An interview isn't just a chance for your potential employer to learn about you.
An interview is also an opportunity to establish whether joining a particular company will benefit your career and ultimately, whether there is a suitable fit between the two.
Having you as a potential employee ask the interviewer questions about the role shows your engagement and interest in the company. It also demonstrates initiative of knowing what exactly you want, which is crucial to understanding if the job is a right fit for your potential career.
Why has this position become available?
Understanding why a position has become available is important - the previous incumbent may have left or the role could be newly created. If so, why was it created? This will inform you about the management and growth expectations of the company.
Depending on the answer you may want to highlight particular areas where you have strong skills.
If the role is newly created focus on your ability to innovate and take initiative, while if you are replacing a former member of staff consider times where you have been able to develop and refine existing processes.
What do you like about working for this company?
Gaining an insight into someone that is already part of the company will help you find out more about whether the cultural fit is what you are looking for as the interviewer is likely to step out of a corporate role.
You should aim to demonstrate that you have thought about the role beyond what may have been covered over the course of the interview. Showing an interest in what the interviewer thinks of the working culture of the company effectively demonstrates that you are considering aspects of the role beyond the job description.
How will my success be measured in this role?
Understanding how success in your role will be measured is key, particularly when providing examples of past experience where you have excelled at a task.
This is useful to know as each business operates differently. It will show what type of approach the company takes with its employees and is useful for you to think about whether the approach suits you as a person.
What can I expect in terms of development and support?
This question will show that you are keen on growing, learning and staying with the company. It will also allow you to find out more whether the role offers what you are looking for in the long term.
Employers are increasingly coming to recognise the importance candidates place on career development and progression and the majority are keen to support their staff in doing so. By outlining your career goals and seeking to understand how your potential can help you achieve them, you can demonstrate your reliability and commitment and assure the employer that you are a viable long term investment.
Where does the job fit into the team structure?
Understanding the way you will support and interact with the rest of the team will be important to your success in any role, and showing an interest in this early on shows your employer that you recognise the importance of collaboration at work.
This line of questioning will provide you with the chance to see how you can progress within the team and give you an opportunity to understand the team you will be a part off.
What is the next step after the interview?
Although it can be easily forgotten, this question is vital to ask. It shows the interviewer that you have thought about the next stages and provides you with an indication on whether you need to prepare more.
The interview is not just about seeing whether you are the right fit for the organisation, but it’s also about making sure you feel confidence about your ability to do the job and in turn, making sure you feel like the role would be a successful career move.
Need more advice on interviews? Learn how to answer competency based interview questions.