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Asking All The Right Questions?

Posted by: Matt

An interview is more than just a way for hiring managers to suss you out and see if you’re up to the job – it’s also a chance for you to ask some questions and find out if this job and company are the right fit for you.

So what kind of questions should you be asking?

It’s time to think about what do you want to know about the role, the company, the department and who you’ll be working with. Here are some key questions to get you started. Some of the points raised will certainly be covered during the course of your interview, so you can pick and choose which remain relevant.

Try and weave these questions into discussion rather than delivering them rapid fire, and save one or two for the inevitable ‘So, do you have any questions for us?’ part of the wrap-up stage of the interview.

The Role

You want to find out more about the day-to-day responsibilities and tasks involved with the job, and how adequately skilled or how keen you are to handle these.

  1. Can you see examples of projects you’d be working on?
  2. What skills and experiences are they looking for in an ideal candidate?
  3. What attributes does a person need to succeed in this position?
  4. Do they expect the main responsibilities for the role to change in the next six months to a year?
  5. What are the major challenges that a person in this position will face?
  6. What does a typical working day look like?
  7. What projects will need to be immediately addressed?
  8. What budget will you be working with?
  9. Is this an existing or newly created role?
  10. What skills is the existing team missing that they’re looking to find with a new hire?

Your Progress

You’ll want to find out up front what the goals of the role are and how your progress and success will be measured.

  1. What is the performance review process here?
  2. How often will you be formally reviewed?
  3. What goals or metrics will your performance measured against?
  4. What are the things they would most like to see you accomplish in the first 30, 60, and 90 days of the job?
  5. What are the performance expectations of this position over the initial year?

Professional Development Opportunities

Think about how this role can help you get take the next step towards your career goals.

  1. How are you going to be trained?
  2. Where has the person who last held this job moved on to?
  3. Where have successful employees who held this position progressed to?
  4. Are there training programmes available to employees?
  5. What are the opportunities for professional development and career advancement?
  6. Will you be able to represent the organisation at industry conferences?

The Organisation

Think about what you want to know about the company as a whole.

  1. Where do they see the company headed in the next few years?
  2. What about the company’s future most excites them?
  3. What can they tell you about new products, projects or plans for growth?
  4. You’ve read about the company’s founding, but could they tell you more about ___?
  5. What are the organisation’s current goals, and how does the team you’d be working with support reaching those goals?

Who You’ll Be Working With

Find out more about the people you’ll be working alongside to figure out if it’s the right team for you.

  1. Who will you report to directly?
  2. Who will you be working alongside?
  3. Who will you be working with most closely?
  4. What are the current team’s strengths and their biggest challenges?
  5. Which other departments work most closely with this one?
  6. Do they expect to hire any more people for this team in the next six months?
  7. What are the common career paths in this team and wider department?

Your Interviewer

Asking your interviewer questions about themselves and their role at the company can help you build rapport, and get a personal view of what it’s like to work here.

  1. What’s their favorite part of working here?
  2. How long have they been working with the organisation?
  3. Why did they come to this company?
  4. What did they do before the joined the team here?
  5. Has their role changed much since they joined the company?

Matt is a Director of The Talent Hive and leads the Engineering recruitment practice within the business. Originally from the UK he’s been living in New Zealand for 12 years. Matt is a retired ‘amateur’ athlete who has given up chasing great marathon times for chasing his young children around the park, a far more worthy (if not exhausting) pursuit.

At The Talent Hive we specialise in connecting  Engineering & IT professionals with the right career opportunities. We encourage collaboration, socialising your success and sharing industry insight and expertise. Start the journey, connect with The Talent Hive today

Categorised as: Career Development, Job Seeker Advice