You’re preparing for an upcoming interview and have been frantically Googling all the possible questions you could be asked. But have you thought about what questions you should be asking the interviewer?
Job interviews are a two-way street and in a sense, you are also interviewing your prospective employer to see if they are a company you would want to work for. The goal is to find out not only if you’re right for the role, but also if the culture of the organisation and their style of management suit you. The job description and marketing material may convey a certain image, but it is only when you go in for the interview that you will be able to suss out the situation for yourself.
After doing as much research as you can about the company and carefully reading the job description, ask specific questions about the organisation and your role there. What’s their vision for your position? Will it change and evolve over time? What are the company’s goals? Asking industry-specific questions is good too, especially if you’ve read something topical in the news or if recent government legislation has affected the industry. This will show the interviewer that you’re keen, have done your homework and are a go-getter. They’re sure to be impressed.
Another question you could ask is about what kind of systems they have in place. If their present systems are inadequate, will it be your job to change or develop them? It’s good to show the interviewer that you’re proactive and have initiative, but you first have to determine if they’re open to that. If you’re someone who likes to implement change, you wouldn’t want to work for an organisation that is change-averse and doesn’t like to fix things that aren't broken.
If you don’t feel confident asking questions, make sure you write them down and practise asking them aloud so you can deliver your questions with confidence.
Don’t ask about your salary first up – wait for them to bring it up. And when they do, be prepared with our tips on how to negotiate your pay like a pro.
And don’t ask for the same information that they’ve already provided on their website or in the job description, but ask for greater detail and elaboration.
Just remember that as a candidate, you are an equal participant in the interviewing process. Tell them what you have to offer, but also try to elicit more information for your own benefit. The interview is a crucial opportunity for information exchange for both of you.