It’s the most dreaded part of an interview for most interviewees. Do you have any questions?….. pure dread. Of course you have questions, your whole working future depends on this labelled meeting and there is no way that the parties present have covered every aspect of what that could mean.
However, as we have all come to collectively realise, this is the moment, in that nanosecond when the invisible spoken question mark hits the air, do you have any questions? That your mind sinks into blackness…. Nothing, a void, all you can think is “what’s the salary? What’s the salary? What’s the salary?
We all panic about how that question comes across in an interview scenario, so we splutter and stumble and gasp a “I don’t think so” and hope that we are ushered out the door with a comforting smile and handshake from our interviewer. Knowing that the second we cross the threshold of the office our brain will kick back in and start asking US all the questions we should have asked THEM.
Well, we have all been there. Here are a few back up questions that are good practice to cover in an interview and why we recommend them.
1. What’s the team like that I would be joining?
It’s good for you to know this. You can prepare ahead of your first day, you can see how you would fit in and the dynamic that you can expect from your everyday moving forward.
It also lets the employer or interview know that you are considering yourself a part of the company and considering what your work environment will be like, this shows a certain level of confidence but also a subconscious commitment to the opportunity that you are interviewing for.
2. Who would I be reporting into?
Again, good for you to know. But, it also gives you some internal idea of the structure and hierarchy of the company you are potentially joining. Both the individual themselves that you will report into but the position even is useful information here.
It gives you a place within the company but also an idea of your future. What role would you potentially be working towards.
3. How would you describe the company culture?
This is an insightful question packaged as very simple and easy. If you already know the company that you are interviewing for you will have something to go on here anyway. You potentially will have an idea of what the perceived culture of the group is but now you have the opportunity to ask someone inside the company what their perspective is.
Is the culture as you would expect? Is there a difference between the perceived culture and the reality? What do the companies do to support their culture and what does this say about their values? Is all this information aligned with your own values and do you feel that you will personally be a good culture fit?
So much information from a simple and straightforward question.
This also lets the interviewer know that this is important to you, to really understand the personality of the company, you are doing your research which shows commitment, enthusiasm and interest…. You’re not just qualified for the job, you are genuinely interested in it.
4. What’s the long-term goal of the company as a whole?
Every company started out with a long-term dream. Knowing what the group is working towards gives everyone on the team a purpose. What is this purpose? Do you feel energised to join in this mission?
This is a good indication as to what type of work you will be doing in the future and also grounds the company in a foundation that gives you more of an understanding as to the inner workings and reasons for certain elements.
Again, for the interviewer it shows a real interest in the company as a whole and not just your own individual opportunity.
5. What are the next steps and what can I expect of the ongoing hiring process?
This is a question that a recruiter working with a company will always ask but that an interviewee very rarely thinks about. It’s more than acceptable that you would want to know how this hiring process is going to go and what the steps involved are.
Asking the question shows you are interested, organised and managing your own time, job search and process closely. You are diligent and forward thinking. It gives you a framework as to what to expect and means that you can fully prepare and research as much as possible for each stage.