During an interview the interviewer is obviously going to ask you a number of questions. They are trying to find out if your skills, experience and personality match the position and culture of the company. However you should never think of an interview as a one way interrogation. Rather think of an interview as a back and forth conversation, you must remember that just as the interviewer is trying to figure out if you are a good fit for the company YOU need to figure out if the company will be a good fit for you.
During an interview it is important for you to ask some questions as well, this will not only help you decide if the position is right for you but will also show to the interviewer that you are interested in the position and the company. Be cautious though, if your questions only focus on salary, benefits and leave days you will telling the interviewer that this is all that matters to you, this is not the impression you want to give.
So when should you ask your questions? Well honestly at any point that is feels right. As I said an interview is a two way conversation, so just like any conversation make sure that your questions match the current subject. I also recommend that you prepare two questions to ask at the end of the interview. The reason I say this is because it is almost a certainty that the last question you will be asked in an interview is “Do you have any questions for us?” Most of the other candidates will answer along the lines of “Not at this time” or “You have already answered all my questions,” if you have prepared two well thought out questions to ask at this point you will create a lasting impression with the interviewer which is going to significantly increase your chances of getting the job.
Picking the right questions to ask can be a bit daunting at first. My suggestion is to jump onto the internet and start researching the company. Check if they have appeared in any news reports recently and make a note of this. If you can incorporate the information you have found online into your questions it is going to impress the interviewer even more because they will know that you have done some research, and this proves to them that you are really interested in the position. Also check out our blog on the very best question to ask after an interview.
If you are still stumped I have a few question suggestions for you as well.
1) What are the biggest challenges you expect the candidate you place in this position to face?
This can be a super question to help you decide if this is a position you are suited for. Often you will get more information about the position then what is listed in the job description. For example you might find out that there is a history of dreadful office politics or your closest co-worker is very difficult to work with.
2) How will you measure the success of the person in this position?
This is a great question to get to the bottom of what is actually required of the position. You might also find out the company has unrealistic expectations for the new employee.
3) Can you describe a typical day in this position?
This is an important question for individuals entering the hospitality industry. The hospitality industry often requires staff members to fill a number of roles at the Lodge / Hotel. This question will help you understand where you will be spending most of you time, and what other roles you may need to assist with.
4) How long did the previous person hold the position? Or What has turnover in the role generally been like?
Remember that you are also trying to decide if the position is right for you. If there has been a high staff turnover for this position or at the company in general it could be because of unrealistic expectations from the company or due to a difficult manager. If this is the case you need to consider carefully if this is a role you would like to take on.
5) What is you favourite part about working here?
Ideally you would like the interviewer to be optimistic and enthusiastic about the company. Any hesitation could be a warning sign that things are not as great as they seem. This also gives the interviewer an opportunity to talk about themselves which people love to do.
6) What is the timeline for next steps?
This is a perfect question for the very end. It shows that you are interested in the position and would like to get things moving. It also gives you an idea of when you are likely to hear back from the company. Many companies take two weeks to get back to interviewees, if you have not asked this question you are going to spend the next two weeks stressing about why you have not heard anything back. It is much better for your sanity if you have a rough time frame.
If you really want to make sure you are prepared for any interview I also suggest you check out my Blog post on the 11 most common questions asked in interviews and how you can prepare for them. Thanks as always for taking the time to read this Blog post and GOOD LUCK with the jobs search! Keep positive and stay motivated.