A job interview is not only for you to address the hirer’s questions but also for them to answer yours. In fact, recruiters expect candidates to ask insightful questions and exhibit “natural curiosity”, as Google Vice President, Bonita Stewart describes. “[It is] a valuable asset in just about every workplace,” she adds.
It is always advised to prepare some questions before going into the interview on top of fine-tuning your answers for the common interview questions you may be asked. You can consider exploring questions pertaining to the job itself, learning opportunities within the company, your performance and the team you will work with.
Should these be covered by the interviewer, improvise and ask more.
Here are five questions to ask during the interview to give you a head start, with some tips to guide you along.
1. What are the day-to-day responsibilities for my role?
Before you land a job, you would want to know what you are exactly hired for and this materialises in your daily responsibilities. These are typically covered only briefly in the job description, so going deeper into them will be helpful for you.
- If your interviewer has already shared with you the aforementioned, go a step further and pick an aspect you need better clarity on.
- Consider asking whether the team has explored automating some tasks, but do so wherever applicable.
- Request the interviewer to share with you possible opportunities to contribute more than what the role expects of you on the day-to-day.
2. What are the new tasks/projects that I will be working on?
This question will give you a good idea of the responsibilities you will take on as a whole that will determine what you will do on a daily basis in the months to come. Whether there are new tasks and projects in the pipeline or not, you can prepare yourself accordingly.
- Follow up on the interviewer’s response by asking how else you can prepare for these. Provide some suggestions as you go along to check if you are on the right track.
3. Will I receive training on the job, and if so, how?
This would typically apply to entry-level positions or those that accommodate candidates with transferable skills but require specific technical training. It is important to understand the training processes and ascertain if they are the right fit for you.
- Again, this is another opportunity to show your enthusiasm, so ask how you can prepare yourself before joining.
4. Are there training opportunities for skills upgrading?
A good workplace is one that upgrades their employees. Showing that you are diligent in learning new skills on the job that is vital for your role and overall career will please the recruiters too.
- Follow up with questions on who conducts the training and the certifications that your fellow potential teammates have already acquired.
5. What are the expectations of my role?
Aside from the day-to-day duties, you should also find out what the company expects from you should you be hired. This way, you understand the goals you need to achieve.
- Go a step further and ask instead about the key performance indicators about your role and provide a time frame (i.e. what the company expects you to achieve in the next few months and a year)
6. How many people are there in my team?
A good way to prime yourself on your first day is to look forward to the team you are working with. The size of the team is also a good indicator of the work that is expected of you, unless otherwise informed by the interviewer.
- Having interest in your teammates will show that you are positive of working with people, so ask further questions such as who you will report to, the structure of the team and their individual roles, and who you will mostly be working with.
- If the teammates are present in the interview, direct any questions you may have to them.