So you’re doing your interview prep, looking into the organisation you’re applying for as well as what to expect during the interview.
You’ve probably come across a couple of staples already:
- “What is your greatest weakness?”
- “Where do you see yourself in 5 years?”
- “Why here specifically?”
Another staple of most job interviews? The part at the end where the interviewer says “do you have any questions for us?”
All of a sudden, you freeze – you’ve spent so much time focusing on preparing for the interview itself, you don’t really have anything to answer this with!
Okay, so admittedly, this step is a little bit hard to prepare for. After all, it all comes down to what you covered in the interview, as well as the general vibe you get.
Of course, just like there are certain questions that are bound to pop up in any interview, there are also certain questions you can ask regardless of the organisation to get a better feel for it!
And today, our recruitment consultants in Melbourne are going to run through some of the more common ones…
What questions I should ask the interviewer?
Remember, any job interview is a two-way street. They aren’t just interviewing you to see if you’re a good fit for the role – you’re also interviewing them, making sure this is the right choice for your career.
And as such, it’s important that you ask questions as well!
Ideally, your interview should be more like a conversation. And like any other conversation, you’ll be asking questions throughout depending on what the interviewer says.
That having been said, it’s important that you prepare some questions anyway, just to make sure you get a full picture of what working there might look like.
Don’t know where to start? If so, here are so oldies but goodies that you can use to get the ball rolling…
What are 5 questions to ask an employer?
1) What does a typical day look like?
If you’re going to be working there, it’s important that you know what the typical day will look like.
Most interviews will give you a pretty good idea of this – however, it doesn’t hurt to ask, just to get a better idea of what you’ll be doing!
In addition to asking about the day-to-day tasks themselves, that can mean asking about things like:
- How projects are managed
- The split between different tasks listed in the job description
- The way teams are structured
- How different tasks are timed and tracked
All of which can help you decide whether or not the work itself lines up with the types of things you’ll be doing on a daily basis.
2) How is success measured?
Regardless of what job you’re applying for, management is going to want to evaluate your performance. What a lot of applicants don’t realise is that this question can reveal a lot about the role and the organisation!
For example, if the answer involves lots of different KPIs and metrics, then you can safely assume that it’s a very numbers-driven organisation. From that, you can probably infer that deadlines are probably going to be very important, as is data.
By contrast, if success is measured using measures such as client satisfaction, then you can safely assume that good personal and conflict resolution skills are going to be important!
Not only does it tell you about the position and organisation, but it can also tell you whether or not you’d be a good fit for the position.
3) What sorts of problems did my predecessor face?
Our employment recruitment agency loves when this question pops up, for a couple of different reasons – for starters, it tells you what sorts of challenges you might face on a daily basis, and gives you an opportunity to make yourself look more impressive (just be sure not to insult the person you’re replacing).
More importantly, the interviewer’s reaction can be telling!
For example, if the interviewer is direct, that’s a good sign. Not only does it mean that they’re being transparent, but it also indicates that management is more involved in the day-to-day operations.
Just to be clear, a little bit of umming and ahhing isn’t a deal breaker – however, if you get the impression that they’re trying to dance around an issue, then it can pay to be a bit more cautious.
4) Where do you see this position going in 6 months / 1 year?
Interviewers ask you where you’re going to be in a couple of years – here’s your opportunity to flip the tables and turn things back on them!
Asking this question can give you insight into what opportunities for career development you may be able to enjoy should you land the job. Be sure to ask about lateral and vertical movement as well.
In some interviews, the person you’re replacing might even be sitting in, helping to choose their replacement. In these cases, be sure to ask them directly about what new position they’re moving up into, and how they fell into it.
5) What’s your favourite thing about working here?
This can be a great (and more importantly, subtle) way of sussing out the company culture.
Let’s face it, there’s a good reason that the saying “people don’t leave jobs, they leave managers” has persisted for so long!
Pay close attention to their answer, as it can be quite revealing. If the answer involves something like flexible hours, friendly team or the independence they get, pay particularly close attention.
The reason we suggest asking this particular question is because it can help cut through some of the more “corporate” answers and give you a better idea of what type of working environment you can expect.
What are other good questions to ask at the end of an interview?
While the above 5 questions can help you get a better understanding of what to expect, by no means are they the only options you have. Remember, each interview is different, and some of your questions might end up being answered during the interview anyway.
Just as with any other part of the interview, it pays to go in prepared, with multiple answers prepared and backups ready to go, just in case.
Luckily, our recruitment agency Melbourne has put together this list of other questions you can use to get a feel for the place you’re interviewing for.
So, what other questions can you ask to get a feel for the…
You’re going to be working in this organisation on a daily basis – as such, it’s important that you get along with them, and that you “click” personality-wise.
To determine that, you can also ask questions like:
- How do you guys celebrate birthdays?
- Do you take work home with you?
- If you could change one thing about your company, what would it be?
- How often do you hold company-wide meetings?
- Do you know the owners personally?
All of these questions can give you an idea about the type of workplace you’re interviewing for, and can help you decide whether or not this is a good fit for your personality.
The job itself
When it comes to asking about the job itself, it can be hard to just list questions for you to use. After all, each position is unique – not to mention, you should be asking questions throughout the interview as more details about the job itself pop up.
That said, there are a couple of other questions you can ask to cover everything you didn’t get to ask before:
- What sorts of projects will I be working on?
- What personality traits will I need to succeed here?
- Can you tell me what sort of supervision you provide?
- How well does the job listing reflect the day-to-day?
- What tools, systems, and programs will I use?
With any job, you’ll want one that gives you plenty of opportunities to take things further, whether it’s by moving into a more senior position or by moving into other departments.
It’s important you know what sort of options are open to you – luckily, there are a couple of questions you can ask to deduce what sorts of options you have:
- Where is the last person who held this job moving on to?
- How do you handle training?
- Where do you hope the company will be in X years’ time?
Each of these questions can help you get a feel for where you might be able to take things, so be sure to ask them at the end of your interview.
Before you start wondering about the best questions to ask a prospective employer, you need to find job openings first
Our recruitment agency in Melbourne can help connect you with the right position
If you ask us, the job of making sure you’re applying for the right workplace shouldn’t rest entirely on your shoulders – it should also be on the interviewer as well.
And if they’re using job recruitment agencies, it’ll be on them too!
If you ask us, good recruitment agencies don’t just help employers – they also help jobseekers as well.
Whether you’re looking for temp work in Melbourne or need a permanent recruitment agency to help you land a permanent position, our team is here to help. We don’t just look at your resume and qualifications – we also work hard to ensure that there’s a personality and culture fit between you and any position we forward you to.