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10 questions you should ask during your next job interview

Written by Lenny Sluyts on 7 November 2022 for Tech Graduates

We live in a time when interviewees, especially if they are skilled in new technologies, have the upper hand. So as a tech graduate, it’s okay for you to be critical of your prospective employer. You should use the interview to your advantage, to learn as much as you can about the company and the role you’re interviewing for.

Though it’s good to engage in conversation during the interview, towards the end you will always be asked: ‘Do you have any questions for me?’. Always say yes: it shows you are interested, enthusiastic, engaged, and that you know what you want—all attractive qualities employers are looking for.

Make sure you have at least four or five questions prepared, so that you’ll have something to ask even if some of your questions have already been answered during the interview. After all, it’s best not to ask questions about anything that has already been covered during the interview. You wouldn’t want the interviewer to think you weren’t paying attention.

To help you prepare for your next interview, here are ten good questions to ask your interviewer.

#1 Can you tell me more about the day-to-day responsibilities of the role?

Since we spend so much of our time at work, it’s important to make sure you’ll enjoy your days. Asking the interviewer a question like this allows you to learn as much about the role as possible. It will give you insight into what skills you need and whether the role is right for you.

 

 

#2 How could I impress you in the first three months? What will I need to have done in a year so you know you’ve made the right decision hiring me?

These are good questions to show your interviewer that you’re eager to do a good job and make a positive contribution to the organization. The recruiter’s response will tell you which particular areas of the job you should focus on during your first weeks of employment.

Also, this will push the hiring manager to think about you in a specific role as part of the company, which is never a bad thing during an interview process.

#3 What does professional development look like in this role/company? Are there opportunities for training and progression?

Enquiring about development opportunities demonstrates to the interviewer that you’re committed to a future with the organization and aren’t planning to move on from the company anytime soon. However, it also shows that you’re serious about your career and stagnation is a big red flag for you – probably making them want you even more.

#4 How would you describe the company culture?

It’s important to assess the working environment of an organization. After all, you can be on board with the company’s mission and the job content, but if you don’t fit in culture-wise then you likely won’t enjoy working there. From the interviewer’s response you’ll be able to gauge how the company prioritizes employee happiness, what the work-life balance is like, and whether you’d fit in.

#5 What characteristics do you look for in employees, and which company values do they represent?

This question is a good follow-up to the previous one. It allows you to really dig deep to get more information about the company culture, and whether the organization’s values align with your own. After all, you need to be morally behind an organization in order to thrive.

#6 What does success look like in this position? How and how often do you measure it?

Having a deep understanding of how a company measures success is crucial. What are the key performance indicators for the role? Do you get a yearly performance review or do you sit down with your manager once a month for an informal chat about mutual expectations? This will in turn tell you a lot about the company’s culture as well.

#7 What would you say is the most challenging aspect of this position?

Knowing what’s difficult about a job is equally important as knowing what’s great about it. This way, you can adjust your expectations and prepare yourself to be better equipped to deal with the problems you’ll be facing in this role.

 

 

#8 What do you yourself enjoy about your job? What’s your favorite part about working at the company?

This one might be a bit unorthodox – definitely read the room before asking this one. Only do it when you feel you can have a talk with your recruiter and the atmosphere isn’t too formal. If you think it’s okay to ask a personal question like this one, then the interviewer’s answer can tell you a lot about what it’s like working for the organization. If in their response enthusiasm flows easily, that’s a great sign. If not, be on alert.

#9 Where would you say the company is headed in the next five years?

This question shows that you’re genuinely interested in the company and are planning to still be there in five years. The response you receive will give you an insight into the company’s place in the market, its progression plans, exciting innovation prospects and a general idea about job security.

#10 Is there anything about my CV that makes you question whether I am a good fit for this role?

This is a great question to finish with. It shows that you’re highly invested in the job and it gives you the opportunity to respond to any potential concerns, thus increasing your chances of getting the job.

Finally, don’t ask about money

This is an important one. While it’s good to show enthusiasm and interest by asking many questions, avoid those questions that focus too much on what you can get out of the company. Learning and development? Yes, it shows your ambition. But money and other benefits? Save those for later. You want to convey that you’re in it for the right reasons. It’s perfectly okay to save questions about salary and vacation days for after you’ve been offered the job. By then, you’re also in a better position to negotiate if you don’t like what they’re offering.

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