News Article

JOB INTERVIEW TIPS-Job Interview Questions

Posted 16th December 2019 • Written by People First •

Job Interview Tips-Questions to Ask (and NOT Ask) in a Job Interview

As important as it is to prepare your answers for the questions you will be asked in an interview, you also need to prepare the questions you can ask at the end.

You don’t need many, two or three will be fine, but if you have none it makes you look disorganised and / or disinterested in the job.

And if you have the wrong ones, you won’t get the job.

Don’t ask these:

  • Can you tell me what the company does? (You must know this!)

  • What will my commute be like?

  • How many smoking breaks can I take? 

  • How long is lunch?

  • Can I bring my dog to work?

  • Do you monitor Internet usage?

Make sure you have paid attention in the interview and don’t ask about anything that has already been covered.

Also, avoid asking questions that focus too much on what the company can do for you; save questions about salary, holidays, benefits, etc. for later.

Remember, you’re interviewing them too to find out if the job and company are right for you

Here are some good questions to ask (if the information hasn’t already come up in the interview):

About the job:

Can you tell me more about the day-to-day responsibilities of this job?

If you haven’t already learned everything about the job from the interviewer, this question allows you to find out all you need to know and what skills are needed and again gives you a chance to show off your abilities and experience.

About you and the job:

What qualities do you think would help me excel in this position?

This helps show your interest and also gives you information that is probably not in the job spec. The answer can also help you respond with examples that show how you are a good fit.

What are your expectations for this person in the first month, six months, year?

Again, it shows your interest and eagerness to impress and gives you clues about what you need to focus on if you get the job.

It also shows if the employer has an employee/team structure in place. If they have no idea about what to expect from you it might mean they don’t care too much about the people doing the job.

About the future:

Are there opportunities for training and progression within the role/company?

This shows that you are keen to develop and are serious about the job and your career. Also, if you can’t progress or do any other training, is it the right place for you?

About the company and the team:

What are the company’s values? What is the company culture?

This will help you learn if you are a good fit for the company. If the interviewer is honest you will hear about the work-life balance, company benefits on offer, the working atmosphere and environment.

You could also ask

What is the staff turnover?

This lets you know how stable the company is; if people stay, it’s because they like working there.

Can you tell me more about the team/department?

This will help you understand the structure of the company, the mix of people in the team, who you'll report to, etc. It also shows you’re interested!

Personal questions for the interviewer are good:

What do you enjoy about your job/working here?

You might learn very positive things that make you even more enthusiastic about the job/company but also, depending on how comfortable / honest the interviewer is in answering, you’ll understand if they think it’s a good place to be.

Risky questions:

These are good questions to ask but, be careful, they might make the interviewer uncomfortable (which is sometimes a good thing!). One of our candidates, after the interview as he was in the lift with the interviewer, asked how he had done; the interviewer phoned us and complained. Very unfair(!) but shows you need to be careful sometimes.

What are the biggest opportunities / challenges facing the company/department right now?

Where do you think the company is going in the next 5 years?

How do I compare with the other candidates you’ve interviewed?

Is there anything about my background or CV that makes you question whether I am a good fit for this role?

Final question:

What are the next steps in the interview process?

Click to see more Interview and CV tips from People First Recruitment to help in your search for a Mandarin speaking job, a Japanese job, a Language job or a job in Supply Chain, Procurement or Demand Planning in London & the UK