Many of us do a lot of research when preparing for the interview. We're researching the company, practising the questions the interviewer will ask, and looking at the type of clothing we should wear for the company.
We're looking at 3rd party sites that discuss the company and the position and doing everything possible to ensure we come well prepared. Yet there's one area that we need to give more attention to: coming up with questions for the interviewers themselves.
Why questions are important
Many assume that interviews are one-way directions. The candidate sits and waits to answer a slew of questions that come from the interviewer or a panel of interviewers. It's where there are so many moving parts, such as posture, body language and how to formulate difficult questions succinctly.
Yet the most successful interviews are where it transcends from a traditional interview and into a professional conversation between the interviewer and interviewee.
It helps to facilitate a more intimate and relevant conversation that can help to show the interviewer how interested the candidate is because of their line of questioning. In addition, the candidate can get a better insight into the organisation, the position and what it will entail. This can help the candidate assess the type of culture the company has and whether it will be a right fit.
What type of questions should be asked?
If you’re preparing a list, keep in mind that this list should be fluid, and it doesn’t mean that every single question needs to be asked.
Instead, gauge the situation and ensure that the interviewer didn't answer the question in some previous exchange. Asking the same question by accident can show that you're not paying attention or asking a question just for the sake of it.
Asking questions that are relevant to the position is always a great place to start. Items such as what the typical day looks like, what the ideal candidate looks like in that position, what the career track looks like or what is the composition of the rest of the team are good things to ask about.
Then you'll want to ask about items surrounding the company's culture, such as what the company does for volunteering if there's a work hybrid situation or when people socialise outside the office. These questions are about how people interact with each other and what the company looks like beyond the work.
Make sure to have a balance of questions ready to ask beforehand and that you’re not interviewing the interviewer. Keep the questions as starting points for longer conversations and a way to show interest. You want to also take notes, so you're able to reference them for future discussions.
Some may wait until the interviewer has asked if there are any questions, but if your question is relevant mid-interview, don't be afraid to jump in and request it. It can be an ideal way to get clarification and show a continued interest.