9 essential questions to ask your interviewer

So, you’ve given thoughtful, well-considered answers to your interviewers’ questions – well done. That’s the hard part complete but the interview isn’t over yet. As things start to wind up and you’re asked if you have any questions, don’t say no! This is your time to shine. Asking the right kinds of questions in an interview not only shows that you’re genuinely interested in the role, it’s also a great opportunity for you to get a sense of what it might be like working in it.

Don’t try to simply wing it by asking the first question that pops into your mind. Prepare for this part of the interview as you would for the other questions t. That means not asking for information about something that is mentioned on the company’s website, such as when it was established. That will show you haven’t done your homework.

We asked Catalina Consultants’ Senior HR Consultant Stephanie Moffitt about the best questions she’s been asked in interviews and why.

Here’s what she had to say.

  1. Could you please expand on what you mentioned about growth plans/company vision/etc?
    “The best questions I've been asked are those that build on the conversation we had during the interview. It shows that the candidate has been listening.”
  2. Why has this position become available?
    “The way this question is answered will tell you a lot about the company, such as whether it has a high staff turnover. If you get a positive response, such as it being a new position that's been created due to company growth, then that’s great.”
  3. What’s the future strategy of the company?
    “This will help you understand what your long-term future at the company may look like and the kind of work you will be involved with. You can make this question even better if you’ve googled the company and read an article about it – you can ask your interviewer to expand on something that was mentioned.”
  4. What do you enjoy most about working here?
    “This is a positive question and it will reveal things about company culture. It’s better than asking, ‘How long have you worked here?’ because that’s not an opened-ended question that's going to give you a lot of information or an opportunity for further discussion.”
  5. What would a typical day look like for the role being offered?
    “This can potentially give you a lot of insights. It will tell you what proportion of the role would be spent on certain tasks, as well as getting a clearer idea of the company’s expectations and priorities.”
  6. How do you measure success in this role?
    “This will tell you whether success is clearly measured and celebrated.” If you’re the type of employee that thrives on feedback, this is essential to know.
  7. What does the company look for in employees?
    “This will help you identify whether you’ll mesh well with the company.” If you possess the same traits or values as those mentioned, you can be confident you’ll make a great fit. It may even give an indication of how you performed during the interview.
  8. Can you tell me a little bit more about the work culture?
    “This is a neutral question that doesn't lead your interviewer to assume anything about the kind of culture you're expecting the company to have. You wouldn't go in and say, ‘Do you guys do Friday night drinks?’”
  9. How do you like to be kept updated on work progress?
    “This shows that you’re thinking about how you would work with them and that you have initiative. It also shows that you’re flexible and willing to adapt to different working styles.”

Asking great questions will elicit responses that will help you determine if the job is right for you. And that’s just as important as the interviewer deciding if you are right for the job.