You are sailing through your interview, answering all of the interviewer’s questions confidently and precisely. The recruiter seems impressed and when the interview is just about to end, he throws the ball in your court by asking “Do you have any questions for me?”
Here is our piece of advice: if you want to improve your chances of securing the job, at the end of the interview you should always be ready with the list of questions to ask an interviewer. But the key here is to ask the right questions that will make you look enthusiastic and interested in the job. Avoid questions about salary and holidays, or those whose answers are readily available on the company websites. Instead, ask questions related to the team dynamics, your role and responsibility and the company growth and values.
In case you need some inspiration, below is a list of good questions to ask an interviewer.
Company Growth, Priorities and Values
By learning about the company’s growth, priorities and values, you will get an insight into the company’s stature in the marketplace and its progression plans; thereby helping you gauge the job security at your potential workplace. The interviewer may also give you a heads-up on a few major ongoing or incoming project(s).
1. What are the most recent examples of things the company has tried and failed at?
Every company knows that to excel in their business they need to take a risk and try new things. Sometimes, in spite of calculated risks, things can go haywire and result in failures.
By putting up this question you are basically trying to figure out how the company handles such situations. You would want to know whether or not the executives take responsibility and are honest about their failures. How does the company fix the damage done and take a different route? Moreover, the interviewer’s answer should steer towards the key learnings they took from this failure.
2. What are the company’s core values? What do you look for in new hires so that they represent those values?
By digging deep into company culture, you will know what are the most important things for the company as a whole, and what it values in its employees.
This is a great question to ask an interviewer to know whether you are the right fit for the role or not. Clearly, the values they look at in other hires, they would have looked in you too.
3. What are the goals that the company focuses on currently? How does this team align with those goals?
This question shows that you are actually interested in the company and reinforces your commitment to the organisation.
The interviewer’s answer helps you understand the company's progression plans, its priorities, its current place in the market and the areas it wants to strengthen or capture, thereby giving you an idea about the job security for this position. You may also get a glimpse of the kind of work you can expect here.
Also, you will learn how and what role does the team, for which you are being interviewed, play in achieving the company’s goals. You might also figure out how the organisation aligns and measures goals for different teams.
Role and Responsibility
Asking questions related to your role and responsibility will give you a chance to learn more about the position, how it will evolve, and what future prospects you can get within the company.
1. Can you briefly explain the day-to-day responsibilities for this role?
Through this question, try to learn as much as you can about the role and responsibility you might end up getting. Through the interviewer's response, you will get an insight into the skills needed for this position and will help you decide whether or not it is the right one for you.
You will also get an idea of the employer's expectations so that there are no surprises or shockers when you land the job.
2. How do you see this position evolving as the company grows?
The interviewer is likely to admire a candidate who shows interest in the bigger picture rather than just the job s/he is being interviewed for. Thinking about the company’s growth in the coming years displays that you are an ambitious person and care about your career progression in the organisation.
Moreover, you will also learn how the hiring manager views this role and how critical it is in achieving the organisation’s goals and vision.
3. What will my first 30, 60 and 90 days be like in terms of work and performance evaluation?
This question will help you understand how your early days in the company will look like. You will also get a clear and specific picture about what goals to achieve and which milestones to hit to contribute in the best way in this role.
4. According to you, what is the most challenging aspect of this role?
You would have already been told about the benefits and the good things of this job. But it is equally important for you to know the not-so-good things about the role. This will help you gauge the scale of the problems at work that you might have to deal with.
5. Who owns the goals and how are decisions made about what work needs to be done?
Through this question, you want to make sure that how much say you will have in the team goals. Also, understand how much freedom you will have to create an impact as an employee. Basically, you can determine the level of influence that every single team member has on the collective team goals. Try to understand whether all goals come from top to bottom, or while setting the goals and directives, due input is taken from those who will actually work on them.
Team Impact and Dynamics
Working with the team is an integral part of a job. By knowing about the team dynamics, you can understand how the company is structured, who reports to whom, whom you will report to and if you have any direct reports.
1. Can you tell me a bit about the team I will be working with? Whom will I report to and who will be my direct reports?
You should try to know beforehand about the people with whom you will be working closely. The answer to this question will also help you understand the team’s structure, dynamics and way of working. This in turn will give you a rough idea of whether the team aligns with your personality or not.
2. How would you describe the work environment here—is the work typically collaborative or more independent?
The interviewer’s response to this question will help you assess the working environment of the company and discover how well you will fit in. You can also learn if the organisation prefers individual contributors or team players more. Additionally, you may also learn about the company’s attitude towards the employees’ wellness and their work-life balance.