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It’s question time

During a job interview, it’s not just you who are being assessed – it’s also an opportunity to question whether this is the right job for you.

So you’re sitting there, in front of an interviewing panel, heart thumping and trying your best to appear like you’re the best candidate for the job. And then one member of the panel turns to you and asks you, “So, do you have a question for us?”

Now you weren’t expecting that.

For candidates, asking questions during a job interview is a golden opportunity

Many potential candidates expect job interviews to be tantamount to sitting in front of a firing squad, facing a barrage of questions. In many ways, it is. However, at the end of nearly every job interview, candidates are always asked to field their own questions. And many times, candidates are not prepared and ask the usual stock questions about salary and time off. Worse still, some simply say that they don’t have any questions to ask. And that’s a sure fire way of telling your interviewers that you’re not really interested in the job.

For candidates, asking questions during a job interview is a golden opportunity. First of all, asking the right questions can be a way of confirming your experience, qualifications and interest in the job. And secondly, a job interview is not just about a potential employer interviewing you – you are also interviewing a potential employer and assessing whether this is really the right job for you.

Part of your interview preparation should be drawing up a series of questions that you want to ask your interviewers. Make sure that your questions are thoughtful and insightful: that way, you can stand out and show that you’re not just another CV on the pile.

Looking for answers

What skills does the position require?

The answer to this question will help you understand whether you are the right person for the job. Also ask the interviewers whether they can see any gaps in your skills. If they do identify gaps, then show that you are willing to develop new skills. If the interviewers agree that you have the right skills, then you stand a good chance of getting the job.

How will the organisation help me grow?

Continuous development is key to any position. Show that you are willing to learn, develop and grow and make sure that the organisation you want to join has a training plan for its employees and a support system to ensure that you get mentoring and continuous professional development.

What are the challenges that your organisation is facing?

Asking this question shows that you are willing to understand the market or sector that the organisation operates in. Moreover, it shows that you have the willingness and energy to help the organisation meet its challenges and grow.

What do you enjoy most about working for this organisation?

Keep in mind that the people interviewing you are also employees. Therefore, they can give you a good insight into what makes the organisation that you plan to join a good employer. Moreover, asking this question enables you to connect with your interviewers on a personal level. If the interviewers struggle to come up with an answer, then reconsider joining an organisation where job satisfaction is clearly lacking.

Can you give me more information about the team I would be working with?

First of all, this shows that you are a team player and that you want to hit the ground running from your very first day. Moreover, the question in itself is a good hint that you are confident enough that you will be getting the job.

Who previously held this position?

At first glance, this looks like a simple question. However, it isn’t. The answer will help you gauge your position. If the previous incumbent was promoted, then the organisation believes in growth. If, on the other hand, whoever held the position was fired or quit, then it is an indication of what kind of culture and job satisfaction levels the organisation has.

How will you judge my success?

This question shows your willingness to succeed and gives you a good idea of how the company will assess and reward you.

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