7 questions you should ask at your next interview

You’ve landed an interview for your dream job. You’ve spent hours thinking up perfectly structured answers to a multitude of questions and you’re ready for whatever the interviewer throws at you.

But, what about when the roles reverse and the interviewer asks if you have any questions? The last thing you want to do is panic and ask some uninspired, useless questions just for the sake of it.

Knowing what questions to ask in an interview is really important. It’s your chance to show you’ve done your research and have a genuine interest in the company as well as ensuring the business is the right place for you. Before you attend the interview, it’s best to come up with a mixture of general and more specific, industry-related questions. Here’s some ideas:

How do you contribute to employee development?

Like a lot of candidates, personal and professional development is probably a very important factor to you when applying for a job. In fact, 69% of tech professionals said they’d leave their current role for the opportunity advance their skills at another company. Asking about the specifics of how the employer contributes to their employees’ learning and development whether it’s through an internal training scheme, additional courses, new qualifications or specific resources is key for understanding how the company will support you in your progression.

Why did you (the interviewer) choose to join this company?

This is a big question. Flipping the script and asking the interviewer the reasons they joined the company is great for finding out benefits of the business that you may not have previously been aware of. This question gives the interviewer the chance to deliver an honest sales pitch on the business, giving you a first-hand insight into what the company is really like to work for.

What’s the biggest challenge your team has faced this year?

During the interview, it’s likely that the interviewer will be painting a perfect picture of the company. Therefore, understanding more about the challenges faced by the business will give you an insight into how the company approaches and overcomes problems, as well as giving you an idea of the kind of issues you could face as part of the team.

How would you describe the culture at this company?

Cultural fit is a deal breaker. 88% of candidates agree that company culture is a key factor when searching for a new role. When you’re researching a company, you’ll probably read a lot about their culture or see it promoted through their website and social media pages. However, to understand what it’s really like to work at the company, it’s best to ask the interviewer. It should help you gain a much clearer picture of the business and whether it’s somewhere you could see yourself working.

How do you celebrate success?

The ways a company celebrates the successes of its employees whether it’s a personal or professional achievement shows a lot about them. How do they reward teams and individuals for their efforts? Do they promote employee successes? Have they got an incentive scheme in place? Finding out these details will give you a good idea about how the business values its employees and whether it’s a place you’d like to work.

How does this role contribute to the wider company goal?

As a new employee, contributing to your team will be really important. Having a clear idea about where the company is heading and how your role impacts that is key to being successful within the business. Asking this question will demonstrate your desire to be a key contributor to the company as well as showing your interest in the future direction of the business.

How do you keep up to date within the industry?

When you work in the technology industry, innovation and staying up to date with the latest tech is key, so its important to have an employer who keeps ahead of the curve. How often do they update their technology? What’s their budget for tech conferences and qualifications? Do they host or attend tech events? Determining a business’ efforts to stay on the cutting edge within the industry is key to understanding how they operate.

So, there you have it, a few ideas of questions to ask at your next interview. Preparing questions in advance will help greatly in understanding company specifics and assessing whether the business is right for you. For more advice on your job search, check out our blogs on how to assess company culture in an interview and how to know if you’ll be a good fit for the role.

Information Technology