Working in recruitment, a large part of my role is to prepare individuals for interviews. What I’ve come to realise is that no matter the role, sometimes the most challenging part of the interview comes when the ball is in their court. In particular, I’m referring to the part towards the end – where the interviewer asks “Do you have any questions for me?” Now this may seem like a rhetorical question and that you are in the clear. Well, it isn’t and you’re not. Here are 3 questions to ask in interviews and 3 questions you avoid.
1) Can you tell me more about the company culture?
Asking this question during interviews does two things. The first, it shows you are interested in what makes the company click; the second, the answer will allow you to assess how well you will fit in with the people and customs of the company.
2) I know that you distinguish yourself from your competitors because of ____ (insert a fact that demonstrates you have researched the company). Can you tell me what else sets your company apart?
Here, it shows that you have taken an active interest in the company, and that you’ve invested time & energy trying to work this out. The question illustrates that you’ve done your due diligence, and that will always be well received during interviews.
3) How has your organization recognised employee’s achievements in the past?
Don’t be afraid to ask this in interviews. This shows the company that you are serious, ambitious, and goal orientated. It also will give you a good idea of how people are rewarded for going the extra mile.
Those are three of my favourite questions to ask, now let’s look at a couple of terrible ones.
1) What does your company exactly do?
If you have to ask that question, you really have no business being in the building let alone working there. Do your homework, learn the company, and understand the industry. It’s key.
2) How long do I have to wait before I can use my allocated sick days?
No… Just no. This will install no confidence in the interviewer and will probably leave you without a call back. Even if you mean well, asking this question during an interview will be received one of two ways. The first – you plan to be sick. The second – you’re a hypochondriac. Neither is good.
3) No questions at all.
While there are an infinite amount of silly questions people should avoid, one of the worst ways to answer “Do you have any questions for me?” during an interview is to say “No. Not really.” Get engaged with the company and be curious. Show that you have given thought to the organisation. Surely anyone can come up with at least one legitimate question.
People normally think about the last portion of the interview least. However, it’s the part that can help candidates truly set themselves apart from others. By asking good, strong questions, it can show the company that you are motivated, and that you’ve taken the time to research the company. It should also show the interviewer that you are interested in not only the job, but the company and brand as well – and I believe that is extremely important to all organisations.
By: Mayur Patel
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