Maxwell Stephens

Top 5 Questions to Ask in Your Interview to Learn About a Prospective Employer

competency based interview questions

An interview is a two-way street. If you get the job, you’re entering into a real relationship with that employer. It’s only fair that you know as much about them as they now know about you.


At the end of the interview, when your interviewer inevitably asks if you have any questions, you need to seize the opportunity. This is your chance to discover if this somewhere you’d really want to work.


It goes without saying that this should be tactful. ‘Can I go home early?’ and ‘Is it always so noisy here?’ may not be the best way to go.


But by asking these subtle questions, you can find out about job security and expectations. You can even increase your chances of getting the role.


1 – Is this a vacancy or a new position?


Finding out the job comes with its very own revolving door is not the most reassuring thing in an interview. If there have been 5 other people in that particular position in the last year, it could be a sign that there is something very wrong.


A newly created position could be a good sign that the company is doing well. But if the role has recently suddenly become vacant, it’s okay to wonder why.


2 – What is this company’s turnover rate like?


Following on from the last point, a high turnover rate can be a real cause for concern. If asked in a friendly and confident manner, you will simply come across as someone who makes decisions carefully – possibly making the interviewer like you more. 


High turnover could suggest a variety of issues, like inept management or poor treatment of employees. Those and other factors could make the company an unpleasant place to work.

Innocently asking what the company attributes the high turnover to, or what they may be doing to reduce it, should shed some light on the situation.


3 – How is the company doing financially?


This is not an inappropriate question. As a potential employee, trying to determine job security will only show your interviewer that you act responsibly.


Protect your career by checking first that the company is stable before joining.


4 – Do the team tend to go out to lunch, or eat at their desks?


Your interviewer will assume you are trying to see how friendly the environment is. But this question secretly asks if the team are stretched to the point of needing to work through breaks.

It’s certainly worthwhile checking that the employer doesn’t overwork their employees before becoming one yourself.


5 – Following this conversation, do you have any hesitations about my qualifications?


This question is not so much about the company, but about what they want. Instead of wondering about the outcome of your interview, tactfully ask during it what they’re uneasy about.

This gives you the opportunity to lessen their concerns. Leave them without a doubt that you’re perfect for the job.


Your interviewer will be eager to make the company look ideal. Get your interviewer to reveal everything, without even realising it.


No mind reading is necessary – just ask these 5 questions to really learn about the company, and decide if it’s for you.


To talk with us about these issues, or to send us your CV to join the UK’s largest FM recruiter database, please call 0207 118 48 48 or email


Looking for more expert advice on how to act accordingly in a super-important interview? Download our FREE eBook for valuable insight.


I've got the Job! - Expert Advive for Interviews.

I’ve Got the Job! – Expert Advice for Interviews

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