10 Questions to Ask in a Job Interview

As a travel recruiter, it’s one the things I get asked most: ‘What are the best questions to ask in a job interview?’ One of the main points to remember when in a job interview is to prepare genuinely useful questions that will help you gain knowledge of the company but also demonstrate that you’re serious about the role.

The best 10 questions to ask in a job interview

You need to show an interest in the role, so read and prep about it before the interview and have an understanding of the company. During the job interview ask something like: ‘I have been over the role description, and it matches my current skills but how would you describe a typical day in the role?’

‘What is the expected time frame for results in this role?’ In a sales role, this is a good question to ask in a job interview. It will help you establish whether the company is expecting you to make target in the first month or whether they are realistic and understand it may take 2 or 3 months. It can be relevant in other roles because it will indicate when the employer expects to start seeing results from your input.

 For a sales position, a great question is: ‘Can you explain how the targets work?’ This shows you are committed to achieving and working towards those targets.

‘What are the challenges of this role?’ This is a particularly useful question to ask in a job interview if speaking to the person in the current role. When I was interviewed for my first Travel Consultant role, I asked ‘What sort of mistakes can happen in the position?’ I was with the team I was going to potentially work with, and they started chatting about difficult situations they’d dealt with and resolved for their passengers. Their interaction while recalling these situations made me feel like a member of the team. They were natural and I felt comfortable and also prepared for the challenges I could potentially face.

‘What is the team structure?’ or ‘How many people are on the team?’ or ‘Who would I be reporting to in this role?’ are all good questions to ask in a job interview. It’s good for you as a potential employee to know the hierarchy in the business, preparing you for any surprises should you be successful. This also shows an interest in the way the business works and demonstrates that you are picturing yourself in the role.

‘What is the usual career progression for this role?’ This will show a desire to grow within the company, and a long-term commitment which may be desirable to an employer.

7  ‘What is the company culture like?’ I think this is important. Is it highly corporate or very relaxed? It needs to match your style, otherwise you will never feel comfortable in the role.

‘Who would you say are your main competitors?’ Of course, if you have researched the business well you may be able to suggest a couple of names, but it’s good to hear from an insider perspective and shows you are commercially aware.

9  ‘What is the onboarding or training process for this role?’ This will help you be prepared if they intend you to be away from home while training. Likewise, if they don’t have training and you’re expected just to get on with the role. The knowledge will help you mentally prepare for challenges. And again, it expresses your interest in the role without coming across as pushy.

10  If you don’t ask any questions and the interview has flowed in a smooth conversation, there is just one question that you should ask. ‘Is there anything that concerned you about my interview here today?’ This is such a strong ending to an interview. I have found candidates that ask this question are very often successful in progressing to the next stage of the job-interview process. It shows initiative and that you have nothing to hide as you are prepared to address any concerns straight away.

And… What questions not to ask in a job interview

As well as knowing what questions to ask in a job interview, it should be noted that you should never ask about salary unless the interviewer asks you what your expectation is. Likewise, don’t ask if you can take holiday before the job has even been offered to you. It’s much better to put both of these questions to your recruiter as they will note any leave you have booked and will have an indication of salary. For an employer it shows that you are too focused on things other than the job itself.

Another question to absolutely avoid no matter how much you are dying to ask it, is: ‘So do I have the job?’ It comes across as too pushy and will very likely get a negative response.

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If you have any useful tips, or even funny job-interview stories, we’d love to hear about them in the comments below…