Questions to ask in an interview

Have you ever wondered what questions to ask at a job interview? In seeking a job, it’s important to remember that an interview isn’t just an opportunity for the employer to find out if you are a suitable candidate - the interview works both ways.

Why come with a list of questions to ask in an interview?

If you bring good interview questions for managers to the table, you’ll find out quickly if the job is the right match for you. You’ll also demonstrate to the hiring manager that you are interested and prepared, and find out some insights as to whether the manager has any niggling reservations about you.

Here is a list of the top 7 interview questions to ask.

1.    Can you walk me through a typical day in the life of this role?
This question helps to get down to the nitty-gritty of the day-to-day role. Sometimes, the interviewing manager can dangle a lot of appealing carrots, but the actual reality of the role can be as humdrum as hay. This question will help you to discover how you will really be spending your time.

2.    What will be my biggest challenge in this role?
This question has the twofold benefit of demonstrating to your interviewing manager that you are keen to tackle challenges; and helping you to uncover what unique obstacles you may face. No role is perfect; it’s important that you understand what the unique challenges of the role will be so that you can evaluate if they are challenges you feel motivated to overcome or not.

3.    How will my success be measured in this role? What are the kinds of KPIs you have in place?
This is one of the most popular questions to ask in an interview. It demonstrates that you are results-driven, which is a very appealing quality to a hiring manager. It may also help you understand if the business is one that is focussed on growth and if you will be set up for success.

4.    What have you enjoyed most about working here? 
This question gives you an opportunity to connect with your manager on a personal level, to understand his or her personal drivers and motivations. You may uncover something about his or her personal life that you can connect over, and you may also discover a little about the culture in the team and wider business.

5.    Who do you think would be the ideal candidate for this role, and how do I measure up? Is there anything that you think is missing from my skill set/experience?
This question helps you to understand if the hiring manager is concerned about any gaps in your experience or skill set. Listen carefully to the answer. You may have an opportunity to allay any concerns. Alternatively, if you do indeed have a skill or experience gap, it’s an opportunity for you to convey your self-awareness and interest in training or development to bring you up to speed.

6.    Why did the previous person leave this role?
This is another good question to ask in an interview. It can help you understand if the person was promoted – which would indicate that the company encourages career development – or it may reveal if there are any cultural issues within the company that you may need to be concerned about. 

7.    What are the opportunities for growth within this role? What types of training and professional development programs can you offer?
Asking this question demonstrates to your potential employer that you are career-orientated and keen to expand your knowledge and develop within the organisation. 

Tips on asking questions in an interview

  • If appropriate, try to weave these questions in as the interview is progressing. It demonstrates to the interviewer that you’re proactive and engaged in the process. Alternatively, wait until the end - but if the question has already been answered during the course of the interview, don’t ask it. 
  • Don’t ask a question that can easily be answered by researching the company website, or on Google.

During an interview, it’s easy to let nerves get in the way of you obtaining the outcome you want. If you come prepared with a list of good questions to ask in an interview, and tick them off as you go, you’ll be well on your way to making the interview a success.

Take a look at our job interview page for more interview questions tips and advice.

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