It’s easy to assume questions you need to be thinking about are the ones the interviewer asks you. But what are you going to ask them?

Interviews are tricky at the best of times; you’re likely to be a bag of nerves, they’re likely to be thinking of 100 things including the long list of candidates to interview and what they’re having for dinner, and you’re trying to hold to memory that really good example you rehearsed of the answer to the question about teamworking.

It gets to the end of their line of fire of questions, and suddenly you feel the silence ‘have you got any questions for us?’

You didn’t prepare this bit…

Don’t worry, read on and the above situation won’t be you – we’ve got suggestions aplenty.

First of all though, let’s consider why this bit is so important. An interview can often feel like them judging whether you fit in to their company culture, or whether you have the right skills or knowledge to fulfil the role.

Secret truth? You’re interviewing them too!

This is your big chance to decide whether you want these people as future colleagues or managers. So in each part of your interview, remember this is about you too.

Did you enjoy the journey to get there – is it a manageable commute? Was the person who met you kind to everyone they came across? What can you gather of the company culture?

Your questions section at the end is your chance to find out all of those niggling questions.

Well… nearly all of them. We have to mention at this point that there’s some you should leave out. Remember – the negotiation stage is AFTER they’ve offered you the job. Don’t start throwing around outrageous demands, and remember this is part of the interview too – so what you say could still impact on whether they offer you the role at all.

So, how do you go about this bit of the interview?

Well, it’s good in advance of the interview to go through the Job Description and trawl through the website as part of your interview preparations. Also, do some research on the interviewers on LinkedIn – don’t worry about them seeing that you’ve viewed their profile, they’ll be impressed you’ve done your homework!

From your pre-research, some questions may emerge – write those down. In fact, any questions, write in a notebook (NOT on your phone!) and take them along with you. It means that when it gets to that stage of the interview, you look prepared getting out your notebook, and you’re not madly trying to remember.

What questions can you ask?

Well, there’s loads. We’re giving you a few teasers to get you started, but think about what YOU want to know!

The Role

  • What might a ‘normal’ day look like?
  • What opportunities are there for training and progression?
  • What are the top priorities?

The Team

  • Can you tell me about the size/ make-up of the team I’d be working in?
  • Which other teams does this team frequently collaborate with, and how?
  • Can you tell me about team events/ office traditions?

The Company

  • What are the biggest challenges for the team/ department/ company over the next 3 months?
  • If you’ve read up on the company’s vision/ motto – ‘I’ve read that your vision statement is —-, can you tell me how that is played out in day-to-day work?

The Interviewer

  • If you’ve seen lots of progression through the company, you could mention that you’ve noticed that, and then ask ‘Can you tell me more about your experiences?’
  • What’s your favourite thing about working here?

Next Steps

  • What are the next steps in the interview process? (A nice way of asking when you’ll find out the result!)
  • Is there anything I missed answering, or could better clarify for you?

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