Posted May 30, 2017 | Career Advice | No Comments »

Top 5 Questions to Ask at a Job Interview

Asking questions at the end of your interview is just as important as answering them. Quite often job seekers forget to ask questions or simply feel their questions have already been answered during the interview process, however not asking anything can make you seem uninterested in the role!

Below are 5 questions to ask your next interviewer to ensure you learn as much about the role, company and their expectations of you …

1. What was it specifically, that made you want to interview me today?

This is a great one to ask at the end of an interview. It reminds the interviewer why they selected you out of the hundreds of other applications they received. It also gives you the opportunity to build and expand upon their initial first impressions.

For instance, they might say that it was your broad range of experience that caught their eye. Giving you the opportunity to respond, by telling them that you have always felt that an ability to step outside your comfort zone in the pursuit of specific Business, career and learning goals, puts you at an advantage when working with uncertainty.

Or they may be impressed with your unique blend of subject matter expertise and practical skills. In which case you can reinforce their positive mental image by telling them of a time when you were able to put this subject matter expertise into action with practical, measurable results.

2. Is there anything that would prevent you from hiring me today?

This is your opportunity to respond to any doubts they have and put their mind at rest that you will be able to handle the role if you are given it.

If they look nervous, you can prompt them by asking “Such as gaps in expertise that I could fill?”

This gives you the opportunity to thank them for their thoughts, ask them if the organisation can support you to fill that gap, or if there are external resources they know of, that would enable you to follow up with self directed learning before the role is due to start.

3. Where do you see the company [department/ product] in 3, 6 and 12 months from today?

This is one of the most useful questions to ask, as it gives you a clear idea of the ambitions of the person hiring. It helps them to think very tangibly about what they are looking for, and it helps you to get inside their head!

From here you can make assumptions about what is already in place and begin to explore some of the steps you would need to take to realise those ambitions. So if the 12 month vision is to surpass the key competitor in that field, you can drill in with more detailed questions, ask your interviewers opinion, or demonstrate your knowledge of the competitors strengths and weaknesses.

The interview should feel like more of a discussion about what needs done, and how to do it. Even if you don’t get the role, this is invaluable market research showing you some of the key issues businesses in this sector are facing.

4. What would be the key deliverables in that time, and how would you measure the success of the role?

This follows on naturally from the question above. Now we are getting into what needs to be done and visualising the steps needed to do it.

Remember to show your passion. Compliment them for their ambition, and let them know that what they are saying is exciting to you.

Follow up with examples based on experience if you can. “In my last position I was required to deliver these exact things. Here are some of the things I learned from that experience…”

Draw on transferrable skills to demonstrate how you would get the job done, and don’t be afraid to simply imagine how you would meet those goals. “I had to deliver a similar [document] in my previous role, which had many of the same requirements. These are the things that I believe will transfer into well into this deliverable…”

Your interviewer is now visualising you in the role taking the necessary steps to deliver successful projects.

5. Are there other areas within this company, where you think I could bring some benefits?

If the interviewer does not already want to hire you, this is the perfect way to shift thinking back to your positive qualities.

Hopefully they will see, that even if you don’t come with the full package for the role, you would be a great employee. This means that they can either find a way to nurture you into the role, or find another role in the company that would suit you even better than the one you are interviewing for.

If they already have you tipped for the role, they will now be thinking of extra benefits you can bring to it… and perhaps even fast-track a promotion.

Treat everything as a learning opportunity.

Good Luck!

 

 

Author: Morna Simpson (Founder of Girl Geek Scotland), is Director of Enterprise Porridge as well as being a freelance business analyst consultant & corporate trainer. She has many years experience within the industry both in an academic capacity and through her work with various start-ups. You can find out about Girl Geek Scotland’s latest events here and follow them on Twitter for all of the latest news! @girlgeekscot


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