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The expert tips that could help you clinch the job
- Classic final job interview question is ‘do you have any questions?’
- But many candidates can be bamboozled by this and wonder what to ask
- This is Money asked experts at Glassdoor for tips on what to say
- Advice is the first part of our new Interview Cheat Sheet series
When it comes to a job interview, most serious candidates will have prepared by researching the company to get the best shot at securing the role.
However, despite soaking up advice about interview techniques, one element many do not give a second thought to inevitably arrives at the end, when the interviewer says: ‘do you have any questions?’
Yet, this final question could be more important than you think and a good response may be a chance to clinch the job. So, in the first of our Interview Cheat Sheet series we look at what you should ask.
We’ve revealed plenty of interview tips in the past, including how to answer those tough questions and how to make sure your CV stands out in the first place – but the ‘any questions?’ at the end can bamboozle even the best interviewees.
One reader, who wishes to stay anonymous, said: ‘I felt like I nailed the job interview but at the end, I was asked: “do you have any questions?” For some reason I froze – what was the right thing to do?
‘Say no and look lazy? Come up with something random about the office like “what’s the coffee machine like?” – or be bolshie and ask about bonuses and holiday?’
‘In the end, I said I had no questions. A few days later, I hadn’t bagged the job. I started wondering if I had something at the end to make a lasting impression, I might have got it.’
Experts at job website Glassdoor say an interview is a two-way street – an opportunity for both parties to see if the job and the candidate are a good fit.
It says that candidate should not be afraid to pose questions in order to get information on what is important to you.
One of the site’s experts said: ‘After all, this is your chance to show that you are a credible candidate, and posing sensible questions will demonstrate that you are taking the process seriously.’
Glassdoor has revealed 23 questions you could consider asking at the end of an interview – asking one or two of these could make you look assertive, interested and a good candidate, but of course it depends on the circumstances.
We have split them into categories:
Exploring the role
Get beyond the basic job description and ask questions that probe deeper into the details of the job, expectations, success metrics and the infrastructure that would support the role:
1. How does this position contribute to the organisation’s success?
2. What do you hope I will accomplish in this position?
3. There is no such thing as the perfect candidate, so what parts of the ideal candidate description are you prepared to compromise on?
4. Can I speak to others on the team before I proceed?
5. What support would this position have?
Digging into company culture
As much as an interview is about assessing your ability to be a good fit with a company’s culture, it is also about gathering as much information and insight into it yourself. You need to understand whether the company is a fit for your values, passions and interests too.
If you pose a simple ‘what is the company culture like?’ question, it is too easy for the interviewer to come back with something marketing department or human resources approved. It’s better to ask specific questions, like these:
6. How long have you been with the company?
7. What’s the dress code like here?
8. Would you be willing to show me around the office?
9. What was the last big achievement that was celebrated?
10. Would you say that everyone here loves their job?
11. How long do people tend to stick around at this company?
Salary, progression and perks
During an interview is the perfect time to ask informed and important questions about pay. No, it’s not presumptive or rude; in fact, it’s an important factor in your decision-making process:
12. What is the salary range for this role?
13. Besides the base pay, what other benefits are negotiable?
14. What’s the outlook for progression, salary rises or promotions?
15. How do people view the perks here?
16. How do you recognise and reward high performers?
Drill down into the everyday tasks and expectations for the job you’re applying to. These questions are perfect to ask your potential manager or another leader on the team:
17. Tell me about the typical day-to-day role of this position.
18. What are the team’s work hours? Are there any specific requirements for time in the office?
19. Do employees control the structure of their goals and tasks?
20. How does management deliver feedback to employees?
From learning labs to formal mentorship programs, get a sense of what the company offers in the way professional growth and development opportunities.
After all, if you proceed with this company, you want to know that you have a future there and opportunities to be challenged:
21. Do you have a formal mentorship program or are there mentors available?
22. How have you had the ability to grow in your role?
23. Have any of your current leaders worked their way up the ladder here?
And one final tip
Remember to stay positive throughout the job search and ask as many questions as are necessary for you to find a job you love. If you like the sound of a job but have concerns, it’s better to ask the questions and find out the answers in the interview than start work and discover that it isn’t going to work for either you or your new company.