- Rachel Doyle
Examples of great questions to ask an employer at interview - make them your own
For interview success, these are some interview questions to ask your future employer
Hurrah! You’ve made it through to the last part of the interview and now it’s your turn to ask your questions. How should you approach this phase of the interview? Let’s start by taking you through what not to do! Sounds odd, but it is worth covering to ensure that you don’t veer off track.
What not to ask in an interview
When they ask if you have any questions for them, don’t reply with a response like, ‘you’ve answered all of my questions already”. You must be prepared for this possibility and go in prepared with at least 3 questions 5 to be on the safe side. Otherwise, you are signalling to the interviewer that you are particularly interested in them. If you aren’t and you want to bring the interview to a close then take this approach and complete the interview with a polite, ‘thank you for your time’.
Don’t ask questions that you could easily find answers to on their website or that you should really know such as “so what does the company do?” Or “what is the job for”, when they’ve already told you what will be involved with the role and asked if you’ve read the job spec.
This is not the time to start asking about remuneration and packages either - so don’t make it about money, nor should you start asking about whether you can take time off or work part time, when it is a full time position.
Lastly, don’t talk about really negative issues about the business. You can always ask if they have poor glass door reviews what the business’ approach is in relation to them but try and keep it positive.
How should I approach the questions part of an interview?
The trick with this part of the interview is to show knowledge of the business, ask questions that show how keen you are on the business and that you are really keen to find out how the business fits your values. So don’t pass up on this opportunity, there is nothing better than hearing you’ve asked a ‘great question’ as you know you’ve got them thinking about the response. Remember to make sure that they aren’t focussed on you, rather these are intelligent questions that highlight how interested you are in the role. Remember that some questions may come up through the conversation but don’t rely on that. There is an art to asking the right questions for an interview. Try to prepare some slightly more unusual questions - whilst being relevant and not tipping into any grey areas. You also want to remember what you asked in each of the stages, so as not to ask the same questions. When they get together to discuss your interview, they may cover questions asked.
Your aim is to ask a question that might become a discussion point between you and the interviewer. And if not, enjoy having some control in the interview process and getting to know your prospective employer better.
Examples of typical questions to ask of an employer in an interview
What would your expectations be in the first three months?
What do you see to be the biggest challenge of this role?
What do you think is the biggest challenge for the business right now?
What do you like about working here?
What do you enjoy about your current role?
How would you describe working for XYZ plc?
What is the culture of the business like?
How would you describe the team culture?
Ask about office locations and times expected in the office as well as travel if this hasn’t already been covered
Can you describe a typical day or week in this role?
Are there opportunities for training and development because…
Where do you think the business is progressing and where do you think it will be in the next couple of years
How do you help new joiners when they start in the business?
Why are you recruiting for this opportunity (unless this is a new role)
How has COVID changed working life at XYZ plc? (use this to identify if flexible working might be temporary or whether they have always had a flexi approach to working)
What do you find most challenging about working for XYZ plc?
What have past employees done to impress you in the department? / How could I impress you in this role?
How do you evaluate success in this role?
What type of appraisal system do you have? Is it a monthly or annual process? This might give you the opportunity to cover your management style and how you encourage employees if you haven’t already covered this.
What are the next stages of the process likely to be? (Show that you're keen and interested if they haven't covered this already).
Do you have any further questions for me?
Make sure that before you sign off, you ask a question that can help your interview. You might be given the chance to cover off any concerns that they may have, it’s also a useful way to gauge the interview success.
For more interview information - check out our article here on questions you may be asked in an interview. If you are looking at opportunities, check out our open positions here.