This is one question a lot of candidates dread during an interview and I can totally relate. It’s mostly because they either forgot to prepare for that important question (even though they know it will come up) or they feel the question they want to ask may not be appropriate.
Asking the wrong question can turn a wonderful interview to a disaster! (I’m speaking from experience as a recruiter) It can also turn a ‘maybe’ candidate into a ‘yes’ candidate.
If you want to smash that interview, here are a few questions you should ask your interviewer:
What are the things I would do that would make me a high flyer on the role?
This helps you prepare for the role in advance and it shows you have a forward-thinking/ productivity mindset.
I see an interview as an opportunity to learn regardless of the outcome, would you be kind enough to give me a personal feedback on how I performed?
This question would definitely help you assess yourself when you get home. It’s also an opportunity for the interviewer to see how open you are to feedback which is an important skill anyone should have.
How long have you been here and how has your experience been as a staff?
The interviewer would most likely tell you about the wonderful experience and make it look all glamorous, but the onus is on you to read in between the lines and body language of everyone. You can get hidden cues about the company culture from the question. If possible, you can also ask the interviewer to explain a bit about the company culture and the work environment. You can go ahead to ask about his/her least favorite moments as a staff.
If you happen to be interviewed by your potential boss, ask about his/her management style
This question is also very important because you should also start reading in between the lines to know if this is someone you can work with in the future.
Talk about what you read in the news about them and ask them something related to it
It shows you have done your research so your question will come from a more informed point of view.
Things you shouldn’t ask at interviews
What does this company do?
Unless they don’t have a website and the conversation hasn’t already come up during the interview, this is a question that shows you are ill-prepared for an interview. It also shows you’re not a serious person.
How many days leave will I be entitled to and how soon can I access it?
Typically, leave days are specified in the offer letter if you make it through. Asking this kind of question may pass a wrong vibe. Like, that’s all you’re concerned about out of everything in this world?
How soon can I resume?
This question is often asked with a good motive but doesn’t always come out the right way. A better way to ask is: I’m required to give a 1 month/2 weeks notice with my current employer, I would like to know if that would be put into consideration if I get the offer. If you’re not working and you would like the employer to know you would be available to resume immediately, you can just state your immediate availability and it would be noted.
Generally inappropriate questions
There are some random questions that don’t make sense and will definitely harm your chances. E.g Can I work from home? (coming from a potential front desk officer). Questions that center around ‘why’ may tend to make a recruiter defensive. It seems more like you’re probing them unnecessarily.
Finally, bringing up the topic of salary at the beginning may backfire. I always advise that you sell yourself as much as possible; when you feel you have made the right impression to the extent that they are showing that they want you, then you can talk about the salary afterward. If you haven’t even convinced them enough to hire you, bringing up salary can turn south because it may seem all like you’re there for the money (which is what most people are interested in anyway, but don’t put it all in their face yet).
I wish you the best in your career!