It's that crucial moment in an interview when you get your chance to ask something … Victoria Madine suggests 10 questions that are bound to impress
Job interviews can be a nerve-wracking experience, so it is easy to forget that this is also your chance to explore an employer's suitability for you. Here are 10 questions that could help you – and the interviewer – make the right choice.
What are the short- and medium-term aims of the company or organisation? The more you understand the goals of your potential employer, the better you can understand the role you would be expected to have – and decide whether it would be right for you.
What are key issues for the organisation? Your potential employer could be looking to expand, to consolidate its brand, to move into new markets, to boost its health and safety record – the possibilities are endless. Do your own research, find out more details at the interview and explain why you are in a good position to take on the challenges.
How is staff performance measured? Some organisations rely on staff appraisals to give performance feedback, others require their staff to fill in lots of forms. The answer to this question should give an insight into what kind of support you could expect from the employer.
What training is available? It is essential that adequate training is available for you to progress your career in the direction you want. Good training leads to better prospects of promotion. Also, if the organisation uses an IT system you are not familiar with, you need to be sure you will be properly trained to use it.
Why is there a vacancy? There are many reasons why organisations recruit; the role could be a new one suggesting the organisation is growing, or it could be that the job is a real challenge and requires staying power.
‘Any doubts about giving me the job?’ It’s a very direct question but it gives your interviewer a chance to be honest
What would a typical day be like? If you really want the job you will want to come across as enthusiastic so rather than asking directly about hours and workload, ask for a general idea of the kind of environment you would be in.
What kind of pension scheme is on offer? The type of pension scheme on offer can dramatically affect the value of your personal wealth; a generous final pension scheme is a crucial addition to your salary.
Most companies publish some sort of statement about their values – how do these affect your potential employer's business methods? It could be that the company says it believes in an environmental-friendly way of working, or believes in working with the local community. How are these aims fulfilled?
What is the management structure like? Is there a structured hierarchy or a more ad hoc approach to management? Find out where you would fit in and how the structure of the company could affect your prospects if you work for it.
Any doubts about giving me the job? It's a very direct question but it gives your interviewer a chance to be honest about any qualms they may have about your suitability for the job.