The best questions to ask Print E-mail
THE interview is beyond doubt, the most widely used of all selection devices – and one of the most controversial.


You spend hours getting your CV together, making it more relevant and applicable to the vacancy in question. You travel up to Head Office for the interview - this could be one of the most important days of your life.

But within a few minutes of the interview, before you have even got into your stride, it’s all over.

It can take only a matter of minutes for the interviewer to decide whether you are the right person for the job. So how you walk and dress, how your body language shapes up for that first handshake all have an effect on deciding which way a career and life changing interview may go.

So what goes on in these interviews if everything is decided in the first few minutes?

Preparation and planning are vital and perceptive, focused interviewing skills are where the rubber meets the road in securing the best opportunities.

Always prepare by drawing up a list of key questions that you genuinely want to ask. If you are not interested in asking questions, they will think you are not interested in the job.

  1. Q Why has this vacancy arisen?

    AA perfectly reasonable question to ask, if you want to make sure that the last person isn’t leaving because the job is limited in terms of promotion or the demands of job are unrealistic. If they sidestep the question or appear defensive, all may not be what it seems.



  2. QWill there be opportunities to gain further experience and qualifications?

    AAs long as you’re not coming to the job with the attitude that you know it all, then ask this question. It shows you want to get ahead and leads neatly onto the next question.



  3. QIs there any scope for promotion?

    AAlways worth asking as it shows you are enthusiastic and plan to go far within the company.



  4. QIf my application were successful, where would you see me in five years time?

    A good question because it forces the interviewer to picture you in the role. It also gives you an indication of how fast career move at the company.



  5. QWhere does the company see itself in five years’ time?

    AThis shows you have a genuine interest in the future direction of the company and you’re looking beyond the confines of your own role. It will also mark you out as someone with vision.



  6. QWhat is the top priority for the role over the next year?

    AAnother question that involves the interviewer imagining you in the job.



  7. QAnother question that involves the interviewer imagining you in the job.

    AWhat are some of the more challenging problems encountered in this role?



  8. QWhat are some of the more challenging problems encountered in this role?

    AThis shows that you are already thinking ahead and want to hit the ground running and fully prepared. It shows you’re realistic and don’t expect life to be a bed of roses.



  9. QHow do you feel these problems could be best handled?

    AA great question because it shows that you want to draw on the interviewers experience at the same time as drawing up contingency plans for your day to day role.



  10. QDo you have any reservations about my ability to do this job?

    AIf they say no, you’re already in a great position. If they say yes, then ask them to clarify so you’ll get a chance to dispel their doubts.



  11. QWhen can I expect to hear from you?

    AThis shows you’re keen and also gives a great reason to get in contact if they haven’t contacted you by the date. Don’t over do it though – just contact them once with a follow up call.