Following up on our post: “Do you have any questions? Part 1” we thought we’d share some hints and tips from our team on questions you could ask at interview.
Here’s a few suggestions from our recruiters but remember, what is appropriate for one job/company might not be appropriate for another so use your common sense when deciding what to ask or if you aren’t sure then talk to your recruitment consultant.
You’ll have some information about the role before your interview from the advert and possibly a job description but you won’t know everything so perhaps ask about specific responsibilities, challenges, objectives, opportunities to develop, training available and any practicalities such as shift patterns.
Asking questions about the company as a whole can be a good way to show your interest. However it’s likely that you would be expected to do some research about the organisation before interview and they may even ask you what you know about them!
So when asking questions about the company (eg structure, competitors, position in market, brand, goals, culture, values, products and services) you may want to expand on what you already know and avoid asking questions you should already know the answers to.
For example asking what products they make may just look like poor research, however saying that you know they have just launched a new product line and asking what their growth expectations are going forward shows both knowledge and interest. It may also give you an indication about company growth and security long term.
It may depend on whether it is your prospective line manager or a representative from HR who is interviewing you but you might want to find out about the size and structure of team, experience in the team, team culture, goals and objectives.
This is generally viewed as the trickiest area to ask about. Consider when you should ask for details on salary and package and who is best to ask. For example if you are working with a recruitment consultant, speak to them and allow them to discuss the details with the hiring manager on your behalf.
It’s not just what you ask but how, when and to whom you ask your questions:
- How – take the lead from their style and what you know about their culture.
- When – is it too late or too early in the process? Think about whether you should ask your question at initial discussion, interview or offer.
- Who – Often you will be in contact with a Recruitment Consultant, a Line Manager and someone from HR. If you are unsure who to ask we’d always recommend asking your consultant in the first instance.
- What – Think about what your question says about you as a candidate eg Do you appear interested in the company? Should you have known this information already?
We hope these help when you are preparing for your interview and we’d love to hear any suggestions you have on good questions to ask at interview.