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Questions to Ask Your Interviewer If You Run Out of Ideas

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Beth Allsopp

First and foremost, congratulations on progressing towards the next step in your career and landing yourself an interview. As anticipation builds ahead of the event, we would like to take the opportunity to offer some advice and assistance. You will likely be looking forward to getting your interview out of the way and when it begins to draw to a close, you may find yourself feeling relieved to be walking out of the door. Usually, it is when the recruiter turns to us and asks ‘so, would you like to ask me any questions?’ that we realise that the end is in sight. At this point, it’s important to remember that this isn’t just a way for the employer to wrap up the interview. This is your last chance to make a memorable impression. Therefore, don’t pass up this opportunity by replying ‘no, thank you’, or ‘you have already answered all of my questions’.

 If you wish to show real enthusiasm for the position, it’s best to be inquisitive and naturally curious about the role and the company. Of course, under nerve-wracking conditions, it can be difficult to stay focused and clear-headed. Your interviewer could have genuinely answered all of your questions and you may even find that your mind goes blank. We have provided some examples of good questions to ask your interviewer. Keep them in the back of your mind, so that you always have some options to rely on.

 1. What do you think are the most important qualities required for someone to excel in this role?

This question will give you some valuable insight into the role that may not have been specified in the job description. It will help you learn what will be expected of you so that you can understand if the position is right for you.

2. Could you give me a bit more detail about the day-to-day responsibilities of the role?

Obviously, asking this enables you to know exactly what you will be spending your time doing. It’s important that this is clearly outlined so that, if you are offered the job by the employer, you will have no surprises if you start working for them.

3. What would it take for me to impress you within my first 30 days, 60 days, 12 months?

Inquiring about this will leave a great impression on the hiring manager, it shows that you are a candidate eager to leave a positive impact on the company. However, don’t just say this to look good, pay close attention to the response – it will highlight what you should focus the most attention on when you first start and also how the organisation will want you to perform.

4. Can you describe the work culture of the company?

By getting the interviewer to respond to this, you will learn what the work-life balance of the business is, what employee benefits they have to offer, and how they prioritise employee care and wellbeing. Information you absolutely need to know before considering becoming part of this company.

5. What opportunities are there for progression in this role?

You need to know if this position will offer a pathway for you to develop your career, in a way that is in line with your long-term goals and desires. This also demonstrates your interest in growing within the company and will give a good indication of whether the company promotes from within.

6. Where do you think the company is heading in the next five years?

If you are looking for a role that you can stay in for several years, it is essential to learn if the organisation is going to provide a space for you to continually progress. This will also give you a stronger sense of the level of security that there is with the job. It's a bonus that it also shows commitment on your part. Consider also asking about the challenges and opportunities facing the company as it develops.

7. Could you tell me more about the team I will be working in?

It’s very advantageous to learn about the dynamic of the team you will become part of, how is the team structured? Who will you be reporting to? What are their working methods? Think about whether this is the type of set-up which you are looking for and if you will fit in.

8. What do you enjoy about this job?

This question gives your interviewer the chance to talk about themselves after spending a significant amount of time listening to you speak. Because this question is a personal one, you can learn a lot from the reply – you will get insight through the eyes of an insider.

9. What sort of training and development is available?

You wouldn't want to embark on a role that is stationary, this will allow you to assess if the company could sustain you for a long period of time. Show that you are serious about your professional advancement by asking this question.

10. Do you have any hesitations about my application?

You may be apprehensive to ask something like this. Whilst it does leave you a little vulnerable, it shows confidence and a willingness to improve. This question could also lead to the possibility of you being able to clarify or elaborate on anything the employer might be concerned about

11. What are the next steps in the recruitment process?

It’s beneficial to have a good sense of the organisation’s timeline for the hiring process, in order to follow up in the most appropriate way. This question will also show your desire to move on to the next step in the process.

The hiring manager is interviewing you to learn about your skills, qualities, and experience, but remember that the meeting is also your chance to find out if the position, the company, and your potential new managers are right for you. Seize the opportunity to learn everything you need to know, having these questions to hand will also show your interviewer that you have prepared for this interview and have thought about the opportunity seriously. Good luck!

At Hamlyn Williams, we personally assist and guide all of our candidates whilst they prepare for an interview. One of our experienced recruiters can provide you with questions tailored to what’s important to you, what we know about your industry and what we know about our clients. Should you like to receive any further advice, please get in touch with one of our experts - info@hamlynwilliams.com