Job interview questions are a great opportunity to demonstrate your interest and suitability for a job. However, most people struggle to think of a good question, so make sure that you are prepared.
If you had a look at our common interview questions and top interview tips, then you are now ready to learn about the right questions to ask during a job interview. Thinking about questions to ask the interviewer yourself is not an easy task and that is why we have prepared this job interview questions cheat sheet to help you out.
“How would you describe your company culture?”
By the interview stage, you should have done substantial research on the company, and have a pretty good idea of their core values. However, it’s important to understand how the firm works from the hiring manager’s perspective. They will have a better understanding of how the company really operates day-to-day, and be able to give you a better insight into how well-suited you are to the company.
“Is this a new position or am I replacing someone?”
Whilst the amount of time employees typically stay with a company is continuously decreasing, high staff turnover could be a potential red flag. If you are coming in to replace a past employee, this is a good opportunity to hear why that may have been, and factor that into your decision process. Possible reasons include a lack of career progression, poor staff retention, or simply an industry standard of moving on quickly. If you are coming into a new position, depending upon the size of the company, it could also mean a lack of clear job responsibilities. So you will need to consider and react to their answer according to your own career priorities.
“Where can this role lead me within the firm?”
When looking at employing people, a hiring manager will generally be looking longer term. The cost of training new employees is considerable, so the hiring manager will be looking for assurances that you are worth investing in, and won’t leave quickly. By asking this question, you will be aligning your thinking with theirs, but be sure to then follow-up by explaining how you see your own career progression, and how that complements their vision. This will give you a clear indication of whether this job is right for you longer term.
“Can you tell me about your time with the company?”
Asking questions about the interviewer’s own rise through the company ranks can shed some light on the personal attributes and soft skills valued by the business – as well as providing a blueprint for career progression. You may also be able to glean additional insights into the firm’s culture and whether or not it is the right fit for you.
“What types of professional development programs and learning opportunities do you provide?”
Depending upon the position you are applying for, the opportunity to develop new skills should be chief amongst your concerns when evaluating whether a job opportunity is right for you. As you progress through your career, increasing your skill-set specific to your job role enables you to progress and command higher salaries. By only pursuing companies that provide a platform to progress and develop, you can give yourself the best opportunity to achieve your career goals.
“How do you ensure employees have adequate work life balance?”
This question needs to be asked gently, but it can give you invaluable information regarding the companies’ expectations for employees. Now, whether their answer is favorable depends largely on your personal values and what is most important to you. However, whilst it is reasonable to expect a certain amount of trade-off between employees working and personal lives, you would expect an employer to largely respect this boundary for the employees’ overall well-being. Be careful how you deliver this question though, as you don’t want the interviewer thinking that you are not committed to the role. Also have a think about the industry standard, because if long working hours are the rule, it may mean that the career path itself, rather than the company, is ill-suited to your personal values.