Top 10 Tips For Asking Great Questions In An Interview
Asking the right questions in an interview can be one of the biggest hurdles for a junior candidate, yet it’s the perfect opportunity to sell yourself and learn more about a potential employer. These top tips, created by one of our recent junior placements, will help you stand out and impress your interviewer with carefully crafted questions.
An interview is a chance for the employer to get to know your personality and skill set, so questions that you have pulled from Google may not reflect your interests and talents. Think outside of the box and ask questions that are targeted towards the specific company, sector and role.
Tailor your questions to the role
A job description will give you an insight into the role itself so pick out key points and frame your questions around them. One example could be if a company is an umbrella brand with several sub-brands, you could ask which brands you would be focusing on or what direction the employer hopes to take with each. This shows that you’ve done in-depth company research and allows you to learn more about your daily responsibilities.
Make notes as your interviewer tells you about the company and write down questions as you think of them. If the role has a technical aspect to it such as undertaking SEO you could ask about the specific SEO systems that are used by the company. Sometimes the best questions are the engaging questions based on information given to you by the interviewer.
Avoid closed questions
Closed questions that can be answered with a simple “yes” or “no” can lack creativity and limit the amount of information that you can glean from an employer. An open-ended question such as “How do you see this role fitting into the marketing strategy?” will give you critical information about the employer that may highlight what they are looking for. A question like this also shows that you can see the bigger picture and highlights how you would fit into the wider team.
Think long term
Questions about training and development are useful but try to take your questions one step further by looking at time-frames. A question such as “How will your ideal candidate have developed within six months?” allows the employer to discuss professional development and will give you a solid understanding of how the role may change over time. This question also shows that you can think past the immediate future.
Ask a variety of questions
The best sets of questions will contain a mixture of general questions and technical questions. Using both types of questions will allow you to get an overview of the working environment, the role and the employer’s hopes for their ideal candidate.
Ask relevant questions
Always make sure that your questions match the role that you have applied for. If you are being interviewed for a client-side role, you will be working on that sole brand, so agency-side questions focusing on multiple clients are irrelevant. You will be remembered for the questions that you ask so think wisely!
Avoid questions relating to salary or benefits
This is a basic tip but is still very important. Questions regarding salary, working hours and company are tasteless and presumptuous and leave a bad taste in the employer’s mouth. Ask insightful questions that show your interest in the role and the company and remember that the hiring process is a two-way street, both the employer and candidate must benefit.
Listen to your recruiter
Your recruiter has already established a strong relationship with the company; therefore, they can offer a fresh perspective and may think of something that you may not have considered. Keep an open mind, welcome feedback and listen to a recruiter’s advice.
Give yourself the chance to clarify any uncertainties
Always ask at the end of an interview “Now that you’ve met me do I meet your criteria or is there something I need to clarify?” This question allows you to gauge your performance and identify any skills that you may not have displayed within your previous answers. By asking this question, you get one more chance to sell yourself demonstrating to the employer why they can’t be without you!
Guest blog by Lucia Widdop.
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