It’s important to remember that a job interview is a two-way process. You have as much of an opportunity to learn about a prospective employer as the employer does to learn about you.
It’s also a great chance to get the information that may not have been in the job description – information that will be crucial to helping you decide whether you want the job should you be offered it.
Generally, interviews will end with the employer giving you a chance to ask them some questions. This is both an opportunity to learn more about the role and, if you’re well prepared, a chance to leave a good final impression.
Here are some questions you might like to ask.
Can you tell me more about the company?
This question will only be relevant if you haven’t already discussed the company, so use your initiative. It’s best to ask about something specific or else you run the risk that the interviewer will think you haven’t researched the company at all. Ask about its clients, and about the marketplace in general.
You can use this question to show off some of the research you’ve done by asking about specific projects or articles you’ve read about the company. You can also ask about how it is dealing with issues facing the sector as a whole.
What would a typical day be like?
Ask your interviewer whether they can describe your area of responsibility, what your day-to-day duties would be, and what their expectations are. If you are offered the job, this question helps to remove the element of surprise when starting the role.
For many surveying roles, this can be a good way to gauge how much time you’ll be expected to spend in the office and how much on site. You can also ask about the company’s general routine, such as start and finish times.
What skills and experiences do you think would make an ideal candidate?
This is an excellent question. If in describing exactly what they are seeking the interviewer mentions something you didn’t cover, now is your chance to address it.
Perhaps there’s also a skill that you think is relevant to the role but you haven’t had a chance to talk about it yet, so mention it as part of a question. For instance, you may be fluent in one or more foreign languages and could mention that, then ask whether there would be opportunities to deal with overseas clients.
Do you run any training programmes?
This question is an excellent chance to find out about the potential for both personal and career development. If there aren’t internal opportunities, ask about their policies regarding external training programs. Showing that you’re keen to learn can also make you stand out as a candidate.
What are the prospects for promotion?
As with the previous question, this is an excellent chance to find out about progression within the company and demonstrate your drive to succeed. It can also be used to show you’re committed to staying with the company for the long term.
How would you describe the work culture here?
This is a good way to gain an insight into the level of employee satisfaction at the organisation. You can ask the interviewer whether there’s anything they particularly like or dislike about working for the company; remember, you want to know as much as you can before you accept an offer.
Why did the previous person leave the role?
This can be a touchy one, so you will have to use your judgement about whether it’s appropriate. Like the previous question, you want to learn about any possible negatives early on. If the interviewer doesn’t want to answer this or if they don’t go into detail, however, don’t press them.
If the role has only just been created, you can ask about that as well. What prompted the firm to do so? How will this affect your training?
When can I expect to hear from you?
This is possibly the most important question to ask. It not only demonstrates your keenness for the role, it also gives you a timescale. No-one wants to sit by the phone for the entirety of the following week. You can also ask when it would be appropriate for you to get in touch if you haven’t heard anything. That way, if you don’t hear you won’t feel like you’re pestering them.
These questions will not be relevant to every situation, but inventive and imaginative enquiries can help you stand out. If you don’t ask for additional information, the interviewer may think you are uninterested in the role.