It’s the end of an interview for a position you really want, and the interviewer asks if you have any questions for them and you say “no”. Sound familiar? Yes, me too. We all make mistakes in interview, during my process of seeking employment after graduating I asked in a couple of first round interviews about salary because I had read somewhere that this is good to ask. SPOILER – do NOT talk about salary at a first interview; negotiate salary once the job is actually yours, not before.
Interviews are one of those things that you get better at with experience, there is so much advice out there it’s easy to get conflicting information. I’ve already spoken before about how to nail an interview, and how to start your career in marketing, but I thought I would now focus on what YOU should ask at interview. Some times questions to ask are obvious if there are things you need some clarity on, but oftentimes it can be a struggle.
Here are some examples of things you could ask at interview
1. What did the person I am replacing go on to do/how did the person I am replacing progress in the company
This is a great question and it will give you some insight into how you could progress in the future, either with the company you are interviewing with or elsewhere. If progression is not important to you I think still ask it anyway as it will show you are thinking ahead and no employer dislikes ambition.
2. What is the next stage of the interview process?
This is a great wrap up question before you shake hands and leave, either there will be an additional interview stage that successful candidates will be asked to attend, or they might simply say, “we have a couple more interviews to do, but I would hope we will be in contact by i.e. Friday with an answer”. Ultimately, you want a commitment by them as to when you will be informed of the outcome, as there is nothing worse than being left hanging. I have easily wasted two weeks waiting for an answer only to be told I am unsuccessful at the end of it. Top Tip, if you haven’t been contacted by the end of the week/middle of the following week, move on.
3. When are you looking to get the position filled?
Like point 2, this is another great way to pin the interviewer down and commit them to a time. Sometimes they might want to recruit quickly but it takes ages to find the right candidate; other times there is no real rush and they will just say, “soon” which helps nobody. This sort of question might also help them share information about any upcoming projects they have, which can give you a good indication of the sorts of things you might be involved with should you work for them.
4. Is there any training available to me for this role?
A company that invests well in its people is a great indicator of how well you will get on there. Even if you are an expert in your field, there is always room for more whether it be a new technology or an industry related course.
5. Is there anything about me that I could further clarify?
This is a bit of a risky question but it’s well worth asking if you have the confidence to. The question will put your interviewer on the spot and give them the opportunity to review the interview and their notes. For the most part they will have got everything they need from/about you, but the question provides the opportunity to engage in further conversation. Either this is to discuss something in more depth that you can show off some knowledge about; or it’s an opportunity to clear up any reservations they have about you and a second chance to tackle a question you maybe didn’t answer so well earlier.
Can you add to this list of possible questions to ask at interview?
Until next time x