Careers advice

10 questions to ask in an NZ job interview

You should come to your job interview equipped with questions to ask the interviewer. Here are 10 great starters.

The final question you should expect in a NZ job interview is, “Do you have any questions for me?”.

If you only take one thing from this article, let it be this – the answer, “nope, all good!” isn’t what the hiring manager wants to hear.

So, as part of your preparation, you should line up some intelligent questions to ask the interviewer. To make this easy, we’ve put together a list of some of the most popular examples that you can adapt to your interview.

Let’s get quizzical.

Avoid an awkward silence by coming prepared with questions to ask the interviewer.

How many questions should you ask in an interview?

There’s no right or wrong number of questions you can ask an employer, but as a general rule, we’d advise preparing at least five. Tip: there’s nothing wrong with writing your questions down and bringing a notepad – this is an interview, not a pub quiz.

You might not get time to ask them all, but having options means you have wiggle room if the interviewer answers one or two of them during the interview itself. If you’re through to a second interview, you’ll probably find you have more opportunity to ask questions than in the initial round. But the best advice is to just gauge the flow of the conversation. You don’t want to appear disinterested by only asking one question, but a never-ending list when the interviewer is clearly trying to wrap up could get annoying.

The best questions to ask in a job interview

1. Questions about the role

  • Could you expand on XYZ aspect of the role? As well as being a good opportunity to find out more about what the job involves, this question shows you’ve retained what they’ve talked about so far.
  • How will you measure success for this role? Asking about key performance indicators (KPIs) shows you’re a goal driven person, and keen to meet their expectations. It also tells you what to expect from your manager, and whether they have clearly defined objectives in mind.
  • What would an average day look like? It’s one thing to understand the role requirements, and another to know how these will map out day to day. What’s more, this question will show you whether the employer has really thought through how the role will function.
  • Why did this role become available? Maybe you already know this is a new position for the organisation. If not, this question can reveal a lot about the organisation’s turnover rate and, in turn, whether employees generally like working there.
  • What will be the biggest challenge facing this role? Again, this shows if the employer has really thought about the realities of the role. But, more importantly, it gives you a chance to show how you would tackle this problem.

2. Questions about the company

  • What do you like most about working here? This powerful question reverses the roles, and puts you firmly in the driving seat. On top of this, it will give you an insight into the company culture, and perks you might not have known about.
  • Who would I work closely with? Understanding where your role fits into the organisation will help you decide if it sounds like a setup you’d be comfortable in.
  • What are the key goals for the company over the next few years? As well as being useful info to learn, this is another opportunity to highlight how you can contribute.

3. Questions about development

  • Does the company offer extra training programs or opportunities for growth? This is great because on top of showing you’re keen to learn and develop, it gives the interviewer a chance to show off schemes the company is proud of.
  • What is the usual progression path for this role? Don’t be afraid to ask where the job could lead you. Ambition is an attractive candidate quality, and it’s important for you to know this position isn’t a dead end.

These questions will mean you’re not left umming and ahhing at the end of your job interview. Before heading out on the day itself, make sure your Trade Me Job Profile is up to date – employers like to check candidates’ online presences ahead of interviews, and this is an easy way for them to refresh their knowledge of all your skills and experience in one easy place.