You’ve wowed them with your CV, so securing an interview for that dream job was a breeze.
But now it comes to sitting in front of a formidable panel and they’re firing challenging questions non-stop.
Thirty minutes in and you think it’s going well.
You’ve handled everything they’ve thrown at you, you’ve felt only one bead of sweat rolling down your forehead, and you can confidently look forward to the closing handshakes because the palms of your hands are refreshingly unclammy.
Then comes a moment that could throw you. ‘Do you have any questions for us?’
Yikes, this was supposed to be you being interviewed by them. Nobody said you’d need to be asking the questions.
The good news is that you’re being given this opportunity. An early exit would indicate that you’ve already been placed in the ‘spike application’ file.
So what do you want to know?
Tempting though it might be to open with ‘How much do I get paid and what’s my holiday allowance?’ swiftly followed by ‘What other perks can I expect?’ those are not the questions to secure you the job.
Here are some that will underline that your expectations lie beyond the basics.
It’s good to show that you have ambition and that you are interested in the ethos and aims of the company, so start with something that illustrates your interest in doing well, not just for yourself, but for your prospective new employers.
Something like: ‘How will my performance in this role impact on my immediate colleagues and the success of the company as a whole?’
Find out about why the vacancy occurred
Ask about the progress of your predecessors by saying: ‘What has happened to people who have previously held this position? Why has this opportunity arisen?’
This gives you a chance to discover what promotions have been offered to people in the past or how others have progressed. It shows you are not interested in taking a dead-end job or simply taking the role in order to drift along.
Ask about performance indicators
Find out how your performance is going to be gauged by asking: ‘What does success look like for the person filling this role?’
Again, this shows ambition and a desire to understand what your prospective employers are looking for.
How will your day look?
Ask if it’s possible for them to describe a typical day in the life of the person doing this job.
This will give an indication as to whether you will be allowed to focus on the tasks in hand or whether you will be expected to flit from one task to another while being at everyone else’s beck and call.
All of these questions not only show you in a good light but more importantly the answers will help you decide if this company is somewhere you want to be working.