So you have secured an interview for that hot job, you have practised your answers to potential questions but want to find out how to make a lasting impression on your interviewer. Contrary to popular belief, an interview is a two way street. It is not only a chance for your potential employer to interview you but for you to find out everything you need to know to make sure the job is right for you. While asking questions provides you with the opportunity to learn a little more about your potential employer, it allows you to naturally display desirable traits to your interviewer such as confidence, charisma and initiative.
To really make an impact on your interviewer, it is important that you come prepared with a few questions to ask at the end. Although throughout the interview you may naturally develop some burning questions, it is a good idea to come ready with a few to extend your time with the interviewer and really make sure you stand out. Try to choose two or three questions. You don't need to overwhelm them with an entirely new interview but just ask enough to last another ten minutes or so.
The main thing to remember when asking questions is to avoid yes or no questions. These will quickly stop the conversation and potentially create those dreaded awkward silences for you and the interviewer. Here is a list we have put together of 10 questions to ask at the end of an interview:
If this has not already been discussed, this is an excellent question to help get the conversation flowing. It not only shows your genuine interest in the daily role but gives you the chance to determine whether or not the role is really what you are looking for.
This question demonstrates your enthusiasm to succeed within the role. It also provides you with a chance to fill in any gaps from your interview. If your interview describes traits that you don't feel have been demonstrated by the questions asked during your interview, make sure you discuss and example the skills you have and how these will therefore help you to exceed.
While you don't want to come across as though you are ready to move on from the role before it is even yours, it is good to show enthusiasm towards long term commitment with the company. Although the decision ultimately lies with the company as to whether or not you are offered the role, this is a perfect way to encourage the interviewer to sell the role to you.
It is likely that your interviewer will ask you this question to find out whether you have researched the company, but it is good to return the question. If you have already provided an answer refer back to it. Say to the interviewer that while you believe their competitors to be X, are there any other companies you are looking towards as current competition and why? By asking this question you may find out information about the company that you were not able to find from a simple google search. The interviewer may advise of a current competitor for employee welfare and provide you with an example of how they are trying to improve their company to compete.
This is a personal question to the interviewer. It naturally begins to build a camaraderie with the interviewer and you are therefore likely to remain at the fore front of their mind when considering candidates after the interview. It also allows you the chance to find out a little more about the culture and the other people who work for the company. The interviewer may provide you with welfare information, such as they enjoy the opportunity to play football together after work on a Tuesday or take part in the running club during lunch break on Thursdays.
This is a really important question to consider asking your interviewer. Asking about possible career progression does not always cover day to day opportunities available to employees within the company. This may include something as big as a secondment opportunities within partnering companies or internal and external networking groups. You may even want to ask what welfare opportunities there are within the company. The employer may offer language lessons, socials or team sports clubs. Finding out the opportunities within the company will help you decide whether the company culture is something you want to become part of.
It is likely that your interviewer will ask you whether or not you have a 'five year plan' but it is a good idea to ask them this question yourself. If you do have a plan for the next few years you will be able to get an idea as to whether this will fit in with the overall aim of the company. It also suggests to your interviewer that you are interested in committing to the role for some time.
If your interviewer tells you there will be no challenges, proceed with caution. No matter what role you are applying for you are likely to face some challenges during your employment. Although these may not be big, it is good to show that you are aware difficulties occur everyday and that you are prepared to tackle them head on.
Unless this has already been explained to you, always ask this question. It confidently addresses the grey area of when you will find out how you have done and makes the interviewer provide you with a time scale to work with. In doing so it demonstrates you are organised, confident and keen to begin the next steps towards employment.
Ending your interview on this question is a great way to tie up any loose ends. It forces the interviewer to reconsider everything that has been discussed and provides them with an opportunity to gain any additional information that could secure you that job. By asking this question you will also be able to determine a time scale for yourself as to when you are likely to hear back. This will save you waiting by the phone over the next few days nervously when in fact they won't be deciding until a few weeks.
Once you have asked all of your questions, a fantastic way to bring your interview to an end is to take a moment to thank your interviewer for their time. It might be that your interviewer is higher up within the company and their day will be busier as a result of the time they have taken out of the schedule to sit in on interviews. While it is important that they spend time meeting prospective employees, manners really do go a long way and will leave them on a positive.
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