How to: ask questions the right way at an interview

By Rupinder Morrow, Senior Careers Advisor

Now that you’re at University, hopefully you have experienced some form of interview – whether it was for an internship, volunteering role, permanent position or to get a place on a Higher Education programme.

You may be familiar with interview structures and know that no matter what kind of interview you are attending, normally near the end, you’ll be asked, “Do you have any questions?”

Time to sit back, relax and ask them what you’ll get paid, right? …WRONG
Asking intelligent and thoughtful questions reinforces your suitability as a candidate and demonstrates your interest and commitment to the role. It could even help propel you to the top of the interviewer’s shortlist. It also allows you to gain a better insight into whether the role is really for you.

However, the interview is still in progress, so it is imperative that you carefully prepare 3-4 questions beforehand and treat this part of the interview as seriously as you treat the rest of it.  A recent survey by Career Leader revealed that 29% of recruiters rejected candidates on the basis of the questions they asked at the close of the interview.

Ensure you do not ask questions where you could have found the information easily yourself (e.g. on the company website).  When you are sure you have all of the information about the role that you require, you could ask about:

Your interviewer(s)
What are your backgrounds or why do you enjoy working here?

The organisation
What are the challenges you are currently facing or the most significant recent developments?

The working conditions
Can you tell me about the opportunities available for undertaking training and further professional development?

The process
When are you likely to let candidates know of your decision?

What NOT to ask:

  • What is the salary?
  • How many days holiday will I be entitled to?

So when preparing for an interview, ensure you prepare interesting, well researched, memorable questions, as it is these questions which will provide you with the opportunity to demonstrate your interest and commitment to the role, organisation and sector. 

The Careers and Business Relations Department deliver regular workshops on interview preparation and it is advisable to book a one-to-one consultation for a mock interview with one of our qualified Careers Advisors.

To make an appointment, contact us today!
Call us on: +44 (0)207 487 7419 or visit our office in Jebb 205.
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