For some reason many interview candidates find ‘what do you want to ask us?’ one of the more difficult interview questions.
Is It A Trick Question?
As a Career Coach and an ex-HR Director I can tell you there is normally no hidden agenda behind this question. There are no tricks or surprises. The employer really does want to give you the chance to ask any questions that you might have. After all they want you to have all the information that you need to enable you to make a decision on the job if they offer it to you.
Answer With Care
Although it is not a trick question if you ask an inappropriate question it might make the employer think twice about employing you. If you ask the right kind of question you can only help your chances of getting a job offer.
Wrong Kind of Question
The wrong kind of question is going to be one that shows a lack of commonsense. It may be a question that shows a lack of interest in the company. Here are some examples of inappropriate questions – you should be able to understand why they are on the list:
- How much notice do I need to give you if I decide to leave?
- When will you increase my salary?
- Do you get many Employment tribunals?
- I hear there are lots of politics in the company – is that true?
And so the list of questions can go on. Remember questions about salary and terms and conditions will be in any offer that is made to you anyway. They are important areas to understand. It’s a case of asking the right kind of question (see next section).
Good Questions To Ask Interviewers
These will show an active interest in the positive aspects of the company:
- Do you have a pay system that rewards individual performance?
- What are the training and development opportunities?
- What are the opportunities for internal progression?
- In the press I saw that you are opening new offices in Japan – is this an important strategic step?
- Could you tell me about the induction training that I would get?
- How would you describe the company’s culture?
Hopefully you get the idea of what might be a good or bad question to pose to an interviewer when asked ‘what would you like to ask us?’ If you are in any doubt simply say that you don’t have any questions and that everything you wanted to know has been explained. This is safe and will rarely count against you.
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