Interviews can be daunting, and making a lasting impression on your potential employer isn't easy — especially if you're nervous. However, asking the right questions at the end of a job interview can not only give you valuable information about the company, they may also help you secure the role. But which questions are the most essential to ask?
At Forward Role, we specialise in supporting candidates throughout their journey of finding their dream job. That's why we're sharing exactly why asking questions at the end of an interview is important, the top eight questions you should consider, and questions to avoid so you don't give off the wrong impression.
Why is it important to ask questions at an interview?
They allow you to gather more information about the position and the company. Even if you've done your homework, there may still be some things you're curious about, and asking questions allows you to get the answers you need. Remember that an interview isn't solely about the employer evaluating your suitability for the job — it's equally important to assess whether the position is the right fit for you!
It also demonstrates your genuine enthusiasm for the job, leaving a positive impression on the interviewer and potentially increasing your chances of landing the job.
Even if you feel like you know everything you need to know, it's still a good idea to ask a few questions to show your interest.
Top tips for asking an employer questions in a job interview
Before we dive into the list of questions, let's go over some essential tips to keep in mind when asking questions during a job interview:
Be specific — One key tip is to tailor your questions to the role and company you're being interviewed for. By doing this, you not only demonstrate that you've done your research but also that you've been paying attention during the interview. This means setting aside time to thoroughly prepare beforehand, ensuring you have a solid understanding of the organisation and the position.
Ask questions you actually want to know the answer to — Don't ask questions just for the sake of asking. Instead, focus on showing genuine curiosity and interest in the company, the role, and the potential opportunities. Asking questions is not only to impress your interviewer but also a chance for you to determine if the job aligns with your own career goals and aspirations.
Don't say you have no questions — It's important to always have a few questions prepared for the end of the interview, as this shows your enthusiasm for the job. Saying you have no questions may give the impression that you're not invested in the opportunity or haven't fully thought through the role and company.
Best questions to ask in an interview
From the responsibilities within the role to the company culture, here are some excellent questions to ask in an interview. You may want to prepare by noting a few down that you can look over and remember before your interview.
Questions to ask about the role
Can you tell me more about the day-to-day responsibilities of the role?
By gaining insights into the daily tasks and responsibilities, you can assess if the role fits with your skills, strengths, and career objectives.
For example, if you're most excited about creating content assets, but that part of the job only comes up every few months, the role may not be the best fit for you.
Asking this question also allows you to envision yourself in the position, and you'll confidently enter the job, knowing you have a solid grasp of what's expected from you.
However, some interviewers may answer with something vague like: "Every day is different". If you get this response, try following up by saying: "What did the last few weeks of the person currently in the job look like?"
And, if, despite your efforts, you're unable to get an answer, it could be a red flag, indicating potential chaos or a job where expectations are not clearly defined.
What are the biggest challenges I would face in the position?
This is another great question that shows you are proactive and genuinely interested in understanding any hurdles you may encounter in the position. And by gaining insight into the challenges, you can better assess if you have the skills and experience to overcome them.
It also demonstrates your willingness to prepare and find practical solutions, showcasing your problem-solving skills. Employers appreciate candidates who have a realistic understanding of the role's challenges and are eager to tackle them head-on, so asking this question could increase your chances of success!
Can you tell me more about the team I’ll be working with?
Asking about the team you'll be working with is an excellent way to show commitment to fitting in and being a valuable contributor. It also gives you valuable insights into the level of collaboration required in the role.
By expressing curiosity about the team, you highlight your strong focus on teamwork and understanding of the importance of fostering positive working relationships to achieve shared goals. And this is certainly highly valued by employers!
How could I impress you in the first three months of employment?
This question clearly shows the interviewer that you want to make a positive contribution to the company from the start. It demonstrates your willingness to go above and beyond and adapt quickly.
Just remember to pay close attention to their answer, as it will provide insights into their expectations and priorities. This will allow you to align your efforts and focus on areas that will impress them the most if you get the position.
Questions to ask about the company
What opportunities for growth, training, and progression are available in the company?
When it comes to advancing your career, it's essential to always be on the lookout for opportunities that promote growth and progression. So you'll want to ensure your potential company offers the necessary resources and time for personal and professional development.
Asking this question not only confirms that you're joining an organisation that prioritises your long-term professional goals, but also showcases to the employer your commitment and focus on your career — qualities they value highly in candidates.
What do you like most about working at this company?
You can learn a lot from asking this question. If the interviewer can easily cite numerous things they enjoy about working there, it's a positive sign; the company is probably a great place to work.
However, it might be a red flag if there's an awkward silence or the interviewer seems unsure about what they enjoy about the job.
Questions to ask about the next steps
When will I hear back from you?
If they haven't already let you know, asking the interviewer when you'll get a response from them about the job shows your genuine interest in the next steps of the hiring process.
It can also help you manage your expectations and plan accordingly, whether it's following up or considering other job options.
If I was offered this job, what could I do to prepare for it?
By asking how to prepare for the role, you show your commitment to being organised and hitting the ground running. Plus, it gives you a head start, and you'll thank yourself on your first day if you do get the job!
Questions to avoid during a job interview
Asking questions during a job interview is generally encouraged. However, you need to be aware that certain questions, even with good intentions, can give the wrong impression to the interviewer.
Here are some questions you should steer clear of in an interview:
What is the salary for this position?
While it's natural to be curious about the salary for a position, it's best to avoid asking about it during the initial stages of a job interview. This is because talking about salary too early in the process may give the impression that your main motivation is financial rather than a genuine interest in the role itself. Instead, try to focus on showcasing your qualifications, skills, and enthusiasm for the opportunity when asking questions.
There will be opportunities to discuss and negotiate salary later in the hiring process after you've showcased your value to the company.
What does the company do?
You should know the answer to this question if you've done some research and prepared for the interview. It's essential to familiarise yourself with the company's services and overall mission, as this demonstrates your enthusiasm and that you are proactive in understanding the business you want to work for.
Instead of asking this basic question, consider more specific queries that delve deeper into the company's goals, recent projects, or industry trends. Here are some more examples:
Where do you think the company is headed in the next five years?
How would you describe the company culture?
How does the company support work-life balance for employees?
What is the leadership style or approach within the company?
Can you share any recent achievements or milestones that the company has celebrated?
Do you have any positions apart from this one?
Asking this question will divert the focus from the current role you're being interviewed for. Remember: employers want to hire candidates who are excited about and committed to the job at hand!
What benefits are there with this role?
Company benefits are great. But your interview is definitely not the time to ask about them.
Asking about benefits right away may give the impression that you're just interested in the perks rather than the actual responsibilities and details of the job. Therefore, benefit-related questions are more appropriate for later stages of the hiring process or during salary negotiations.
Take the next step in your career with Forward Role
Once you know the right questions and which ones to avoid, the opportunity for questions at the end of an interview can really work to your advantage. And if you’ve smashed the interview and secured the role, check out our top 10 tips for starting a new job successfully.
At Forward Role, we have the expertise to match top-quality candidates with market-leading digital and tech businesses throughout the UK.