Having well prepared questions when the inevitable “What would you like to ask me?” questions arise is essential; this shows your genuine interest in the role, that you have taken the initiative on preparation and they will also give you additional information to help you know if this is a role you would like to progress with.
1. How would you describe a typical day for this role?
Whilst you will have seen a job description it can only give so much detail and rarely gives a picture about day-day, so take this opportunity to ask for some clarity. The details they share will help you to get a better understanding of what is expected of you and usually lead to a useful and helpful conversation.
As an interviewer I appreciated candidates asking this question as it shows the level of genuine interest.
2. How does the company help employees develop and grow professionally?
The interviewer will often be someone who has been with the business a while and can share these experiences but importantly they will be looking to hire someone who is keen to grow within the organisation and asking this will demonstrate your interest in the role and will support your application.
3. Can you outline the expectations of the person in this role in their first 90 days?
The first 90 days are pivotal in a new role and knowing what is expected of you helps your focus and what the success markers are.
This is a very strong question to ask as it shows you are focused on being successful and wanting to deliver to a high standard
4. What is the most challenging part of this role?
Over-confident candidates are rarely top of the short-list – those who show humility and self awareness are much more likely to engage with their interviewer. Acknowledging that the role is not going to be easy and exploring what you may need to be aware of in advance will be positive for the interviewer.
5. Will I have the opportunity to meet the leadership team before joining?
You will need to frame this question dependant on the framework of the role you are applying for. You should expect that you will meet the Hiring Manager as part of the process, but also explore who else will you be working with closely in the senior team and asking about the company hierarchy is essential.
If you are given the opportunity to meet with other members other than the Hiring Manager take it – it’s a real positive for your line Manager that you see the value in establishing relationships early.
6. How would you describe the company culture?
This should be important to you as finding the right culture fit is an essential part of being happy in an organisation for most people and it can have an impact on how successful you are able to be. You can also tailor questions which are important to you culturally to make the discussion fruitful and so that you learn about how they approach employee satisfaction.
7. If I am successful what will the onboarding process be?
Whilst there will be a training plan in place it is good to know in advance how intensive that is and sets your own expectations for when you join.
8. What do you like most about working here?
9. Is there anything else you would like to ask me?
Often an interviewer will be musing on an aspect of the interview, and this gives an opening to come back to something – or by asking the question you take the interviewer ‘off-script!’ which could be a deciding factor – being open to probing by an interviewer is very positive.
10. Are you able to give me an idea when I may expect to hear back from you?
Asking this means you walk away knowing potential next steps and also the timeline so no follow up is needed (other than your thank you email!), until the date given.
You can of course ask some of these questions during your interview, however always mindfully ‘plan your meeting’ and have 2 or 3 at least kept back so your final questions are meaningful and memorable.
Planning ahead for the answers and discussion points in these questions is also very helpful and your interviewer will appreciate the time invested in you showing up as your best self.