Best questions to ask in an interview
When an interviewer asks if you have any questions at the end of a job interview, this is your chance to gain further information that will help you assess if this is the right role and organisation for you. It’s also a final opportunity to showcase your knowledge, reinforce your interest and suitability, and leave them with a lasting and positive impression.
Not all questions are equal, however. To make a positive impact, the questions you ask at a job interview need to demonstrate that you’re really thinking about the needs of the organisation, and that you know your area and what to look for, thus positioning yourself as a true expert in your field.
While the questions should be tailored to the role, there are a number of interview questions to ask that are relevant and useful.
1. Why is the position vacant?
It’s always interesting to know why the position became available. Did the previous employee leave or is it a newly created role? Knowing this will help you understand if you will be stepping into someone else’s shoes or carving out the role from scratch. If the previous employee left, did they leave for another organisation, were they made redundant or promoted? The reason provided will give you clues about possible challenges in the role as well as the organisational culture and career path.
It can also be helpful to know how long the position has been vacant. If it has been open for a while, why have they found it so hard to fill – could it be that their expectations are too high, other candidates have turned down the offer, or their recruitment process is a shambles? Like a house that has been on the market for too long, a protracted job vacancy can act as a red flag: buyer beware.