Most interviewers give you the chance to ask questions when they have finished interrogating you, so be prepared: if you don’t have anything up your sleeve, you’ll come across as passive rather than knowledgeable and interested.
Generally, it’s not a good idea to ask about pay or benefits, as this can make you seem more concerned with what the organisation can do for you, rather than what you can do for it. Instead, you should ask things that will give you a better idea about the company or organisation and reinforce your position as the right candidate for the job. It will also make you stand out.
Remember, the interview isn’t just for the interviewer to see if you’re right for the job, but for you to make sure the job – and the company - is right for you.
Here are five questions you should prepare to ask:
What do you like most about the company?
This is a good way to find out what the working environment is like – and whether you fancy being a part of it. Will the atmosphere be relaxed or will you have to work all hours into the evening and at weekends?
What are you looking for in a graduate?
Not only is this a good way to discover what an organisation expects from you, it could also shine light on the company and highlight any potential problems. For example, if the interviewer is looking for someone who can easily adapt to the working pace or who has great communication skills, this could be signposting the areas where previous graduates have fallen short.
What scope is there for progression and development?
This will show you are prepared to commit to the organisation and develop your career there. It will also enable you to work out whether the job fits in with your career goals.
What are your expectations for my performance in the first year – and how will they be measured?
Employers of graduates invest time and money in training new graduates and want to know their new employees are worth the investment. That means you, a prospective employee, need to know what’s expected of you. Answers to this question will give you an idea of how your success will be measured and give the organisation an indication that you are keen to do well.
Can you tell me about the team I will be working with?
This is another question that should give you an idea of what to expect and what the dynamics of the job will be.