Mentally preparing for an interview can be quite a test for your nerves: from dressing accordingly to being ready to answer any questions that come your way. You should also ask your interviewer(s) questions in return because it makes you look interested, enthusiastic, and engaged. Avoid posing questions that focus too much on what the organisation can do for you and save questions about salary and holiday allowance for when you’ve got a job offer. Here are a few helpful examples of questions you can ask:

How will you measure success in this advertised position?

Every role has performance requirements you have to meet to be successful. Knowing what those are will give you a clear indication of what is expected of you. You might think the job description has already stated this, but it is not uncommon for an employer to use the same job description for the past ten years, even if the position has evolved dramatically over that time.

How do I impress you in these three months?

This is a great question to ask at the end of a job interview since it demonstrates to potential employers you want to contribute positively to the company. Pay close attention to the recruiter’s response because it will highlight certain aspects of the job you should concentrate on during your initial few weeks and will indicate how they expect you to perform. Companies often require new employees to complete a probation period where they will determine whether you are a good fit within the greater organisation. These periods can last from three months up to one year: it all depends on your employer.

What are the challenges faced by the person in this position?

This question can reveal information that you wouldn’t learn from the job description, such as the fact that you’ll have to deal with messy interdepartmental politics, that the person you’ll be working with most frequently is challenging to get along with, or that you’ll have to work within strict financial constraints on your programme. Asking this may also provide an opportunity to discuss how you’ve tackled similar issues in the past, which may reassure your interviewer.

Are there opportunities for training/progression in this role?

You don’t want to be stuck in a dead-end position. If you’re not sure what the typical career path for someone in this role is, asking this question will help you determine whether a long-term career with the company is a possibility or if you’d need to move on to gain more responsibilities. Asking about professional advancement opportunities shows the interviewer that you’re serious about your career and committed to a future with the company.