Congratulations… you’ve made it to the interview stage in the search for your next job, well done!

Hopefully you’re feeling positive, but as your interview comes to a close and you’re asked if you have any questions, it’s normal for the nerves to creep in at this point. The pressure of wondering what to ask on the spot and quickly thinking of something to ask relating to anything mentioned in the interview can be a pretty hot seat for anyone, and that’s why it’s important to think through options beforehand. That way, you can ask your questions with confidence, and ensure you leave your interviewer with the best impression possible.

It’s important to remember that your interviewer isn’t trying to catch you out when they’re asking if you have any questions. Sure, it would probably be a little bit of a concern if you had nothing to ask, BUT the interviewer is asking a genuine question when they’re asking if there’s anything you’d like to know. Now is a great time to clear anything up that you might be unsure of, after all, you’re going to be the one working there and it’s important that you understand your exact role and responsibilities.

Secs in the City says: Establishing the exact responsibilities of the role allows you to better understand which strengths and skills the employer is looking for, so you can further emphasise relevant points about yourself. Examples of questions that would be suitable to ask could include:

“What are the responsibilities expected of this role?”

“What does a typical day here look like?”

“Are there any extra duties which haven’t been mentioned?”

“Whom does this position report to?”

“What are the biggest challenges of this role?”

“How many people work in this particular office/team?”

If you’re feeling pretty confident about the role and responsibilities, that doesn’t mean there’s nothing left to ask. The next step would be to ask more about the company, the culture and the environment that you’ll be working in. During this time, you can show the information you know about the company and also express more of an interest, while asking suitable questions at the same time.

Secs in the City suggest these questions:

“What are the company’s ambitions for the years ahead?”

“What is the culture of the company?”

“What are the company’s plans for growth and development?”

“How has the company changed over the past few years?”

“Who is your company’s competition, and how do you compare to them?”

“What do you like best about this company?”

If you’re feeling stumped about what to ask relating to the role, responsibilities or company, this might not be the best start. Failing to ask any of those questions, you should always be keen to find out what the next steps of the interview process are. Asking this shows the interviewer that you’re interested in the hiring process. Make sure to ask the interviewer if there is anything else they need from yourself before leaving.

We advise asking two questions at minimum to build a relationship with the interviewer. Refer to the lists above before your next interview to help you prepare to create a lasting impression when the critical moment comes.