5 Questions to Ask at a Job Interview

So you’ve mastered the art of the CV and it’s got you this far. But what do you do when faced with the job interview that decides your fate? The end of an interview is often ignored in interview preparation, consisting of questions and goodbyes. Don’t fall at the last hurdle and fail to ask questions or ask the wrong questions.

Below are some suggestions for questions that work in most job interviews – but only if the answers to the questions are not readily available already in the job spec or online. Make sure to research the company and role thoroughly to make sure you’re asking a question you couldn’t answer anywhere else.

Are there opportunities to advance in the company?

The classic failsafe. You can’t go wrong with this question, and if you know that there are opportunities to advance in the company, you can ask what opportunities for advancement there are. If this has been outlined already, ask for more detail – how quickly can you expect to advance to what level and are there any rough conditions for doing so?

What software, if any, can I expect to use in my role?

This may not apply to jobs in garden centres but you’d be surprised. Any job with supervisor or management level responsibilities may involve a touch of marketing software usage. This question is essential for any office job as its answer allows you to get ahead at work before you’ve even started – you can familiarise yourself with the relevant systems and hit the ground running if you get the job.

What size business is this – how many employees large?

This might seem like one of the least relevant questions on this list but it’s important for a whole host of reasons. Bear in mind that the size of a business affects workflow, culture, overall working conditions and what your quality of life at work will be like. The bigger the company, chances are work might be easier as the workload is shared but you might get bored more easily. The smaller the company, chances are your workload and responsibility level will be greater, resulting in more stress and more experience. You win some, you lose some!

How do you think an employee in this position could best impact the company?

This is a great question to ask, especially if you are reasonably confidant you’ll get the job. And if you’re not, it will make you look like you are, which is brilliant! The answer to this question should set your goals at work if you get the job.

When can I expect your hiring decision?

If you already know the answers to most questions on this list by interview stage, this is a good one to ask as it clarifies your near future, allowing you to organise your time effectively and put your mind at ease. It will show your prospective employer that you’re serious about their time and yours.

So there you have five questions you can most probably ask at your next job interview. Just remember to tailor your interview preparation to each individual job interview to maximise your opportunities. Happy hunting!



Cristina studied English Literature and Hispanic Studies at Queen Mary University of London and now works as a writer and photographer. Catch her on TwitterLinkedIn and her website.

Inspiring Interns is a recruitment agency specialising in all the internships and graduate jobs London has to offer.