1. “What sort of progression could I expect at company X?”
As a fresh grad, progression is going to be really important to you. You need to know that you’re not going to join a company, only to stagnate in an entry level position for years on end.
If your interviewer alludes to the fact that it will take five years for a promotion, you need to think carefully about whether you’re willing to wait, or whether you’d prefer a company where you could expect to be moving up the ladder more quickly.
2. “What are the company’s plans for the next few years?”
This question will help you get a better grasp of the company’s ambitions, and will help you suss out whether you want to join them on their journey.
This will be a particularly important question to ask a small business, as their plans for the future could directly shape your role.
3. “What’s the best thing about working for your company?”
Most people are flattered when asked a question about themselves.
This is a nice one because it isn’t too intrusive, but should offer you an honest insight into what it’s really like to work for a company.
If your interviewer struggles to come up with something that they love about the company, or offers a fairly lame perk e.g. “I really like the free tea and coffee on offer,” then alarm bells should start ringing!
A happy employee will be able reel off a list of things which make them proud to work for their company.
4. “What kind of training do you offer?”
You might be the type of person who likes to learn on the job, but if formal training is important to you, you need to ask about it at the interview stage – not all companies will offer it.
5. “How would you measure my success in this role?”
How a company defines your success will ultimately determine how successful you’ll be in a role.
If your interviewer says that everything you do will be judged on KPIs (Key Performance Indicators), and you don’t class yourself as target-driven, you may need to reconsider your options.
Likewise, if you’re performance is going to be based on feedback from your clients, and you don’t think you’re very good at dealing with people, it could be time for a U-turn!
6. “How would you describe the company’s culture?”
Never underestimate how important your company’s culture will be to your happiness at work.
If you value your down-time but your interviewer says that they have a “work hard, play hard atmosphere” and are “out entertaining clients most nights”, the role might not be quite the right fit for you!