How To Get The Most Out Of A Job Interview: Asking The Right Questions

4 min

When you are attending your first interview for a potential career move, you want to ensure you make the best impression by asking all the right questions, rather than coming away feeling unsure if you have portrayed yourself in the best light.

Employers firstly want to see that you have done your research into the company and you are generally interested in what they do. To be successful it is important to make sure that this is the right opportunity and you are a ‘good fit’. Instead of asking “What does your company do?” be more inquisitive and try to build on your knowledge of the business, so ask questions like “Where do you see the company in five years’ time?” or if they have a specific product or service, enquire about that “You’ve recently invested in product X, what’s the next step for this product and/or the next product to be developed?”. In reality, nobody is going to hire someone who doesn’t know anything about the business.

Naturally, you will want to gain as much information as you can about the role that you are interviewing for. Job descriptions aren’t always greatly descriptive; they leave you needing to know more. However, an employer isn’t going to appreciate you asking “What is the role?” wording it in this way makes you appear unprepared for the interview, which could negatively impact your chances. A different way of expressing this could be “What does a typical day look like?” even go a step further and ask “What are the biggest challenges someone in this position would face?”. By rephrasing the initial question you are not only appearing interested in the role but you are likely to gain more information about the company and the role as a result.

Most people will be keen to know if there is potential for career growth within the business and if there are opportunities for promotions. Coming out and asking “How quickly could I get promoted?” is most definitely not the right question to ask to get the answer you need. Try approaching this question another way first and inquire about if the role is a newly created position or if it is an existing role, to do this you can ask “Why was the role advertised?” building on it to gain more information by asking “What did the previous holder of the role move on to do?”. Asking those questions rather than the direct approach can give insight into the way the company invests in its employees, if they have a career path in place and if they provide opportunities for development in the business.

A general rule of thumb in interviews, as previously stated, is to make sure that you have done your research. As part of this you need to make sure that you do not ask questions in the interview that you could have found the answers to yourself; if you do this you are more likely to come across unprepared and not invested in the business.
We all agree that whilst the role itself is one of the most important factors of job satisfaction, so are the benefits that come with it. Most people won’t move from their current position if there isn’t an improvement in the benefits package i.e. salary for example. However, asking “What is the salary?”, “What kind of benefits package do you offer?” or “How many holiday days do we get?” should be avoided. Employers want to see that you are bought into their company and the role rather than just the benefits that come with it.

End the interview on a high by asking one last punchy question. A great final question is one which turns the question back on the interviewer such as: “Is there anything else you would like to know about me?”. Asking this is a great way for you to fill any gaps that hadn’t been covered during the interview, it also gives you a final chance to showcase yourself.

The questions you ask in interview can be just as important as the answers you give. They can mean the difference between seeming excited and engaged by the company, and looking like you are only interested in what’s in it for you.

By making sure that you ask the right things, your interviewer can gauge how much you really want the job. This can be what sets you apart from other people who are just as qualified for the role.

CSG’s expert recruiters are committed to ensuring that you as a candidate receive the highest quality service. We strive to understand your complete career requirements, desires and personal preferences to ensure that the role is the right fit for you.

Our consultants are available to offer expert advice and industry knowledge to assist you with the interview process. If you are looking for a new career or a change in job, why not check out our global talent experts to see which of our recruitment consultants can assist you with your next career move.

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