During an interview, the employer will give you plenty of opportunities to ask questions, so it’s a great idea to prepare some before hand. If and when he/she does ask you if you have any questions and you simply reply with “no” then not only will you come across as uninterested to the interviewer, but it demonstrates that you are ill prepared and are unable to think independently. Overall you wont be sending out a very positive message. It is a great idea to have several relevant questions prepared before your interview as the interviewer is able to make judgements based on what question you ask.
First ask yourself:
Have I done enough research on the company I am interviewing for?
If you’ve done your homework, it won’t go unnoticed.
Eg. “I read on your website that employees have recently done presentations at (insert conference title here.) Is that a typical opportunity in this job?
Are my questions interesting and do they make sense?
Aim to ask interesting and engaging questions rather than the usual generic ones. This will show the interviewer that you have taken time to think through what you want to know about the company.
Am I asking relevant questions?
Understanding the nature of the company and what it does, is hugely important. If you don’t then you may find yourself asking completely irrelevant questions, and your lack of understanding and preparation will become evident.
Have my questions already been addressed during the interview?
Often, the interviewer may have addressed all of your questions at some point during the interview. Don’t panic! If this happens, you can simply state something to the effect of: “I was interested in knowing about …. but that has already been addressed during the interview” and express your appreciation for the thorough information given.
Although there’s no set number of questions you’re required to ask, you won’t be expected to compile a list of 20+ queries to bombard the employer with. If there’s something you’re genuinely interested in knowing, then now is your opportunity to ask, but it is important to ensure your questions are appropriate for an interview environment.
What NOT to ask in an interview:
1. Do not ask questions that are clearly answered on the employer’s web site and/or in any literature provided by the employer to you in advance. This will only highlight your lack of preparation for the interview, and you are wasting the employer’s time by asking these questions. Your questions must show your own thought process.
2. Never ask about salary and benefits issues until those subjects are raised by the employer.
3. Avoid asking about holiday allowance, these questions are typically answered once a contract has been put in place, and only then should you discuss it.
If you are having trouble thinking up some questions, use the following as a guide, and tweak them depending on your situation. However, don’t ask a question if you do not properly understand it, or are not really interested in it. It will become evident very quickly.
1. How will my leadership responsibilities and performance be measured?
2. What are the day-to-day responsibilities of this job?
3. Could you explain your organizational structure?
4. Could you describe your company’s management style and the type of employee who fits well with it?
5. What are some of the skills and abilities necessary for someone to succeed in this job?
6. What is the company’s policy on providing seminars, workshops, and training so employees can keep up their skills or acquire new ones?
7. What kind of work can I expect to be doing the first year?
8. What percentage of routine, detailed work will I encounter?
9. How much guidance or assistance is made available to individuals in developing career goals?
10. How much opportunity will I have for decision-making in my first assignment?