Turn the tables on your interviewers with these great questions

You've done an great interview and then comes the dreaded moment when they ask if you have any questions

Everything you can think of seems banal and you are in danger of blowing the great impression you have made. Read on for a set of great finishing questions – if you have the courage to use them.

1. What motivates you to get up in the morning?

This is bound to put your new boss on the back foot, at least for a moment, and combines interest in them as a person with an interest in what makes the business tick. Whatever the answer, it will certainly provide some insight into the organisation.

2. Why would it be a good idea to work for you?

You can expect the corporate line on how great company the company is; however, you should listen to what they don’t say – it may be a warning sign.

3. Why did my CV interest you?

This will tell you what they are looking for and your interviewers may inadvertently give away something about competition.

4. If I worked here, how would I impress you?

Let the recruiter talk about how to get on in the organisation. For example, if they say “You come in early and you go home late”, you know where you stand – it is a long hours culture but promotion is probably fairly based on achievement.

5. Why do you work here?

Of all the suggested questions, this is the one that is most likely to cause either squirming or mirth on the interviewing panel. If your interviewer seems unable to answer the question, it is a big warning sign.

6. What would be your advice to a new recruit?

If the response is that a new recruit needs to hit the ground running, you can assume that a full induction programme is not going to be on the cards.

7. How do you help employees to perform well?

The red flag here is if the employer seems to have no concept that good performance from an employee requires an enabling culture and practical tools from the company.

8. What question are you surprised I haven’t asked?

This is clever and your interviewers should be impressed. It allows them to point out any gaps and you can immediately respond.

9. What are the key priorities for the person who gets this job?

You will have seen the person specification and job description, which normally have a ridiculous number of tasks and attributes packed into them, but what do they actually want you to do?

10. Do you need anything else from me?

This is a nice open question to bring out as the interview is nearing its end. Don’t worry if they go back over an answer you gave previously – they are just making sure that you are the right choice.

11. As a manager, what is currently your worst headache?

Finding out what is causing the most problems allows you to jump in with an assurance that you can handle whatever problem it is and make their working life easier – if they appoint you.

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The British Institute of Recruiters is the Professional Body operating The Recruitment Certification Scheme

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