5 Questions to ask at an interview

Posted 21/5/2019 by Georgina Deas

Asking questions at the end of your interview is just as important as answering them. 

Quite often, job seekers forget to ask questions or simply feel their questions have already been answered during the interview process, and so don’t ask anything. Not asking questions can be detrimental; it looks like you’re not interested in the role, and that’s not what you want!

So to help you get the most out of your interview, here are our 5 best questions to ask in your next interview.


1. "What was it, specifically, that made you want to interview me today?"

This is a great one to ask at the end of an interview. It reminds the interviewer of why they selected you out of all of other applications in the first place. It also gives you the opportunity to build and expand upon their initial first impressions.

If you ask this question, the interviewer might respond with “it was your broad range of experience that caught my eye”. This gives you the opportunity to say you have developed an ability to step outside your comfort zone in the pursuit of specific business, career, and learning goals, which puts you at an advantage when working with uncertainty.

Maybe, they are impressed with your unique blend of subject matter expertise and practical skills; in which case you can reinforce their positive mental image by telling them about a time when you were able to put this subject matter expertise into action with practical, measurable results.  


2. "Is there anything that would prevent you from hiring me today?"

This is your opportunity to respond to any doubts they have and put their mind at ease. Reassure the interviewer you will be able to handle the role if you are given it.

If they’re a bit caught off guard with this question, you could prompt them by following it with “such as gaps in expertise that I could fill?” This gives you the opportunity to thank them for their thoughts, and ask them if the organisation can support you to fill that gap, or if there are external resources they know of that would enable you to follow up with self-directed learning before the role is due to start.


3. "Where do you see the company/department/product in 3, 6 and 12 months from today?"

This is one of the most useful questions to ask, as it gives you a clear idea of the ambitions of the company. It helps the interviewer to think very tangibly about what they need and how you would fit into this.

From here you can make assumptions about what is already in place and begin to explore some of the steps you would need to take to realise those ambitions.

So if the 12-month vision is to surpass the key competitor in that field, you can begin to ask more detailed questions; ask your interviewers opinion, or demonstrate your knowledge of the competitors’ strengths and weaknesses. 

The interview should feel like more of a discussion about what needs done, and how to do it. Even if you don't get the role, this is invaluable market research showing you some of the key issues businesses in this sector are facing. It’s also good practice for your next interview.


4. "What are the key deliverables, and how would you measure the success of the role?"

This follows on naturally from the question above. Now you are getting into what needs to be done and visualising the steps needed to do it. Remember to show your passion. Compliment their ambition, and let them know that what they are saying is something you’re excited about. Follow up with examples based on experience if you can. "In my last position, I was required to deliver these exact things. Here are some of the things I learned from that experience..."

Draw on transferrable skills to demonstrate how you would get the job done, and don't be afraid to simply imagine how you would meet those goals: "I had to deliver a similar [document] in my previous role, which had many of the same requirements. These are the things that I believe will transfer into well into this deliverable..." 

Your interviewer is now visualising you in the role taking the necessary steps to deliver successful projects.  


5. "Are there other areas within this company, where you think I could bring some benefits?"

This is a great way to shift the interview back to your positive qualities. If you feel the interview isn’t going well, this is your opportunity to show that although you’re not the full package, you would be a great employee regardless. This helps the interviewer to imagine how they can nature you in the role or find another, more suitable, role for you in the company. On the other hand, if you’ve had a successful interview, the interviewer will now be thinking about all of the other benefits you can bring to the role.


Treat everything as a learning opportunity.


Good Luck! 



A Guide to Technical Interviews

5 Questions to ask at an interview


Enigma People Solutions is an award-winning technology recruitment consultancy. We find technical leaders for the emerging and enabling technology industries. Visit our job search page for the latest vacancies in photonics, electronics, semiconductor, software and IoT in Scotland. Check out our blog for the latest in the technology industry. You can get in touch with us hello@enigmapeople.com or call us on + 44 131 510 8150


Original author: Morna Simpson

Adapted by: Enigma People Solutions


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