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Mastering the Art of Asking the Right Questions in a Job Interview

23rd November 2023

Job interviews are not just an opportunity for employers to evaluate prospective candidates; they are also a chance for candidates to assess if the company aligns with their career goals and values. Asking thoughtful questions at the end of an interview demonstrates your interest, curiosity, and preparation. It also gives you valuable insights to make an informed decision when considering a job offer. In this article, we will explore some tips and best practices for asking the right questions during the crucial final moments of a job interview.

Research the Company:

Before the interview, take the time to learn about the company’s mission, values, recent achievements, and challenges. Use this knowledge to craft specific questions that show your interest in and understanding of the company. For example, inquire about specific projects or initiatives that align with your skill set or ask about the company’s growth plans for the future. These kinds of questions can often lead to conversations which allow you to further show how you could integrate into the future of the company.

Focus on Culture and Values:

Understanding the company’s culture is essential to determine if there will be a good fit. Ask questions that delve into the organisation’s core values, work-life balance, employee development opportunities, and the overall employee experience. This demonstrates your commitment to finding a workplace that aligns with your values and contributes to your long-term career growth. One thing to note, these kinds of questions are pretty common and might not exactly help the interviewer remember you. Try giving them your own unique spin and ask something that no-one else will, not the usual ‘What’s the culture like?’.

Seek Clarification:

During the interview, the interviewer might provide information that leaves you with uncertainties or gaps in your understanding. Use this opportunity to ask clarification questions that help you gain a clearer picture. For example, if they mention a specific project, ask about its objectives, timeline, and the team involved. This not only shows your interest but also your attention to detail.

Show Interest in the Role:

Demonstrate your genuine interest in the role by asking questions about its responsibilities, reporting structure, and career progression. This not only helps you understand the scope of the role but also shows that you are invested in making a positive impact in the position.

Prepare Personal Questions:

Prepare a few thoughtful questions specific to your situation. Show interest in the interviewer’s own experiences, professional growth in the company, or their perspective on key industry trends. This demonstrates your enthusiasm for learning and your ability to engage in meaningful conversations beyond the interview. A bit of light LinkedIn stalking might help you prepare these questions!

Avoid Questions About Salary and Benefits:

While it is important to be aware of the compensation and benefits associated with the role, it is generally best to avoid discussing these during initial interviews. Focus on questions that highlight your interest in the company and the role itself. Salary and benefits negotiations typically occur at a later stage once you have received an offer.

Asking the right questions at the end of an interview enables you to demonstrate your preparation, enthusiasm, and thoughtful approach to the job search process. By taking the time to research the company, understand its culture, seek clarification, and show interest in the role, you can leave a lasting positive impression on the interviewers. Remember, interviews are not just about impressing the company, they are also an opportunity for you to gather the information needed to make an informed career decision. So, be prepared, be curious, and always ask the right questions!

Seven are experts in FMCG, consumer and retail recruitment.

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