So, you have just spent the last 45 minutes answering countless questions about yourself and why you’re the perfect candidate for the role. As they utter “do you have any questions?”, you breathe a sigh of relief, as this is a good indication that the interview is almost over. Hold that thought – this is not the case.
Asking questions is just as important as the interview itself – done right, it’s a great way of showing your individuality and acts as a differentiator between you and other candidates. Clients will often asses the type of questions you ask as a good measure of the depth of research you have done, your commerciality and strategic thinking. Understand what makes the company different to others in their space, USPs, latest news press or acquisitions, accolades and values! Research until you find something you are genuinely passionate about as this will translate with more credibility and align yourself with their values or mission. An interview is not an interrogation, it’s a two-way conversation and in this market, you are looking for a demonstration that the business is a good fit for you, just as they are vice versa.
Before we dive into the best questions to ask to really impress your interviewer, below are some of the deadliest questions to avoid at all costs.
#1 ALWAYS ask something!
No matter how bad you think the interview went or how much you want to run a mile without looking back, asking an insightful question will always convey your hunger for the role. ‘I don’t have any questions’ is the worst possible response to have. As much as first impressions are crucial, final impressions really do count too. It’s important that you prepare some thought-out questions to show you have done your homework and are totally engaged in the company and the role.
#2 Money should never be in your interview vocabulary
Although you may be asked about your salary expectations during the interview, NEVER ask ‘how much will I be getting paid?’. Not only does it convey that you care more about how much is going into your bank account each month rather than driving company success, you may be jumping the gun. A salary can then be negotiated, dependant on your previous experience and skills – but wait until the offer comes, or at the very least, your salary expectations are asked.
#3 When can I take a holiday?
Asking for personal requests before you have even stepped through the door is treading on thin ice. Vacations, annual leave or sick pay should be avoided, (unless of course, you have a medical requirement that the client would need to know of).
Asking such questions shows a sluggish attitude and lack of commitment to the role, something no hiring manager wants to see, particularly as 1 in 6 Brits admit to faking an illness for a day off!
Now you know what not to ask, here are some of the best questions to ask which will really impress your hiring manager.
#1 ‘Is there anything you would like me to elaborate on?’
This is a great opportunity for the interviewer to touch on anything that may have been unclear or briefly mentioned. Any reservations can be rectified, increasing the chances of getting to the next stage and putting you back in the running for your dream job!
#2 ‘What do you like most about working for this company?’
Like most people, everyone loves talking about themselves. So, when this question is brought up, you most definitely will see a smile seep across the interviewer’s face! It opens a dialogue on a more personal level – they know everything about you, so here is your chance to get to know everything about them, especially if they are potentially your future boss.
#3 ‘What are the biggest opportunities facing the company currently?’
This question is a good indication to the interviewer that you are driven and focused on becoming a valued asset to the company and you’re ready to take on opportunities from the get-go. It allows you to visualise how ambitious the company is and where it sets its sights on over the next coming months/years. It may be wise to offer up any insights you found in your research to show you have done your due diligence and are intrigued to find out more.
Finding and preparing questions to ask your interviewer is just as important as prepping for the interview itself, therefore I would recommend preparing 2-3 questions beforehand (just in case anything you may have wanted to ask has already been covered).
Overall, it’s just as important to finish strong as well as excelling the main part of the interview. Every company you apply to will work differently, so make sure you tailor your questions to fit the company perfectly. This concluding piece can really stoop some people. Close strong. Strut out of there knowing you nailed it and left a lasting impression!
Are you an EA, PA, or business support professional looking to take your career to the next level? Executive Partnerships can help. We’re a specialist recruitment agency working with leading companies and organisations to connect them with talented staff. Learn more at www.executivepartnerships.co.uk.