Deciding on questions to ask the interviewer can be one of the most stressful parts of the interview process. Often candidates hurry through this part, relieved to have the interview over as quickly as possible. Others ‘go through the motions’ by asking questions that are not very original to pay lip service to the task.

Asking intelligent and thoughtful questions reinforces your suitability as a candidate and demonstrates you are serious about the job. It also allows you to gain a better insight into whether the role is really for you.

Here are a number of questions to considering asking to generate real dialogue at your interview, two or three questions would be more than sufficient.


Questions about Key criteria for the job

1.  What are the key priorities in the first few months of the job?

Give this thought and have an idea yourself as this may get reflected back on you, the answer to this will give you a good idea of how you need to hit the ground and what any current constraints or challenges may be.
2.  What do you see as the biggest challenges facing the new post holder?

You will be looking for an answer which outlines both internal and external constraints

3. What are the performance criteria for the job?

Again, make sure you have some ideas of your own, this is asking about the real objectives of the job.


Questions about career development and progression
4.  What is the current holder of the position going on to do ?

This may give you a good additional information. Is the current employee being promoted, leaving to do something better, leaving on good terms ?

5.   What opportunities are there to train or gain additional experience

Make sure you are thinking of something which is relevant to the job, perhaps of importance to the organisation. This has the benefit of demonstrating a commitment to your own learning and continued professional development.


Questions about the strategy of the organisation

6.   How may the organisation’s plans affect this role in the future?

If you have done some research and aware of a particular direction the organisation is positioning itself in, this may be a useful question to gain additional information and show that you have put thought into the whole process.

7.   How do you see the role or department developing in the longer term?

A nice open question to flush out any major planned changes, such as a re-organisation prednisone dosage.  If asked to clarify this further, you can relate this to specific strategic objectives.


Ask the interviewer questions about their own experience

8.   What do you enjoy most about working in this organisation ?

People do like to talk about themselves and this gives you an opportunity to impress your interviewer by researching their career histories and asking how they  find working here compared to working at a previous organisation.

9.   How would you describe the organisational culture and working environment?

This will always be of interest to you in order to understand how everyone gels together in the organisation.

Leave questions about salary, working hours and employment benefits until the final stages of the process and when you have been offered the job and are able to negotiate from a stronger position.

Don’t forget to make a strong final impression by thanking the interviewer for their time, restating your suitability for and interest in the position and asking about the next steps in the process.