Job interviews, for even the most seasoned, can be nerve-racking. Whilst a certain amount of nerves are valuable, it is essential to prepare yourself adequately if you want to stand out ….or even stand a chance.

Research the company, and practice eloquently answering common interview questions. No hiring manager appreciates monosyllabic responses or feeling the conversation is a one-way street. It’s hard work and they will switch off instantly, therefore of equal importance is to prepare questions you want to ask the interviewer.

Making enquiries demonstrates interest in the company and position, showcases critical thinking skills, and helps determine if the job is the right fit for you. Questions give the chance to assert yourself or just provide a break from being on receiving end of the interview process. Below are some questions that you can ask, and why:

  • What are the day-to-day responsibilities of the role / typical projects that might be worked upon? This will enable better understanding of a typical work day, type of work and expectations. The feedback will help determine if you have the necessary skills and experience to perform the job – and aligns with your career goals and interests
  • Can you describe company culture / team dynamics? It is essential to get a feel for what the work environment and team are like, as well as factors like approach to employee welfare and work life balance. It’s better to try to learn about culture ahead of time, as it will significantly influence your job satisfaction.
  • What will impress the most in the first few weeks / months? This answer provides a pretty clear signpost to success, and highlights particular factors to focus on to get noticed in the right way from the off.
    What are the growth and learning opportunities for this position? Asking about growth opportunities will demonstrate an eagerness to learn and grow professionally. It will also help you gauge if the company has a strong focus on employee development if there is room for advancement and a long-term career with the company.
  • What is the timeline for the hiring process / when can I expect to hear back from you? This helps manage expectations. It will give an idea of when you can follow up with the hiring manager if necessary.

In conclusion, preparing questions before a job interview is crucial. It shows that you are engaged and interested in the job, and it can help you learn more about the company and position. Taking the time to prepare thoughtful questions demonstrates that you are invested in the opportunity and can help you stand out from other candidates.