Ask most people what is the worst part of a job interview is and they will tell you it's the bit where the interviewer says “so, have you got any questions?”. You know you have, they are on the tip of your tongue, but you find yourself smiling and saying “No I think you've covered everything”. Then follows the bit when you are leaving the building, all the questions come crashing back, and you know you haven't done well as there were clear voids left by the interviewer.
There are always questions you can ask an interviewer, however well they may have covered things, and then there are killer questions. These are the ones the interviewers are praying somebody will ask them, the ones that show you have done your research into the company and aren't going down the same old road as everyone else. Remember this is your chance to shine, your one window of opportunity, so it makes sense to seize your chance and really make an impact.
So what are these killer questions that can make the difference between you going back to the job boards and taking your place with a new company? We have done a lot of research by talking to our client interviewers to see exactly what they want to hear from candidates. The key to all these questions is to ask them with confidence and not to make them sound rehearsed, and here are a few of the most popular.
- Why did you choose to work for this company?
Asking the interviewer what first attracted him to his job will give you an insight into the company. They should be happy to discuss what appealed to them as after all they should want it to appeal to you as well.
- Will you be my direct supervisor/line manager?
In a perfect world everyone would be interviewed by their direct superior, but far too often this isn't the case. If it turns out the interviewer won't be your supervisor then ask him who will be.
- What processes do the company use to evaluate my performance during the probation period?
This is a great question as not only shows you are really interested in the company you also want a heads up on how to excel. Managers didn't get where they were by not having a few tricks up their sleeves and by knowing from the outset what you are being scrutinised for gives you every chance of passing your trial and becoming a permanent employee.
- May I contact you should any questions arise?
A great cover for going blank. Most interviewers will happily agree for you to contact them should you suddenly think of 101 questions on the journey home. This also gives you breathing space to make sure they are intelligent questions and not those knee jerk ones we all come up with in we're under pressure and kick ourselves for afterwards.
- What training programmes will be I eligible for?
This questions tells them from the off that you want to better yourself and grow within the company. It makes you seem ambitious and enthusiastic, two big ticks in boxes when it comes to interviews.
- What is the time frame for making your decision?
A key question and one many are afraid of asking. In fairness you should be given a time scale. “We'll let you know” doesn't cut it. Especially if you have had a few interviews around the same time and you could turn down one waiting to hear from another one and never get the call.