4 questions to ask at a job interview

A job interview is your chance to find out if this is the right company for you. You are not there just to sell your skills to the employer, and asking your own questions will help you to decide you do receive a job offer.

Most job seekers focus upon how they will answer tough questions, like ‘what are your greatest weaknesses?’ But it’s important to ask a few questions of your own. This will also help demonstrate your passion and interest for the job.

Here are 4 great questions to ask at a job interview.

Can you tell me more about the daily tasks and responsibilities?

This question is probably the most important from your perspective. You need to find out as much about the role as possible so you can make the correct decision if offered the job. Not only that, but it will also help the interviewer to see that you are clearly interested in the role.

If you find that the employer has already covered this topic, then consider asking more specific questions. This is quite a generic question and we want you to adapt and improvise based on how the interview is going. The employer doesn’t want you to just sit back and accept everything they say; they want you to contribute and ask more questions about the role. You should also acknowledge anything that you’ve already done in the past so you can confirm your existing experience and knowledge.

What training and support will I receive as a new employee?

The great thing about this question is that it subconsciously forces the employer to picture you in the role already. It’s a kind of subtle yet confident approach of saying to the employer, ‘can I have the training details now for when you hire me?’

You need to ask this question for another important reason – and that’s so you are happy that the employer would train and support you adequately. If you felt that the employer didn’t offer any real sort of answer to this question and your confidence was shaken a little, it could be enough to decline any potential job offer.

Avoid recalling any previous training programs you’ve been on as you don’t want to alienate the employer. If you boast about how great a previous company’s training was it could leave them feeling a little disgruntled.

Is there a probationary period?

Following on from a discussion about training and support you could then ask about a probationary period. Some employers have this time to give the new worker a set of goals to achieve during this period. The worst that can happen is the employee fails to meet the standards required and is let go – either during the period or at the very end. The outcome that is more favourable is that the new employee achieves their goals and continues to succeed with the company for many years.

Ask the employer if they have a probationary period and for a brief description of what’s expected of a new employee. Again, this question helps you to find out if you are suitable for the role and demonstrates your keen interest.

What are the company’s goals for the next 5 years?

This question will often take the employer by surprise, but for a good reason. It shows that the candidate is thinking ahead and has the company’s interests at heart. It also further establishes you in the position already and forces the employer to again picture you already hired.

You may also get to find out a few important things that will establish whether or not you want to work for them. You could be looking at gaining a promotion in a few years time, and knowing the company’s direction could give you an indication of if that’s even possible.

Assuming you are looking for a long term role it will ultimately help you decide if this company is the right fit for you. Having a good understanding of the direction they are taking will help you make a decision if you receive a job offer, but could also provide you with a bit more conversation for the interview.

For example, you could be applying for a marketing or advertising position which means you may already have a few ideas that could help the company. Understanding their vision for the next few years could allow you to present your ideas right there and then in the interview. If you can think fast enough you could offer a few suggestions and instantly make a great impression.

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