Posted on Thursday, June 20, 2019 by Maire Gerrard — No comments
Many will welcome this question in an interview with a sigh of relief, as it is usually means the conclusion of enquiries about your own skills and experience.
However, while it may feel like the pressure is off, it is extremely important to plan for this question as you would for any other. Hiring managers are not merely being courteous by opening the floor to your own queries, as it is another way to assess your level of interest in the position.
We spend an increasing proportion of our lives at work, so career moves are some of the biggest decisions we will make. For this reason, any interviewer will expect you to be as interested in finding out about the company and role as they are in your suitability for it.
Here are a few things to ask yourself when the time comes to turn the tables on your interviewer:
Do you know exactly what the job entails?
As part of the interview process, the interviewer will likely give you further information about the intricacies of the role that go beyond the initial job description. However, if you were to start the job tomorrow, do you feel like you would be reasonably prepared for what your day would entail?
If there is any element of the role - such as the team structure, expectations or potential challenges - that you don’t quite understand, this is the ideal time to ask. It indicates to the interviewer that you like to be organised, which is a positive quality in any prospective employee.
What does the future look like?
Understandably, you will probably want reassurance about the prospects for a fulfilling career and progression at the company. However, there is a way to ascertain this without simply asking “What’s in it for me?”, which could come across negatively.
Instead, enquire about the company’s plans for growth and what their core goals are for the next five years. Not only will this give you an idea of whether your aspirations are well matched, but it will also infer that you are engaged and eager to know more.
Are they completely convinced of my suitability?
Assuming the answers to the above have not raised any red flags for you, there is a line of questioning you can employ that gives a further opportunity to sell your skills and attributes and align these to the role.
An easy way of doing this effectively is by asking them to describe the type of person they see succeeding in the job, or for specific qualities they believe the appointee will need. After they have given their answer, you can respond by reaffirming why you believe you fit the bill.
What should I already know?
It is of paramount importance that you do not ask a question that should have been answered in your preparation for the interview. In order to ensure you avoid this, make sure you have researched the company thoroughly by looking at their website in depth and any other external resources you can find.
However, if after doing this you discover an area that you would like further information on, make a note of it and be sure to ask about it at the end of your interview. Make sure you preface your question by stating you are already aware of the basic details from your research, as this will show the interviewer that you have taken your preparation seriously. For example:
“I read in a press release on your website that you are looking to branch out into x, how are you going to go about this and where would this role fit in?
What are the next steps?
Finally, you should always remember to ask about next steps if these have not already been disclosed. Not only does this continue to affirm your interest in the position, but it gives you the peace of mind of knowing when you can expect to hear from them again. There is nothing worse than a lack of clarity leaving you on tenterhooks from the moment you step out the door.
To conclude, as has been the case with every question we have covered in this series, the key to success is preparation. This will not only make your answers more effective but should go some way to helping you relax in what is ultimately a pressured environment. If you would like guidance on any other common interview questions, we would love to hear from you. Please email your thoughts to firstname.lastname@example.org.