Interviews provide the opportunity to have a conversation with employers. But what questions should jobseekers ask to stand out from the crowd?


There can be a lot of pressure on candidates in interviews – however, there is a simple way to get around this.

Rather than thinking of them as an interrogation where all your skills and qualities are put under the microscope, think of them as an opportunity to have a conversation. Asking questions in interviews can serve two purposes for candidates. On one hand, it allows them to learn more about the role, and on the other, it shows the employer that they are interested.

That said, what should you be asking to make sure you send the right message?

Where will this position lead?

It’s important to appear goal-focused for employers, as they want staff who will remain engaged and hopefully move on to bigger and better things within the business.

Businesses take succession planning very seriously, and if you look like you have the potential to move through the ranks, you may have a better chance of getting hired.

According to the Deloitte University Press, retention and engagement is now the number two concern for companies. Number one also relates to succession planning, with global leadership listed as the main worry for these businesses.

If employees look like they can succeed in these areas, companies will take notice.

What is the culture like?

For a business to succeed, both externally and internally, staff need to feel like they belong. Companies with a workforce that works cooperatively and effectively are better equipped to encourage engagement and keep staff for longer.

Candidates who show an interest in this area signal to employers that they are looking to engage with their fellow staff.

The culture at a workplace has been found to influence new employees, with a study published in the Academy of Management Journal discovering that management strategies have a trickle-down effect.

“The employees see their leaders as role models and often mimic those qualities, creating a culture of servant leadership. This serving culture drives the effectiveness of the business as a whole,” explained Sandy Wayne, one of the research’s authors.

What values does your company operate on?

Asking this question shows consideration of the company’s wider goals and also allows candidates to work out whether they align with their own personal values.

These values should be consistent with how the role is described, allowing jobseekers to get an idea of how they will be applying them in practical terms.

This is a growing trend within the job market, with Deloitte reporting that around 60 per cent of millennials wish to work for a company that has a sense of purpose.