Every interview is a two-way street.
Whilst you may be preoccupied with memorising your CV and picking out your smartest, ‘go on, employ me’ outfit, it can be easy to forget that an interview is your chance to find out all about your would-be employer, too.
So, during your interview preparation, it’s worth spending some time deciding what you’d need to know before accepting an offer of employment. Here are our suggestions on insightful interview questions to ask your employer.
Who would I be working with on a daily basis?
It can be useful to find out how many people you would be interacting with on a standard day – from who you would report to, to how many people you would be sitting with, and whether you would be expected to integrate with any other teams. This will help you to paint a picture of the working environment, as well as the number of new people you would be coming into contact with in your first few weeks.
How would you describe the working environment?
This can be a really helpful question to ask in your HR or direct management interview, and can assist in giving you an insight into what it would be like to work for the company in question. If you have an established idea about the type of environment you prefer – quiet, busy, animated, corporate or creative – see how well your interviewer’s interpretation of the workplace matches up with your ideal scenario.
What’s the social side of things like?
Your interviewer will be looking at you from a ‘team fit’ perspective, so you should aim to find out if the team could be a good fit for you, too! Ask about social events, lunches, trips and even the social habits of employees. Do people tend to go to lunch together, or separately? Is there a social committee? Even if you are not usually inclined to spend time with colleagues outside of work, these types of questions can help you gain an understanding of the environment and whether the workforce gels together.
How did this position open up?
This information is integral to your understanding of how the company is developing and whether there are any issues with staff retention. If the role is new – did it come about because they have recently taken on more work? If you’re replacing someone – why did they leave? You could also ask how long someone in your position usually stays at the company for.
Do you foresee the company growing or changing in the near future?
This question is fairly open and allows your interviewer to respond based on predicted company growth, workload, and their own hopes for the team. It’s important to figure out what the company will look like further down the line – are there any office moves in the pipeline? If you are at all concerned about the stability of the company, their answer to this question should hopefully alleviate your concerns.
How will my performance be monitored? What is the learning curve like?
You need to know how you will be expected to perform, how your workload will be set out, and what kind of targets you’ll be expected to achieve. Whilst you may have the perfect mix of skills for their open position, you need to know if you can keep up with the level of work that will be expected of you, and whether you’ll be happy to work to their targets. Ask about induction and training, too – it can be comforting to know more about any training programmes taking part during the first few weeks.
What is the usual structure for appraisals?
This question will show that you are thinking ahead, and are ambitious to succeed within the company. Depending on the type of role, it may not be pertinent to mention pay rises or promotions; however you can gather this information by asking about how your progress will be appraised. It is always good to know what opportunities for growth are available.
So there you have it, CV-Library’s top suggestions for what to ask in your next interview. For further interview advice, visit our Career Advice Centre.