Questions To Ask During A Job Interview

Posted October 13, 2011, by Josie Chun

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.

Ask about your role, the company and their industry

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. 

What systems do they have in place? 

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. 

Sample questions to ask at an interview

  • Can you tell me a bit more about what the role involves?
  • What is your company’s organisational structure and management style?
  • How do you measure performance and how often is it reviewed?
  • What would my likely career path through the company be? 
  • Do you provide any sort of professional development, training or mentorship?
  • What is your company’s market or target demographic? Is that something that you would like to expand? If so, how? 
  • What do you see as the future of the organisation? 

If in doubt … practise

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. 

What not to ask

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. 

It’s not all about them

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.

Check out our tips on how to ace your job interview!

Josie Chun

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