Questions to ask in an interview

Michelle Chia September 3, 20194 mins read

Ask questions that you really care about.

It’s understandable to want to impress your interviewer, but interview is a two-way conversation — you need ask questions designed to assess the job, company and line manager, to figure out whether this is a position that you’re comfortable to take on. If you’re just focused on asking questions to get the job and not on whether it’s the right fit for you, you’re in danger of landing a job where you would be miserable. 

Take some time to imagine going to work at the job every day, what are the things that will most impact whether you’re happy at work? 

Asking questions will reassure the employer of your interest in the role and can often to lead to interesting discussions. Candidates are typically given the chance to ask questions at the end of an interview – asking insightful and impactful questions not only leave a lasting impression on the interviewer, but give you the answers you need in your decision-making. 

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Questions to consider:

HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE THE TEAM CULTURE?

You want to work in a team that has a similar mindset as you. This question will give you a feel of the company and how the day to day environment is like. 

WHY IS THIS JOB VACANT?

Find out if it is a newly created or a replacement role. For new roles, try to understand the support you will receive to perform your duties properly. For replacement roles, find out why the previous person left. Was it due to an internal transfer, workplace pressures or did he/she move to a competitor? Again, this will help you understand the dynamics of the company better.

WHAT DO YOU LIKE MOST ABOUT WORKING HERE?

As a candidate, it’s one of the questions to catch the interviewer a little off-guard and get an honest answer. Regardless of what they say, you can probably gauge how they truly feel about their company, which gives you another indication of whether it’s the right fit for you.

WHAT KIND OF PERSON ARE YOU LOOKING FOR? 

Understand whom the employer would consider an ideal candidate – in terms of experience as well as personality. This will help you make an informed decision as to whether the job and the company is the right fit for you.

HOW WILL MY SUCCESS BE MEASURED? 

Get insight into the responsibilities required and find out how your performance will be measured, to know if this is a role you can potentially excel in.

WHAT ARE THE CHALLENGES SOMEONE IN THIS ROLE MIGHT FACE?

Questions like this allows the interviewer to discuss the bigger picture of the role and it shows your interest in doing a good job. It is also a good opportunity for you to highlight any past experience you might have in overcoming similar obstacles. 

WHAT KIND OF CAREER PROGRESSION DOES THIS POSITION OFFER? 

It will give you an idea of what they can offer you in terms of growth opportunities and whether it is value-adding to your short and long-term career goals. 

DO YOU HAVE RESERVATIONS REGARDING MY FIT WITH THE ROLE OR COMPANY?

While it takes some courage to ask, this is a sure-win question, and here’s why.

This question gives you the chance to address any concern the hiring manager may have, about your fit for the role, if unfounded, and allows you to walk out of the door having cleared all doubts the hiring manager might have. 

Should the concern be valid, this is a question that showcases your ability to acknowledge any potential gap that the hiring manager is going to list, which is going to help you to identify which skills to hone for your future interviews. 

Decision-making factors vary from one candidate to another, there is no one size fits all, you can never know 100% of how the role is going to be until you’re in it. But what you can do is come up with a set of questions based on what’s genuinely important to you that would best aid you in your decision-making. 
 

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Michelle Chia - R1878746's picture
Associate Consultant | Accounting & Finance
mchia@morganmckinley.com.sg

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