Coburg Banks | Multi-sector UK recruitment agency

7 Questions You Should Ask To Impress Your Interviewer

By James Ball | Apr 15, 2015 | Candidate Tips

If you’ve ever been through the recruitment process before, you’ll already be familiar with the customary (and often dreaded) final question of the interview:

“Have you got any questions for us?”

Seemingly harmless, the habitual interview climax somehow still manages to catch candidates out time and time again, and grasping at nonsensical and meaningless admin queries is certainly not the lasting impression you were hoping to leave.

(Check out 20 Questions you should never ask in an interview to discover some of the guilty culprits.)

But for the savvy and prepared interviewee, asking a series of well thought-through questions is a chance to shine and to demonstrate your intellect, interest and insight into business to your prospective employer.

So, to help you along, we’ve put together a list of seven questions that you could ask at your interview, guaranteed to impress the interviewer.

1. The Probing Question.

Discussing the specifics of the advertised role in more detail is a great way to open and will present the interviewer with a real sense of your interest and commitment.

It will demonstrate that you’re not just using the company as a stepping stone and that you’re hoping the role has a serious and extensive part to play in your future.

Example Questions:  

“What will be my day-to-day responsibilities?”

“What percentage of my time will be spent {insert key skill}?”

“Could you give me any examples of projects I will be working on?”

“Do you expect the key responsibilities of this role to change over the next few years?”

“Are there any other aspects of the business that I’ll be asked to get involved in?”

Try and be specific to the opportunity as, of course, this question will also give you the chance to suss out whether the job role really is right for you.

2. The Business Question.

Questions about the business are a little trickier to come up with and will require you to do some research.

Such questions will show your potential new employer that you’re willing to put in the effort to impress them and that you’re genuinely interested in the actual business (not just the job role).

Example Questions:  

“I came across an article online stating that you’ve used an {industry} agency before…how did that work out for you?”

“It’s clear from {something specific} on your website that you’re looking to expand and diversify the business. What are your plans for the next five years?”

“I noticed that {Company Name} is a local competitor of yours…how do you out-sell them?”

“Am I right in saying that four directors started the business? How did that happen?”

“Most of your clients are currently in the technology industry, is there a reason for that and would you consider moving into other industries in the future?”

Again, it’s important to try and be as detailed as possible, showing off your research skills and commitment.

3. The Opportunities Question.

Asking about future opportunities for growth, training and personal development will show that you’re looking for a long-term commitment to a role you can flourish in.

It will also show that you’re excited to learn and progress, rather than sit tight and do the bare minimum.

Example Questions:

“If you took me on, how would I be trained?”

“What training opportunities are available for staff?”

“Is there an opportunity to take on other responsibilities if appropriate?”

“Where would you see the successful candidate progressing to?”

“Where did the last person who had this job progress to?”

“Where do you expect me to be in five years?”

4. The Cultural Question.

Asking a question about the environment and culture is not only a great way to suss out whether you’ll fit in well at the business, but it will also show some commitment to taking the job, once offered.  (You’re interested in more than just the role and business history!)

Example Questions:

“How would you describe the culture in three words?”

“I’ve noticed that the office culture seems very relaxed and friendly – is this a good reflection of the business?”

“Are you quite a close-knit team?”

“Do you socialise outside of work?”

“Do you host team-building events?”

“Do you think I’d fit in with the atmosphere here?”

“How do you, as a business, nurture a great team environment?”

“What do you enjoy most about working here?”

5. The Performance Question.

This question will give you an idea of how you’ll be measured at your new workplace and (due to the in-depth nature of the topic) reveals a genuine interest in taking up the role.

It also gives the interviewer the chance to sell the job to you (never forget that recruitment is a two-way street).

Example Questions:

“How will my performance be measured?”

“Who will I report to?”

“What do you hope I will achieve in my first twelve months?”

“Will work be handed out on a monthly or weekly basis?”

“Will my work be checked and signed off before completion?”

“How do you deal with mistakes and minor error?”  

“Do you schedule regular formal performance reviews?”

6. The Self-Serving Question.

Towards the end of the interview, it’s really important to uncover and confront any potential issues or gaps in experience that the interviewer may have picked up on.  onfront each of these head on, focussing on your ability and passion for learning new skills quickly.

It’s a good idea to work your way through the job description prior to the interview to identify any knowledge gaps, so you’re ready to address them when the time comes.

Example Questions:

“Do you have any concerns about my ability to do the role?”

“Do you think my experience and skills would suit the role?”

“I’m aware that I lack experience in {skill}, do you think this would affect my ability to perform the role?”

“Are there any more questions you’d like to ask me about the role?”

“What challenges do you think I would face in the first few months?”

7. The “Next Step” Question.

After you’ve asked some of the above questions and the interview feels like it is coming to a natural close, it’s time to seal the deal.

Show the interviewer that you’re keen, excited and entirely committed to taking the job, should they offer it to you (you’d be surprised how many candidates flake at the last minute so leave no doubt in the interviewer’s mind).  

Example Questions:

“When can I expect to hear a decision?”

“What will the next stage of the process be?”

“Do you have anyone else to interview?”

“If you did offer me the job, when could I start?”

“Would you like me to send anything else over, perhaps a portfolio of my previous work?”


The best candidates will be able to engage in an inspiring conversation that naturally progresses, improvising as new topics crop up and showing the employer a true enthusiasm, knowledge and ability for the role.

(It’s actually a good sign if this section of the interview goes on for ‘too long’!)

The above seven questions are great conversation starters, but make sure the discussion flows naturally and doesn’t begin to feel like a scripted role-reversal activity.

That said, the recruitment process is a two-way street so listen carefully to the interviewer’s answers and think clearly about whether this role is truly right for you!

Good luck!

- James Ball

James Ball

James is the founder and owner of Coburg Banks and a recruitment expert from Sutton Coldfield in the UK.  He regularly advises companies on how to improve and get the maximum ROI from their recruitment processes.

> More blog posts by James Ball

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