Don't miss out on the opportunity to quiz your interviewer.
Preparing a few questions to ask at the end of an interview is essential for demonstrating your interest in the role, showing you've done some research into the company and, well, so the interviewer can answer any questions you might have.
If you're new to interviews, coming up with some questions to ask can be a bit of a pain. They should be specific enough that you wouldn't know the answer from doing your own research (for example, don't ask "what does your company do?" - you should know this) and you should've prepared enough so that you have a back-up if any get answered throughout the course of the interview.
Crucially, these questions shouldn't be an excuse to further sell yourself to the interviewer - use them to gain genuine insight into whether you'd enjoy the role and fit in well at the company. You spend most of your day at work (we know, yawn) so it's really important not only that the company find the right candidate for the job, but that you also find the right company for you.
For some inspiration on where to start with questions, here's some ideas.
1. What challenges do you think I could face in this role?
It's important to know as much about the difficult aspects of the role as what is great about it. The job description can only tell you so much - by directly asking what challenges you might face, you'll gain a better idea of what you'll be dealing with day-to-day.
2. What opportunities will there be for professional development and progression at your company?
Particularly if you're applying for an entry-level role, knowing what the long-term options could be for progressing throughout the company will ensure you don't end up in a dead-end job. It also demonstrates that you're serious about the position and are looking ahead to a future at the company.
3. How will my success be measured in this role?
Find this out in the interview and there will be no surprises if you secure the role. For example, if the company are expecting ridiculous results off you in the first month you can take it as a red flag. This question is also a great way to find out more about what parts of the role they consider the most important and whether you have the right skill-set for them.
4. How would you describe the company culture?
The working environment and company's values are just as important to know about as the day-to-day demands of the role. This is your opportunity to learn about how (if at all) the company caters for employee wellbeing, establishes a good work-life balance and rewards its employees. If the company culture doesn't match what you'd like, it's a good indicator that the role might not be the right fit for you.
5. Which members of the team will I be working most closely with?
It's likely that you'll only be interviewed by one, or maybe two, employees from the company. This is your opportunity to learn more about the team as a whole and how you'll fit into that.
6. What do you like most about working here?
This will give you really good insight into whether the company's employees genuinely enjoy working there. Pay attention to how the interviewer responds to this - do they sound sincere? Can they list a lot of things they enjoy about their job?
7. What type of employee succeeds at your company? What qualities are important for doing well?
Not only will this question help you gauge whether your skills match what the company is looking for, but it also shows that you care about impressing them. If there's any further stages to the application process, you can use this information to inform what relevant qualities in yourself you decide to talk about.
8. What is your timeline for making a decision about who you'll hire for this role?
If you're applying for lots of roles and have pending interviews, knowing the timeframe for hearing back about the role will be really useful for planning ahead. If you know that they're interviewing other candidates and you shouldn't expect to hear back for a couple of weeks, it means you won't have to sit refreshing your inbox every five minutes for a week after the interview.