clearly can’t pay for it, it will save both you and the company time.
What are the next steps from here?
Don't be afraid to ask about how the hiring process works going forward - it's only natural to be inquisitive about the next steps. Plus, finding out when you should be contacted means you won’t be anxiously checking your phone every five minutes in the days following the interview.
Main image by STIL