At the end of a graduate job interview, the interviewer will typically ask you whether you have any questions for them about the role. A common mistake is simply answering ‘no’ in response to this question.
Why should you ask questions?
It is important to ask questions. This is because it shows a sincere and committed interest in the role and the organisation, and allows you to resolve any queries that you may have about your responsibilities and obligations.
By demonstrating your interest, you will stand out as a candidate. Furthermore, the interview is not only about the employer examining your suitability but also you assessing whether the role and the company is a right fit for you.
When should you ask questions?
At the end of most grad job interviews, applicants usually have the opportunity to ask the interviewer questions. Sometimes, factors such as limited time may restrict the interviewee’s capacity to ask questions.
If the interviewer fails to ask if you have any questions, you can always bring up something as it comes up in the conversation or when the interview is coming to its natural conclusion.
What questions should you ask?
Come prepared for the interview with some questions ready. You can always amend these during the interview depending on what comes up.
Questions should be concise and specific so that the interviewer can give you a prompt and clear response. Be sure to ask diverse questions. This will allow you to demonstrate your interest in the varying aspects of the position. Questions should always be professional and centred squarely around the role and the organisation.
Here is a helpful guide into the different questions you could ask to fulfil these purposes. While this is an extensive list of potential questions, you should pick two or three that are most relevant for the role and the company. Once you have successfully attained the role, there is more opportunity to ask any outstanding questions.
Have I answered all your questions?
If the interviewer replies in the affirmative, move on to your other questions. If they answer with the negative then this provides you with an excellent opportunity to provide any clarification or further information to demonstrate why you are suitable for the role.
Questions about the role
What are the daily responsibilities of this role?
This question allows you to gain more knowledge about the role beyond the general responsibilities described on the job listing. You can discover whether your skills align with the daily tasks, allowing you to both determine whether the role is right for you and whether there are any skills that you need to further develop before starting the job to successfully fulfil your obligations. You will increase your familiarity with the expectations of the role, allowing for a smooth transition.
What key qualities would someone need to excel in this role?
The interviewer’s response to this question provides an opportunity for you to both determine whether you have the necessary skills for the role, and explain to the interviewer that you possess such qualities.
How long is the transition period to become assimilated with the role?
This question will allow you to gain an understanding of how rigorous the first few weeks or months might be as you get accustomed to the role.
What immediate projects will I be working on?
By asking this question, you will demonstrate to the interviewer that you have a strong work ethic and are ready to jump right into the role.
How will my performance be evaluated?
This question will inform you of the ways in which your contribution will be evaluated, allowing you to develop goals and strategies to help you advance your career in the company.
What challenges may I face in this role?
This question shows that you are mindful of potential challenges that you may face and are willing to come up with strategies in advance to resolve them. This is an excellent opportunity to jump off the interviewer’s response and describe a situation in which you resolved a similar challenge, or skills that you possess that would aid you in such a situation.
What would you expect me to have achieved after 6 or 12 months in this role?
This question will inform you of the expectations of the role in advance so that you have a goal to strive for. It also shows the interviewer that you are serious about fulfilling the goals of the company, even as a grad!.
Questions about company leadership
How would you describe your leadership style?
Managers have different leadership styles so this question can be insightful on whether the role is right for you.
How do you typically resolve conflict?
The way in which conflict is resolved is very telling of the company culture. The interviewer’s response should demonstrate professionalism in the way that disagreements are resolved.
How are tasks delegated?
This question allows you to be informed on the management and team hierarchy, providing a better understanding of the company.
Questions about the team
Can you tell me more about the team I will be working with?
A response to this question can describe the company structure, your role within the team, and the management and teamwork style, allowing you to know what to expect when you start your role. You may also be curious about whether you have an assigned mentor, which ranked as the second most important priority for students and grads in our 2023 Student Sentiment Survey.
Who will I be reporting to?
Some positions require grads to report to one supervisor, while others report to an entire team. This question reveals more about the company hierarchy and structure.
Questions about the company
What is the workplace culture like?
This question allows you to examine the workplace environment. No matter how great a role is, if the workplace culture isn’t a good fit, perhaps this role isn’t the right one for you.
What do you enjoy most about working at [organisation name]?
The interviewer’s response can provide insight into the workplace culture and employee satisfaction.
What is the most challenging factor about working at [organisation name]?
This question can allow you to prepare for challenges you may face, and signals at any aspects of the workplace that you should be aware of.
What opportunities does working at [organisation name] provide for graduates?
This question demonstrates your interest in pursuing a career path past a graduate position at the company and for professional advancement.
What are the current goals of the company and how will I assist in completing them?
By understanding the short-term and long-term goals of the company, you will know what is expected of you to achieve them.
Questions about professional development
Are there any learning and professional development opportunities associated with this role?
According to our 2023 GradConnection Student Sentiment Survey, learning opportunities and career development ranked as the top priority for students and graduates (25.2%). This question shows the interviewer that you are interested in constantly developing and updating your skill set to better complete your role to the benefit of the company. It demonstrates a strong worth ethic.
What is the career path associated with this position?
This question demonstrates that you are serious about pursuing a long-term career at the organisation and can also help you evaluate whether this role aligns with your own long-term career goals.
Is there any training that will immediately follow the commencement of this role?
A response to this question will allow you to know what to expect so that you can sufficiently prepare.
Questions to conclude the interview
Is there anything else that I can answer or clarify about my qualifications, or anything that I can provide you with?
This is another opportunity to demonstrate your suitability for the role by providing the interviewer with supporting information on your education, experience or skills.
What are the next steps in the hiring process?
This question provides you with a timeline of the subsequent steps of the hiring process. You will be informed if anything else is required of you and when you can expect to hear from the interviewer with an outcome.
Read more on questions you should AVOID at the end of your grad job interview.