The 7 best questions to ask at an interview

Interviews are a two way street. To really make an impact with your interviewer, you need to strike up intelligent dialogue about the position. This not only shows you have done your research, but also that you have the initiative to seek more information, exuding a genuine interest in learning more about the role.

To do this effectively you need to come armed  with your own well thought out questions. Your questions should be tailored to the  role and company. Below are seven questions you may want to ask to help make a good impression.

1. Can you describe your ideal candidate? 
The more information you can gather as to what the company is searching  for, the more you can tailor your responses to highlight your skills that best represent this. Even with the most polished of  CV’s, you won’t receive star candidate status if you can’t match your experience up to the key skills and attributes they are looking for.

2. What are the keys to success in this role? 
Asking  about the role is one thing, but asking how to be successful in the role is a clear differentiator. A candidate who is interested in what they can bring to the table and how they can excel and grow within the company, will make a positive impact with any interviewer. You’ll also gain a better understanding of the position, helping you decide early on whether it’s the right fit for you.

3. How do you measure performance?
Businesses can approach performance benchmarks in a multitude of ways. Generally, this will include hitting key performance indicators (KPIs) and carrying out performance reviews. Discovering how the job you’re interviewing for is measured, will help you comprehend how it needs to be approached and what aspects of your past performance you need to highlight. If you’ve been highly commended within previous performance reviews and exceeded your KPIs, be sure to refer to this.

4. What are the organisation’s main goals and objectives?  
Making a point to discover more about the company’s business goals will emphasise your interest in the bigger picture, and this is especially important for the more strategic of roles. You can also ask about the proposed direction and future growth of the organisation, illustrating how you can help the business achieve its goals.

5. Do you offer professional development opportunities? 
Don’t be afraid to ask what training and development opportunities the company offer. You may be concerned about coming across as overly opportunistic but what you’ll really be demonstrating is your desire to better yourself and succeed within the business. An employee who strives to build their skills and capabilities is an asset to any company and this won’t go unnoticed by your interviewer.

6. What do you like most about working for this organisation? 
You may have done your homework but you’ll never get the same insights from the company website as you will from someone who works there. As well as giving you a better understanding of the company culture, asking this question will also help you establish rapport with your interviewer. Demonstrating genuine interest in the organisation puts you poles apart from other applicants who are just going through the motions.

7. What are the next steps?
Candidates often forget to discuss what happens after the interview. Should you expect a phone call or email, and within what timeframe? Are there further interview stages or testing? Asking these questions will give you an indication of what to expect and will reaffirm your interest in the role to the interviewer. After the interview, it’s also good form to follow up with a polite email to thank the interviewer for taking the time to see you.

Remember:  when it comes to nailing that interview, preparation is key and this is your opportunity to get as much information as you can. Arming yourself with the right questions will not only impress the interviewer, but will provide you with invaluable insights.

Looking for more helpful interview tips? Check out our CV and interview guide.

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