Interviewer

At times, meeting with an interviewer can feel a bit like a professional interrogation. Between all the thorough questioning about your experience and abilities, it’s easy to feel like you only have a relative amount of control over the situation (to find out some of the most common things you may be asked in an interview, click here). But towards the end, the interviewer will inevitably turn to you and say, “do you have any questions?” While this tends to be another way of measuring your suitability for and interest in the position, this is a part where you can take control and sell yourself. Take a look at these suggestions of decent questions, great questions – and a few that are nothing short of gold dust.

Bronze questions for your interviewer:

  • Do you need me to elaborate on anything that you’ve seen on my CV?

Unless the questions asked in your interview are very broad, the interviewer sets the precedent for the direction of the conversation. This means there may be certain achievements that you’d like to provide detail on but haven’t had the chance to. Through asking this question, you can address that.

  • Who do you consider your top competitor – and why?

Although you should have researched the main competitors, the interviewer should be able to provide you with the inside track. This means that if you land the job, you’ll know what needs to be done to beat the competition. In other words, you’re discreetly getting tips on how to excel in your role before you’ve even started!

Interviewer

Silver questions for your interviewer:

  • How would you define the culture here?

You might consider this to be a classic end-of-interview query. Bear in mind, however, that ‘classic’ is defined as something which has been ‘judged over a period of time to be of the highest quality and outstanding of its kind’. In other words, it’s frequently recommended because it’s a very good question to ask. It shows that you’re interested in the organisation and the people in it rather than just the role itself. Remember that if their definition doesn’t sit well with you, you might want to reconsider your interest in the position.

  • What do you like most about working for this organisation?

This is an ideal question for breaking down the formality of an interview situation, which can often be nerve-wracking and go against the flow of normal conversation. By asking for their personal opinion on their favourite aspects of the company, you’re inviting a response that paves the way for a discussion which is honest, positive and sincere.

Gold questions for your interviewer:

  • Where do you envision the company going in the next year (or 5, or 10…)?

This is a great question to ask that the interviewer will likely be less prepared for. It also turns that dreaded, “where do you see yourself in 5 years?” question on its head. While the interviewer might be surprised, rest assured, any question that really makes them stop and think will impress them. By expressing interest in the evolution of the organisation, you’re also inferring that you could be a long-term asset.

  • I’ve seen that your brand has been more active on social media over the last few months. Have you modified your strategy at all?

This is a great way to praise their online efforts while demonstrating you’ve thoroughly researched the company by studying their social media channels over a period of time. Enquiring about whether they’ve changed their tactics additionally reveals an interest in their marketing process. This opens up the opportunity for some storytelling on their part. In other words, this makes you look good while taking the pressure off from you having to do all the talking.

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