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If you have ever attended an interview and been asked “do you have any questions for us” and you’ve responded with a “no” you have missed a massive opportunity to impress the interview panel. Interviews should no longer be a one-way street. An interviewer wants to see how much preparation and thought you have put in to the job opportunity and this is demonstrated by the questions you have prepared for the interviewer.
No doubt if you are changing jobs you want to make sure that it’s the right job for you. Just as the interviewer wants to determine if you have the right skills and experience, will be a good culture fit and will be a great addition to their team, surely you want to know a little bit about the company, your manager and the nitty gritty of the job. By asking the interviewer some great questions, you’ll get a much better sense of if this is the right opportunity for you.
Asking great questions of the interviewer is guaranteed to ensure you impress them. As an interviewer, it’s a big disappointment for me when the job seeker has no questions at all and I’m dis-heartened when all they can think to ask is:
- What are the hours of work?
- Do you have a uniform?
- What is the pay rate/ salary?
These are all important questions but if you really want to impress at an interview here are my top 6 questions to ask an interviewer:
- What would I need to do to surprise and delight you in this role?
This question is about how can you exceed your managers expectations, how can you go over and above in the role and impress them. I was asked this question when I was recruiting one of my team members and I still remember thinking wow great question.
- How will you measure my success in the first 30 / 60 / 90 days or 6 / 12 months?
You can pick any time intervals you want but this question will help give you insight in to how your manager sees the first few months playing out and what they will expect you to be undertaking and achieving within particular timeframes. It will also give you insight in to how they manage the induction and onboarding process – how they help set you up for success.
- Tell me about the opportunities and challenges facing the department / company at the moment? What plans do you have in place for addressing those opportunities and challenges?
Asking this question shows you are thinking about the bigger picture and not just the day to day responsibilities. The answer should give you some insight in to how your role contributes to the overall operations of the business and its strategic direction. Understanding how we can contribute beyond our day to day tasks is important for individual and team success and you’ll have a better idea of the dynamic you’ll be coming in to.
- What is it that excites you most about working here?
Most businesses will share with you something about why it’s great to work for them, a bit about their culture and values but asking directly why someone likes to work for a business can give you added insight into what a business really has to offer. Depending on what they respond with, probe and ask questions to find out what that really means or what that really looks like.
- How would you describe your leadership style? What can I expect from you as my manager to assist me in maximising my job performance?
They say that employees don’t leave jobs, they leave managers. If that’s the case you probably really want to try and get a feel for your managers leadership and management style and if it will be a good fit for you. The first part of the question is really a lead in; it’s the second part of the question that should provide you with valuable information on how effectively you’ll be able to work with them.
- What attributes make someone a good culture fit for the company? Why?
Culture is key. If you simply ask tell me about the culture here, you’ll probably get a pretty generic response along the lines of “the culture is great…….” By changing the question a little and asking about the attributes and why those attributes are important, you should get a better sense of the culture.
Put your best foot forward at a job interview by showing you are prepared and have invested the time to understand the role, the company and the industry. Armed with awesome questions for the interviewer, you’ll be sure to make a first-class impression.
Angela Connor is the Founder and Director of Inspire HQ, one of regional Victoria’s leading recruitment, human resource and career coaching companies. She understands the significance of having the right team of people in a business and is passionate about helping business to attract, recruit and engage the right people so those people can inject their talents into the business; creating an environment where they can do great work and love what they do. Find more useful information and advice at www.inspirehq.com.au or by following Angela on LinkedIn.