Ann Pettengell - Candidates - Interview Questions

Questions to ask at interview


Interviews aren’t just a chance for your prospective employer to grill you.  It’s also an opportunity for you to gain as much information about the company as you can – you have to decide whether it’s right for you, just as they have to decide whether you are right for them.  So when it gets to the end of the interview and they ask “Do you have any questions for us?”, it’s best to be armed with a list of suitable options to ensure you leave feeling fully informed.  Not only does it show your interest in the company and role, if you ask the right questions it proves you have been paying close attention to everything they have told you through the interview.

Try to ask open-ended questions to ensure you get a full and informative answer rather than a Yes/No response.  Even if a topic has been briefly covered during the interview it’s fine to ask for further details at this stage. 


How would you describe the work environment here?

This is the same as asking what the company culture is like.  It’s important to find out whether the company’s style of working suits your own.

Can you tell me about the team I would be working with?

Listen carefully to the answer of this one.  Your co-workers can make all the difference to your happiness at work.

What do you enjoy most about working here?

This question will not only give you a personal insight to your interviewer, but will also give further details on the working environment.  They might enjoy the fast-paced nature of the business, and that could be a complete match/opposite of what you’re looking for.  

How would you describe your ideal candidate?

This is a good way to find out exactly what the employer is looking for and gives you a chance to find out if you are fitting the bill.  If they mention something you haven’t covered yet, now is your chance.

Why has the position become available?

Is this a new post or an existing one?  If it is a new role you can ask why it has been created.  If you are filling an existing role, finding out why the previous post-holder is leaving can be very informative – were they promoted (advancement opportunities), did they resign (unfulfilled), or retire (older workforce)?

What are the company’s plans for the future?

Use this question with caution.  You should have already researched the company and at least read their website.  If the website makes it very clear what their future plans are, this question will show that you haven’t done your homework.  On the other hand, asking when appropriate should give you an idea of where the company is headed and how that might affect your role/future within the company.

Do you offer any training opportunities?

This is a good way to find out about progression opportunities and shows that you are interested in continual personal development.

How is performance measured?

Not only will this give you an idea of what you are expected to achieve, but it also shows you are interested in being successful in the role and delivering a great service.

What is the scope for development/future promotion?

Nobody wants to be stuck in a dead-end job, and this is a way of highlighting that to your interviewer.  It also shows that you are keen to progress within the role and company. 

What are the most and least enjoyable aspects of the role?

This gives the interviewer a chance to sell the role to you, which they should hopefully do enthusiastically.  It also helps to be forewarned of any challenges you might face.

What is the next step of this process?

This is a good last question to show you are interested in progressing along the hiring process.  It is also a good way to put your mind at rest if the phone isn’t ringing the minute you get home.



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