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12 Essential Questions to Ask During an Interview [Ireland]

Great news! You’ve made it to the interview stage and have an opportunity to make a good impression that could secure you the job of your dreams. You’ve brushed up your interview skills and researched the company you’re applying to, and it’s all going well until you hear the words, “Do you have any questions?”.

Suddenly, the pressure is on to ask the right questions to impress your interviewer and make the most of this opportunity to ensure the job is a good fit for you. Here’s our essential guide to asking the right questions in the interview process.

questions to ask interview ireland

End of interview questions

The questions you ask at the end of an interview will give the person interviewing you a better idea of you as a person and why you are the ideal candidate for this role. Smart questions to ask will demonstrate that you are interested in upcoming initiatives and that your career progression will be key to the company’s future. Here are a few questions that will help to show that you are paying attention to the company’s goals and that your career path is closely tied to them.

Working out the right questions to ask can give you a lot of valuable information about the company you are interviewing with and offer insights into the culture and daily operations that will help you to decide if you will fit in. The right person for the job will make the most of the opportunity to connect and find out more during an interview and finding smart questions to ask can also be a helpful way to ensure that your interview is memorable for your interviewer.

Key questions to ask:

1.     Why is this job available? Is this a new position? If not, what did the previous employee go on to do?

This is a simple question that gives you more information about the company culture and the development opportunities for you. If this is a new job, this may show that the company is progressive and prepared to take a risk, which could be great for your career growth. On the other hand, if the previous employee has left the job soon after the onboarding process, you may have further questions to ask about the level of support available for this position and the work environment.

2.     What is the most important thing I should accomplish in the first 90 days?

An excellent question to help define the main responsibilities of the role, this is a specific way to get a clearer picture of the company expectations. The answer to this question should help you to understand what successful employees look like within this company culture as well as the day to day responsibilities of the job you are considering. Finding out what the most immediate projects are will help to clarify whether this job is as good as it sounds so it’s a great question to ask at the end of the interview.

3.     How would you describe a typical day in this position?

 It’s important to have an idea of the day to day tasks you will be expected to undertake if you are given a job offer, and this may not have been made clear to you during the hiring process. It’s a good idea to ask this question to understand how the reality of a typical day matches up with the job description so that you can see whether this will be good for your professional development.

4.     What are the biggest challenges that I might face in this position?

 This is a really good question to ask at the end of interview since it helps to show any areas that may make this a vulnerable position. Often, an interviewer asks about your personal challenges or weaknesses and this is the same question in reverse, designed to encourage the interviewer to talk about the job realistically and give more information about what will be required.

5.     What types of skills is the team missing that you are looking to fill with a new hire?

Asking about skills gives you the chance to demonstrate how your skillset will complement the team and whether you are working with remote employees or with those in other departments, you can find out more about the way your skills will be used within the team. This tells you more about the company culture and the way team work is nurtured, as well as demonstrating that this is a two way street where you are valued as an important asset within the team.

6.     Will I be able to meet my future colleagues or managers during the interview?

It is helpful to ask at the end of the interview process whether you may be able to meet potential colleagues or even past employees if there is a handover procedure. This can be a great way to show enthusiasm for the job and there is just a chance that you may meet someone who can share a new perspective on the role you are interviewing for and set you ahead of the competition.

7.     Are there opportunities for training and progression within the role / company?

No interviewer or hiring manager wants to employ someone who is not interested in career progression, since this type of candidate would be likely to stagnate rather than bringing anything new to the team. Find out what opportunities you can expect if you are successful in your job interview, whether you are interested in heading up industry conferences or joint events or enrolling in courses that promote your individual professional development.

8.     What KPIs will my performance be evaluated against?

This is a useful question to help you grow professionally since it explains how you will be formally reviewed within this role. Understanding the performance review process and how your new employers will evaluate success can give you great insights into the requirements of this job and show you exactly what the company will expect, so pay attention to the answer your interviewer gives here.

9.     Can you describe the working culture of the organisation?

When you ask this follow up question at a job interview, you will receive an insight into the way the company works and the informal working environment you can expect so that you can make an informed decision about whether this is a good fit for you. You can also ask whether the company offers or has considered offering health insurance, and what the interviewer’s favourite office tradition is, to find out more about the support culture too.

10.  What are the next steps in your recruitment process before you can make an offer?

This is a practical question to ask at end of interview, clarifying the recruitment process and what you can expect to happen next. Will there be a second interview, for instance? Or will you be able to discuss certain aspects of future projects with existing team members if this is important to you? It’s important to be clear about when you might expect a job offer to be made, and whether there is an official process of negotiation before acceptance is expected. Understanding the process can help you to prepare for success, giving you a better chance of securing this position.

11.  What new initiatives or projects are on the horizon for the company?

It is useful to ask smart questions like this to establish the nature of the company. A forward thinking company will be focused on where the next steps will take them, while a company that is not looking ahead will probably be a less dynamic option. If the company changed recently, the interviewer may not have specific information about future plans yet, but their attitude to the question will tell you a lot about the company.

12.  How long does it take usually for a team member to feel fully trained and up to speed?

You can’t expect to know it all immediately, but it helps to have an idea of how long you might need to complete training and feel productive. This may be different if you are working on site or if you are in a remote work role, but your interviewer should be able to give you a good idea about how long it takes employees to feel settled within the company.

Job Interview Advice from CareerWise

CareerWise is Ireland’s leading specialist Technical and Executive Recruitment firm, and our team will work with you to find the best positions in the Medical Device, Sciences/Pharma ICT industries and more. Visit our candidate centre for more interview advice.

If you’re looking for a new job in Cork, Limerick/Shannon, Galway, Mayo or Dublin call us at CareerWise on +353 (0) 21 206 1900 for a consultation, or contact us online today.



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