What questions should I ask at interview?

When you’re preparing for interview, it’s always a good idea to practice answering some typical questions you may be asked, but don’t forget to prepare for that all-important, yet lesser-spotted question: ‘Do you have any questions for us?’ By asking the interviewer excellent questions, you will not only prove yourself a strong contender, but glean a deeper understanding of what’s involved, writes HEATHER HAMILTON, CAREER COACH, SLI NUA CAREERS.

Use this opportunity to sell yourself by asking the right questions and avoid making a bad career move before it’s too late. Here are eight questions that will showcase a good understanding of the organisation’s needs, and help you decide whether the position is a good fit for you:

How could I impress you in my first six months?

This question indicates an eagerness to make a positive contribution to the company. Their answer will let you know how they would like to see you perform, and what to focus on.

What kind of training could I expect?

Asking about training can alleviate any concerns you might have about your abilities, and shows an eagerness to learn new skills required for the role.

What can I expect from you in terms of development and support?

This question proves a desire for professional growth in the long-term and will give you an idea of future prospects in the company, and whether or not they can help you advance on your career path.

What would a typical day involve?

You could probably recite the job description backwards by the time you reach the interview stage, but this question will help ensure there are no nasty surprises in store.

Will I be working as part of a team? Can you tell me a little about each of them? Make some discreet enquiries about the general spirit of the company beforehand to help you find out if you’re going to be working with a great team or an unhappy bunch. Asking for some general background at interview should help the decision process along.

Can you tell me about my direct supervisor?

A great way to get a bit of information about your supervisor, but if you’ve already been given a heads-up that there is a problem at this level, then this might not be a job you want to take.

What obstacles are often encountered in this role?

During the interview you may have been asked about some of the greatest challenges you have faced in your professional life, so this question demonstrates that you are prepared for obstacles, and are thinking about how you can work through them for best results.

When can I expect to hear from you and what is the next step?

If the recruitment process has not been covered, this question will give you a better idea of what each stage entails.

Prepare three or four questions in advance, and you won’t be left stuck for words if some of your questions are answered during the interview. And remember, no job is final. If you’re planning the next step in your career, now is the time to ask if this is a step in the right direction.

Sli Nua Careers (www.SliNuaCareers.com ) have offices in Galway (Patricia Maloney, 091 528883 ), Mayo (Ballinrobe, Claremorris and Westport ), Dublin, Limerick, Sligo and Athlone. Their services include CV preparation, interview training, job-searching strategies and career direction. For more details, visit www.slinuacareers.com/galway

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