What you should ask your interviewer (and what is best left unasked!)

So, you have been invited to an interview. Well done. Now, you will probably be re-reading the job description, trying to anticipate their questions and practising your answers. Way to go.

Now, in any interview, the last question is always the same: “Do you have any questions for us?” And why is it that lots of candidates dread this one?

At an interview, your interviewers want to assess to what extent you are a good match for the company. Similarly, you want to ensure that the company is right for you. In general, anything that you genuinely want to know and you haven’t been able to find the answer to is a good question, except for some definitely no-go areas that I will describe in a moment.

If you struggle to find suitable questions, think of the following. You could ask:

  • Anything about what a typical working day or week is like
  • About what the interviewers like about working at the company or department
  • Examples of projects that you are likely to be involved in
  • About the team, how big is it and who you would report to
  • About development opportunities (just be careful not to come across as someone who will start applying for other jobs at the first opportunity)
  • About the recruitment process, for example when you can expect to hear from them

Now, for what you shouldn’t ask:

  • About your salary, holiday entitlement and other benefits (make sure you demonstrate a commitment to the company and the role and secure the job. Everything else will be discussed afterwards)
  • About what the company does (at this point, you should have done extensive research. In fact, you are not likely to get an interview unless you know the company inside-out!)
  • Anything that will prompt alarm bells in your interviewer, such as “will I have to work extra hours”, “is the manager very demanding” or “do you monitor the internet usage in the office”

If in doubt, you could always book an appointment with a Careers Consultant for interview preparation! Go to www.city.ac.uk/careers

Good luck!

Estanis Bouza

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