What Do You Need To Know?
Saying “No, I have no questions”, is a missed opportunity to find out more about the position, the company and the industry. Take this time to find out if this is the right job for you. What information do you need to decide whether to work at the organisation? Before you attend an interview, write out a list of the questions you need answered and add to that list as the interview progresses.
Who Can Give Me Those Answers?
Your questions might vary depending on who you are interviewing with. A line manager might tell you more about the problem that this hire needs to address. A HR team member may be able to share more about the overall organisation culture and what type of person works out well for the company. A CEO or other senior leader can explain what the future of the organisation looks like and what part you can play in that future.
Questions About the Position
Why is this position available?
Is this a new position?
What happened to the person that held this position before?
What problem do you face by not having someone in this role right now?
What do you see as the most challenging aspects of the position?
What projects will I be working on?
What would a typical working day be like in this position?
What will be the measurements of my success?
With whom will I be working most closely?
What are the opportunities for training and professional development?
What type of person are you seeking?
What would you consider to be exceptional performance in this position?
Who are the people that I would have most contact with on a daily basis?
Who is the manager that I would be working for and how would you describe their style of management?
Questions about the organisation
What is the organisation structure of the department?
How long have you worked here?
Why did you join the company?
What do you like about working here?
What staff turnover rate does the company have?
How would you describe the company’s culture?
What do you consider to be the company’s strengths and weaknesses as an employer?
What is the company’s promotional policy?
Are there opportunities for advancement within the organisation?
How is your industry segment in general performing?
How does the company generally compare or rate against is competitors?
Who are the company’s main competitors?
What is the next stage in your interview process?
When can I expect to hear from you?
Good questions are open ended and cannot be answered with a simple “yes” or “no”. Asking how things are done or have been done in the past are useful questions as they give some indication as to how they are likely to be done in the future. Avoid asking questions to which you could have easily found the answers elsewhere, the company’s website for example, and make sure the questions are of genuine interest to you, it will be easily apparent if its not.