Many candidates who attend interviews are so concerned with making a good impression that they sometimes forget that an interview is a really good opportunity for them to ask questions too.

You are interviewing the employer just as much as they are interviewing you and asking the right questions can be tricky. That’s why we’ve whittled it down to the most important questions to ensure your interview is a success.

  1. What skills and experiences would the ideal candidate need for this role?

Chances are you’ll already have an idea of the kinds of skills and experiences needed to carry out this role, that’s why you’ve been invited to an interview in the first place. However, there is nothing wrong with asking your interviewer to expand on this during your interview. It will give you a much deeper understanding on what is expected of you and if the interviewer mentions something you haven’t covered yet, now is your chance to shine.

  1. What has been your proudest moment in this company so far?

Finding out more about the company is vital in any interview process. This is your opportunity to really dig deep and discover what accomplishments the company has made and who contributed. Asking your interviewer what they are most proud of will give you an insight into their work ethic, the company’s strengths and how teamwork is conducted if their proudest moment was a group project. Finding this out will help you to decide whether or not this is the right environment for you to work in and whether you have a similar work ethic to your potential colleagues.

  1. Where do you see your company in 12 months time and what can you tell me about your plans for growth?

It’s good to do a bit of research prior to your interview so that you have an idea of what the company is like and whether or not they have any set plans for the next 12 months. Some companies might not reveal anything on their website but if they have shared something regarding a new product launch or service, it’s a good opportunity to note it down and ask your interviewer about it. By explaining what the company has planned over the next year, you will be able to see the direction they are going in and see how you can fit in with their future goals.

  1. How can I progress in this role?

One of the most appealing factors in any job is how you are able to progress within the role. Your interview is the perfect time to raise this question to see whether this role offers you any kind of direction that you are a) interested in and b) able to do. A clear progression structure will show that the company has a path for you that will both enhance your skills and broaden your knowledge of the industry in which you applying to work in. It would also be handy to know whether the company can provide a training programme so you know exactly how you’re going to progress over a specific time period.

  1. What is the company culture?  

Getting on with staff and understanding the office culture is just as important as being able to do the job. That’s why it’s a good idea to ask about office culture to see how you would fit in with the team. Ask about social events, team building and the general vibe of the office as this will give you a clear indication of whether or not you will enjoy working for the company. The job role isn’t enough to make you feel like you are right for the job, feeling happy in your job and with your colleagues is crucial in order to improve work performance and have a healthy attitude.

  1. How do you keep your staff motivated?

As an employee you’re going to want to feel encouragement from your employer and the company as a whole, so ask the interviewer how they keep their staff motivated to ensure the office morale is positive. What kind of benefits does the company offer? Do they organise social events? Do they reward their staff for good work? These are all relevant questions for you to explore during the interview stage. After all, the company needs to win you over just as much as you need to win them over so don’t be afraid to ask about benefits and perks.

  1. What do you like the most about working here?

Whoever you are being interviewed by, whether it be a director, manager or head of a team, it’s always interesting to find out what they enjoy about working for the company. It will help you get to know the interviewer more and what drives them as a colleague. Find out how long they’ve been there for, what role they started out doing, which client they like working with or which project they had the most enjoyment working on. This will help you decide whether this is the right role for you and because your job is such a huge part of you life, you want to work in an environment where people really love what they do.

  1. What is the biggest challenge that comes with this job role?

In an interview it’s only natural to talk about why you are the perfect candidate, why your skillset matches the expectations of the company and how you would fit into the role on a cultural level. But, all jobs come with obstacles and it’s important to be realistic about this. When discussing the role with your interviewer, remember to ask what is challenging about the job. This isn’t always a negative either; some challenges can shape you as a colleague and help you to become better at your role. In fact, a challenge might be just the thing you need!

  1. Why is this position available?

Perhaps you’re applying for a role where the company is looking for multiple candidates, or maybe you’re being interviewed for a completely brand new position that the company hasn’t recruited for before. If it’s the former, ask what kind of growth plan the company is based on. How will a team of new recruits help to develop the business and what products/services will be used? If it’s the latter, ask them what they think a new position will add to the company and what they think you can bring to a new role.

  1. What are the next steps following this interview?

You will more than likely be told this without even needing to prompt it but if not, don’t shy away from asking what happens next. Will there be a second interview stage? How long will it take for the company to decide who they want to hire? Is there a specific date in which this decision will be made? Leaving the interview knowing what the next steps will be will make you feel much less apprehensive about when the verdict will be made – and you won’t be left constantly refreshing your inbox everyday out of frustration!