Candidates: Are you covering these questions in your interviews?

  • 13th May 2020 03:29:54 PM

Finding a new role is hard. Quantity isn't an issue, there are plenty of roles available, but asking the right questions can help find the quality in the great big pile of job adverts and companies.

I would always suggest tailoring your questions to the specific interview, intervewer, company nad role you are applying for, because anyone who has been around the block once or twice knows that practically every interview ends with...

Do you have any questions for us?

And sometimes, the questions you already had prepared have been answered during the course of the meeting, so here are five top questions that will demonstrate your interest, and provide you with often-overlooked information about how you're going to be spending 40 or so hours per week for the foreseeable future.


Do you enjoy working here?

People are usually very happy to discuss themselves, and interviewers are people too. They likely sat on your side of the table, possible with sweaty palms and a list of their own qustions. Find out why they accepted thsi position, and what made them stay.  The question, ‘do you enjoy working here' is a great way to gain insight into company culture, and if the interviewer clearly hesitates or inadvertently insinuates that there are some negatives surrounding the workplace, it can be cause for concern.


Where do you go for lunch?

Personally, I prefr to eat my lunch alone, at my desk. This isn't a social outcast thing, it's simply because I bring my lunch from home most days, and the taste and smell lets me take my work hat off for a moment to ground myself, and change my mindset for an hour. I eat at my desk because this often leads to a different perspective and if I have a great idea because of that, I want to either jot it down or make a quick adjustment to whatever project I happen to be working on.

Some of my best ideas, I'm certain, originated because of my fiance's Thai Green Chicken Curry.

You, however, may think that's a bit silly, or at least not applicable to you - maybe you like to eat at McDonalds everyday (I've been there) or you like to eat in the communal space with your team mates, or perhaps every lunch is a pub lunch?

I'm not judging, I'm just saying, this is information you need to know about yourself, and then about the company you are interviewing at, to see if the culture fit is there. This shouldn't necesarily be a deal breaker, but it will give you a little more information.

How long has the team been here?

I genuinely can't think of a single example of high staff turnover being a positive thing. Asking how long the team have been in the company will give you the opportunity get a good idea of the turnover rate, but also analyse the opportunity for progression.

Of course, if the team haven't been there for long, there could be a good reason for it, such as the team being built for a specific long term project.

How is performance assessed?

Some people thrive under pressure, others...not so much. I tend to do well under pressure, but I don't like it. So, ask how performance is assessed, and you will have an idea of how much your work will be scrutinsed, and whether or not you feel that is reasonable.

Additionally, you'll get some insight into how you will be able to showcase your wins and discuss progression and promotions.

What happens if things do not go to plan?

The thing is, not every plan works out perfectly. This question helps you to understand what happens when this scenario comes into play.

Is there a process or procedure in place to recover projects that are going down hill? Is there a high level of expertise and experience within the company to provide support? Is there a budget for materials and tools?

This can be a risky question however, arguably also the most important. The question also presents the opportunity to study the logic and rationality the workplace uses when under pressure.


I' m sure there will be more questions than this, but I hope that these few help to tip your application from Interview to Offer


Photo Credit: Thanks to Tim Gouw for sharing their work on Unsplash.