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Posted by & filed under Careers and Beyond.

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A job interview can be one of the most daunting professional experiences. Because of this, you may only be thinking about answering all the interviewer’s questions as best as you can, but an essential element of the interview process is the opportunity for you to ask questions. These questions can be about the company, the package or an in-depth question that’s specific to your role; the more your questions show the extent you’ve thought about the role the better. Below are five important questions to ask at the end of your interview, along with a couple of questions you should (probably) keep to yourself.

1) Ask about anything that is not clear about the company

Before you ask any questions about the company ensure you’re not digging a hole for yourself; research intensively. If, after the proper research, there are still things you don’t fully understand about the company history, mission, or operations in a certain area ask the question. How big are the teams? What is the hierarchy like? Etc. This shows you have an interest in the company and aren’t just satisfied with tertiary data you may or may not find from internet research. This may also remove doubts in the employer’s mind about your motivations for this job as employers of higher level jobs want employees that are invested and not just searching for the next salary increase.

2) Why the need for this position has arisen/Why has this position become available?

This is a great question that has the potential to give you some background knowledge on the role. Is this a new role brought on by company expansion or emerging needs in the market? Was it the result of retirement, restructuring or firing? From this simple question, you can find out the employers motivations and possibly get a glimpse into some of their HR processes.

3) Do you have any hesitations about my qualifications/experience?

Depending on the shape of your CV and the success of your interview, your interviewer may have noticed alarm bells on your application that they could assume are negative; things like a gap in your CV for instance. If not mentioned by the interviewer, these negative assumptions can go unchallenged leading to the loss of a job opportunity over a simple misunderstanding. This question gives the interviewer the perfect opportunity to express any doubts they may have about you and allows them to voice these doubts without feeling harsh or stand-offish. The question may also be a chance to turn any hesitations the employer may have into application strengths. For instance, if you have a CV that’s littered with short-term jobs, this may alarm the interviewer and lead them to the assumption that you’re not committed to growing with a company; this is where you can reveal the reason behind this trend, such as you taking on a number of voluntary jobs or internships etc.

4) What types of training do you offer?

This question shows that you intend to learn and grow with a company. It highlights you as a keen individual with the intention to nurture your skills for the benefit of yourself and the company. Finally, this question will give you an insight into the company’s professional development culture.

5) What is the next step in the process?

Not only does this question make the following stages clear to you, it also tells your employer that you’re confident and ready to proceed with the interview process. This wording also assumes you’ve been successful in the interview in a casual manner.

2 questions you should avoid

  • A caveat to question one above: if you have a question but could have easily found out the information on google, do not ask the question.
  • How quickly can I be promoted?

Avoid this killer question. Ultimately, how quickly you are promoted depends on you. Instead, ask: are there opportunities for advancement or growth? This way you are just asking if there is space in the operational map for promotion, not how quickly you can jump to the next level.

Remember to save your questions for when you’re invited to ask unless they’re directly related to the conversation you’re having with an interviewer. Aside from the questions above, the most important questions you ask will be those that show your knowledge, the ones that invite you to learn more about operations. These could range from, what systems do you use for that? To, are there plans to move to … in the future? Etc.

Armed with these questions and your research, the interview stage should be a little less daunting. If you’re thinking about changing or improving your career, quality qualifications are essential. At CUC Online, we believe online education gives working professionals the freedom to study for the future without getting in the way of their current work life. To view our undergraduate courses click here, or fill out our online enquiry form to be contacted by one of our recruitment advisors.


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