Every interview is a two-way street. So while the hiring manager might have a string of questions for you, they should also make time to answer your questions. Asking the right questions at the end of an interview offers a few advantages:
Every recent graduate is told to prepare some questions for the end of the interview to make a good impression, but they often rattle off the questions without really considering the answers. This is usually the result of nerves taking over.
Once you are a little more experienced, you might start to consider the practicalities of the role and if it will fit in with your existing lifestyle. And when you are at the top of your game, the interview process is a lot more two-sided and both parties need to work hard to impress one another.
The questions you ask at the end of your interview will depend on your personal circumstances. So while not all of these questions will apply to you, this is an excellent starting point for planning your interview.
The recruitment experts at Nolan Recruitment have gathered these 14 questions you could ask at the end of your interview to help you determine if the role is the right fit for you. And here are some not to ask.
This is a question determined by personal preference. If you are married with young children, travel might be a burden to you, but it can be a perk to those who are unattached. If this would be a deal-breaker, it’s worth exploring if this part is negotiable.
When you ask about the onboarding process, you are essentially asking what the first month of work will look like. If they expect someone to jump straight into the role with no hand-holding, the onboarding process will be minimal. But if they are looking for someone they can train, then you can expect a more extensive onboarding process. It might be months before you have your feet under the table and are getting on with the job. Asking this question can help you to determine if the role is right for you.
This is another way to ask: “can you tell me more about the role?” You’re going beyond the job description to see if it is a role you can commit to. This can be an illuminating question as it can raise issues with the role and with the company. If they mention a challenge which could easily be fixed, you have to wonder why this hasn’t been addressed yet.
Many candidates shy away from questions about budgets and training as they worry it will make them seem inexperienced. In reality, it makes you seem ambitious. Volunteering to undertake additional training will make you better at your job and an asset to the company. If they don’t have a budget for training or any employee development scheme in place, you have to wonder if they value their employees.
You don’t have to be handed a complete career map, but it can be helpful to know how previous people in the role progressed. If they all left for pastures new, it could raise a red flag. But if they all moved up in the company, this is a promising sign that you could progress with the company. Don’t be too perturbed by individuals leaving the company, as job-hopping is becoming more common.
Staff turnover is a key indicator of how content individuals are in their role. If staff turnover is high, this could be a sign there are issues with the management. If no one has left the company in the past 25 years, you might wonder if things are getting a little stagnant.
This is a very revealing question that will tell you a lot about the company. If they tell you that the last person was promoted, this is a great sign that the company values staff development. It can also give you an idea of the kind of career progression you can expect from the role.
If the last person was fired, left due to stress, or just didn’t work out, you might be wondering what is wrong with the role. Are the expectations too high? Is the management too harsh? Or has the company simply made poor hiring decisions in the past?
If you have a family, flexible working might be essential to being able to keep up with childcare commitments. But this isn’t the only reason you should ask about flexible working. Being able to choose your hours or work from home on occasion is a great perk that can allow you to enjoy a healthier work-life balance.
Understanding the role is one thing, but knowing how your success will be evaluated is very revealing. Will you be subject to regular reviews? Will your performance be continually assessed? If you are very independent, you might not enjoy the continual scrutiny. But if you thrive on feedback, this could work for you.
By asking this question you will be able to find out more about the working environment. Who you work with will directly impact your ability to do your job. It can also make a big difference in your job satisfaction. If you thrive in team environments, a large team will be advantageous. While those who enjoy their independence might prefer a smaller or distributed team.
As we have outlined above, the people you work with can have a huge impact on your job satisfaction. The management style of your supervisor is crucial and you must find someone who is the right fit for you. A very involved and hands-on manager will suit someone who likes a lot of feedback and encouragement. But anyone who struggles with micro-management might find this work environment frustrating. Asking about your immediate manager can help you to determine if this would be the right fit.
Finding out more about the working environment can help you to decide if you would be happy working for the company. Your happiness in a role is not something that should be underestimated. Enjoying your job is essential to being able to do a good job every single day. If you want to succeed in your career, it makes sense to find a company with a working environment that suits you.
Putting the interviewers on the spot in this way can be very revealing. It can be helpful to ask this towards the end of the interview, as they might contradict their earlier comments about the company. In general, you want to know that your research about the company and your first impressions match what you are being told when you ask this question. They might also be able to shed some light on perks that haven’t yet come up during the interview.
Save this one for last and use this to let your interviewer know that you are keen to progress to the next stage. If you have heard anything during the interview that has put you off, you probably wouldn’t bother asking this at the end, and the interviewer will pick up on this.
In addition to asking questions during your interview, you should also follow up after your interview to thank the interviewer for their time. And if you forgot to ask any important questions during the interview, you can include them with your email.
Obviously, you won’t ask all 14 questions during your interview, but these are a great place to start when planning your questions. One final word of advice would be to make sure you prepare a few questions so that if you get the answers during the interview, you aren’t left speechless at the end.