Questions you should ask in an interview

Young woman in a job interview

An interview is a perfect opportunity for not only the employer to evaluate your suitability for a role but it’s also your chance to find out what you need to know and assess whether this is the right role for you.

Here are five questions designed to help you plan for your interview and think about the types of questions you should be asking. Don’t worry about asking questions – if they’re the right questions it could be the smartest move you make.

Who will I be working with?

If you will be spending all day every day with a team of people then you want to know a little about them. When I was recruiting for a team of writers I used to feel a responsibility as an employer to explain to the applicant that it was a team full of strong personalities that liked to have a good laugh and were very sociable – of course this was when they were on target to hit their quota for the day. But if I had someone who looked like they may be intimidated by this it could create problems within the team. Likewise having someone with a huge personality may cause friction with the other strong characters.

Who will I be reporting to?

This person is going to be your mentor, your guide and the person that you need to feel comfortable with and that you can trust. It is important that if they are not the one interviewing you that you at least try and find out a little about their management style and their personality.

What is my role in the team?

Are you coming into a well established team of employees that have been working together for a long time? Are they going to be receptive to the new kid on the block who may have new ideas and ways of doing things? Is the expectation of you that you will bring something new to the team and generate new ideas or ways of doing things? Will you be expected to bring new ideas to the table? It is important to determine how you will fit into the team so make sure you ask the question.

Is there a clear timeline of achievement?

What is expected of you if you are the successful candidate? Are there 30 day, 90 day, 12 month goals? It is not unreasonable for you to be asking this and it sets out a clear objective from the outset. They may not have put this in place and it may be a chance for them to think about this. If there aren’t clear goals and guidelines how can you measure the pace of work that you need to achieve?

How will I contribute to the company’s mission?

This is the type of questions that employers like, in fact it could be the thing that makes you stand head and shoulders above the rest. Don’t just ask it unless you really understand it though. What you are demonstrating is that you are thinking about the big picture, about the value of your role within the organisation and that you care about how you fit into the organisation. It can also kick off a great discussion.

About the author
Sheryl Banner blogs for the graduate job site 10minuteswith – it’s free to register an account on the site if you’re looking for more information about interview techniques, questions and career advice.

Image credit: Dean Drobot/

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