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Preparing for Tricky Interview Questions Part 3: ‘Do you have any questions for us?’

Posted on 9th Feb 18

You’re nearly the end of your job interview. All being well, you’ll have demonstrated your best work, your aptitudes for the role on offer and built up a rapport with your interviewer.

So when your interviewer asks ‘do you have any questions for us?’, it can be easy to feel at a loss for words. Surely, if you’ve done the interview well, you’ve covered everything? Arguably, yes, you should make sure you let them know all about you in the interview. But interviews are a two-way process; it’s as much you finding out about a prospective new employer, as it is about them figuring out your suitability.

The VANRATH team have pulled together some suggestions of dynamite questions to choose from, which can help you find out more about the company and role, and might just set you apart from the herd.* 

What’s the company culture like?

This is more important than you might think at this point in the process. An incredible role will be a lot less appealing if you discover that it exists in an environment that doesn’t meld with your personal style. Do you like to dress casually or professionally? Do you like to socialise with your co-workers, or keep your professional life separate? What is the average age of your team? What’s the gender split in the company? It can be good to also pay attention to the layout of the working environment, if you are interviewed in the offices. Is it open plan? Noisy? Could you work here?

What are your plans for the successful candidate in the first 6 months of this role? What would success look like?

Often, in an interview, it can be easy to talk in generalities about what a role will involve e.g. creating new campaigns, managing staff. But by asking what practical projects your prospective employer has in mind for the role, you can actually find out what you’d be doing right away.

Asking this question will be useful in allowing you to see if your ambitions match the plans for the role, and will also make you look pragmatic and success-orientated.

What do you enjoy most about working for the business?

This question shifts the focus back to the interviewer, which can be an interesting way to help you stand out from our interviewees. By asking this positive, personal question, it allows a more intimate rapport to be built with the interviewer. It also allows insight into the company from a current employee- do they seem passionate and engaged? That’s often a good sign that the company is a great place to work.

What are the long-term plans and aims for the business?

This is another practical, prudent question. It allows you to hear the ambitions for the future, and will naturally include how your role fits into these long term plans. It can be a useful way to see if the role has room to grow- and to find out any exciting plans that could be part of your future.

By asking about the long term plans of the company, you are also subtly indicating your own interests in longevity, which is always a positive attribute in a potential employer's eyes.

Are there opportunities for growth and training in this role?

Similar to asking about the company’s long-term plans, asking about opportunities to grow and train is a sign that you are interested in a long-term career building move. This is far preferable to a flightly candidate, and it will be important to know this information from the outset. If you have ambitions to learn more in a certain area, it’s essential to establish that you will have the company’s support to do that.

What’s the next step in the interview process?

The intention of this question is twofold. Firstly, it is practical. By knowing when you will hear back, how, and from whom, it partially relieves the stress of job hunting, and allows you to know what you're up against if you proceed.

Secondly, asking about the next step is an indication of your interest in the role as a candidate, and your desire to move to the next level.

Be sure to state your interest outright when leaving though, just to be very clear. We’d recommend the following:

‘Thank you so much for your time today. It was great to learn more about the work you do here- I would be delighted to be considered for the role on offer. I hope to hear from you soon’

Interested in reading more about how to answer tricky interview questions?
Click here to get our advice on how to answer ‘Tell me about yourself’, or click here to read up on how to tackle the question ‘Why are you leaving your current role?’

Prefer to get some one-on-one advice? You can call our expert consultants on 02890 330250 or email belfast@vanrath.com

*A word of warning though- if a topic has been covered in the main interview, it’s best not to ask a question that will cause your interview to repeat themselves - it could look like you weren’t listening earlier