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Have you got any questions?

Have you got any questions?

Sep 14 2016

For anyone who’s been to more than one or two interviews in their lifetime, you’ll be only too aware that this will be one of the last questions you’re asked at the end of an interview.

Having interviewed hundreds of people in my career, this is one of the questions I really like to ask as it gives you an insight into what the candidate is thinking. You’re forgiven for thinking surely it’s just standard fare and doesn’t tell you much about someone? Not true – what someone wants to know at the end of an interview can tell you all manner of things, including how much they have listened, what their motivating factors are, priorities for them and how seriously they’ve taken the whole process.

If you take nothing else away from this blog, remember it’s essential to ask questions at an interview. Have maybe 10 ready because inevitably they’ll answer five of them. You shouldn’t ever get to the end of an interview and not ask anything; it says that either you’re not invested in the process or you’re not smart enough to think of anything.

Here are the top 10 questions I like to be asked and that I also like to ask when I attend interviews:

  1. How many people work in the team and what’s the culture of the team like?
  2. What are the short and long-term challenges (three and six months?) for the person coming into this role?
  3. What do you think is the best thing about this role?
  4. How did the role become available? (the panel may have already answered this, obviously don’t ask if they have already told you because then it just looks like you’re not listening).
  5. In your view, what characteristics should someone have to be successful in this role?
  6. What do you like about working here? (this is a good question, you get to find out a bit about the panel and people like talking about themselves).
  7. What’s the staff turnover? (this indicates levels of staff morale and retention. Any decent HR practitioner should know this number, although line managers may not).
  8. When do you hope to make a decision by?
  9. How many people are you seeing? (only ask this if you’re comfortable, but it’s a good indicator of whether they’re just chucking spaghetti at the walls in the hope that some will stick).
  10. Is there anything else you would like to know about me?

If you’d like some more in-depth interview guidance and coaching, please get in touch via the contact page.