If you have recently graduated, it’s easy to think that all the power lies in the hands of the interviewer, but this isn’t necessarily the case. Remember, you’re assessing them just as much as they’re assessing you, so it’s a good idea to come equipped with some questions of your own.
When you’re asked “do you have any questions of your own?”, it’s always a bad look to respond with “no”. Instead, this is your time to query the interviewer, showing how interested, enthusiastic and curious about the role you are – just what the employer is looking for in a candidate.
Skipping out on questions at the end has the opposite effect, making you appear unprepared and disinterested in what’s been discussed so far. To help increase your chances at interview, we’ve come up with a list of questions to ask the interviewer, as well as questions to avoid asking too!
“Will there be any opportunities to do external training courses?”
Questions like this show that, rather than just getting the job, you’re thinking beyond that and showing you’re serious about a career with this company. A satisfactory answer will clearly indicate the opportunities for growth and development while working here, letting you know it’s a place with a career path carved out for you.
“What is the turnover of graduates at this company?”
Questions like this might seem like you’re overstepping the mark, but remember, this is your time to learn as much about a company as possible. Getting a handle on how long the average graduate stays in the position gives you an idea of how long you’d do the same.
The answer also gives you an insight into the company’s honesty and transparency. If the answer you get is unsatisfactory, it’s probably not a good sign about the company as a whole.
“What is the working culture like here?”
You’ll want to know if you’re a natural fit within the workplace, so make sure to ask this. It’ll clue you into the vibe of the office, whether your colleagues are outgoing or more introverted, and whether the company takes care of its employees with a strong work/life balance.
“Can you tell me more about the team I’m working in?”
Looking to know more about how the role fits into the department and the kinds of people you’ll work with? Ask this question.
As well as providing information about company structure, you’ll gain insights into the team’s dynamic and working methods, along with the size of the team itself. You might prefer a smaller bunch of like-minded people as opposed to bigger teams numbering in the hundreds.
“What would the ideal candidate achieve in the first six months here?”
Asking questions like this shows that you’re keen to make a positive impression in the role’s early stages, providing some targets to hit should you be successful. The answer will also let you know if you’re a good fit for the role; if the response isn’t what you were expecting, it might not be the job for you.
“What is the one piece of advice you would give to someone in this role?”
If it’s practical, actionable advice you’re looking for, then be sure to ask this. It might even clue you into what not to do should you get the position, so be sure to note down their answer.
“What do you like about working here?”
This kind of question gives you the chance to build up a rapport with the hiring manager/interviewer. Most people enjoy talking about their own experiences, and questions like this help to break down the divide between interviewer and interviewee.
Plus, their answer could provide further insights into the company culture and work environment.
“What are the next steps in the hiring process?”
AKA “when can I expect to hear from you?”. Not only is this is another covert way of showing your enthusiasm for the role, but it provides some key information that you can prepare for.
For instance, will there be presentations and meetings with other members of staff? Answers to this provide you with a timeline that allows you to follow up in the right manner.
Tips for asking your interviewer questions
Of course, these questions are just a guide. You might want to come up with your own questions using these handy tips below.
Avoid placing the focus on yourself
Questions to do with how you can benefit in the job, such as salary, medical cover and flexitime, can be saved for any negotiation if the offer comes in.
Instead, asking about things like work culture and daily routines shows you’re thinking ahead, gaining more of a sense of the less tangible aspects of the role.
Avoid questions with obvious answers
Don’t make the mistake of asking questions that you can find the answers to in the job specification, or that have already been answered earlier in the interview. Doing so might make it seem like you haven’t been paying attention, so make sure you note down important points when they pop up.
Avoid explaining your questions
If nerves get the better of you, or you’re trying to be as clear as possible, you might end up answering your own question as you’re asking it. Try to keep questions concise and specific to avoid rambling.
Avoid questions with “yes/no” answers.
In your interview prep, focus on “wh” questions (i.e. who, what, where, when, which etc). Such questions provide the answers where the real insight and substance can be found. Questions with abrupt answers tend to be awkward for the both of you.
Questions to avoid
Asking the wrong question can change your interviewer’s opinion at the drop of a hat. Be sure to avoid asking these questions during your time together:
- “What does this company really do?” (This is for you to research yourself)
- Do I have to work overtime?
- How much will my salary be? (This should be detailed in the job spec, plus there are more tactful ways to go about asking this)
- How many breaks do I get? (Indicates to the interviewer that you’re not enthusiastic about your duties)
- How much sick pay do I get?
If you’re looking for a student living experience that offers more, head over to NIDO STUDENT to see our global properties or drop us a line on 0207 1000 100 for more information.