So you’ve bagged a job interview, you’ve picked your outfit, you’ve researched the company and planned a few answers. You’ve made your way to the company building and have managed to get through all of the tricky questions. You think you’ve done well and might just have got the job when the interviewer says to you… ‘do you have any questions?’… eeekkk!

We all know this part of the interview will happen and we all know the questions not to ask, but how many of us really ask our potential employer questions that will make them want to hire us and more importantly how many of us ask questions that result in us really wanting to work at that company?

When I go for a job interview I make sure that every aspect of the job has been covered. If the interviewer hasn’t discussed all of the details I need before I make a decision regarding the role I ensure I ask as much as I can during the ‘do you have any questions?’ stage of the process.

Here are a few questions that I think assistants should be asking during an interview if they have not been covered by the interviewer:

The business

  • What is the company most proud of? What can be improved?
  • How does the company see itself changing in the near future?
  • How do the company’s departments work together and how do the management team promote interaction?
  • What are the key issues facing the organisation at the moment and how does this affect the assistant role?

Working with the boss

  • How do you like to work with their assistant in terms of diary and email management?
  • How do you like to communicate with their assistant?
  • Are you self sufficient or do you prefer a more hands on approach from your assistant?
  • What are the biggest challenges and how can an assistant help ease the workload?

Prospects

  • How much empathises is placed on career development within the company? is there a budget for training? 
  • Is there scope for additional responsibilities once the assistant is established in the role?
  • Does the assistant have a 6 monthly and yearly job review and are objectives set each year?
  • What have previous assistants in this role achieved and what are they doing now?

The culture

  • What advice would you give you to someone starting out in the company? 
  • What is the atmosphere like in the office?
  • Do you socialise much outside of the office and is the assistant expected to organise team building occasions?
  • What do you enjoy about working here?

The role

  • When you reviewed my CV was there anything in particular you thought would compliment the role?
  • What do you think are the hardest aspects of the role?
  • Which software packages are most often used in the role and will the assistant have to learn any bespoke technology?
  • What does a typical day / week look like working in this role?
  • What personality type would be the ideal candidate for this role?
  • What does success look like within this role?

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11 comments

  • Cheryl July 10, 2013   Reply →

    Nicky, I do enjoy your posts and find a lot of very intelligent information and advice. I think these are important questions to ask, and narrowing down the selection to what matters the most will get them answered.

  • Khadija T. Niang July 10, 2013   Reply →

    Hello Nicky. Really great questions you posted here. I have jotted down a few to ask during my third interview with the employer (this time with the CEO).

    I especially like the questions in the “Prospect” area, as well the “Boss” questions. Keep up the good work Nicky. It’s greatly appreciated.

    Khadija Niang

  • Jacqueline Anthony July 10, 2013   Reply →

    This post is extremely helpful. Thanks!

  • Megan July 11, 2013   Reply →

    I had a job interview yesterday and had luckily read this article before I went. I asked the question of ‘What are the biggest challenges and how can an assistant help ease the workload?’ and got the response of “What a great question”! Thanks so much I think it really helped me to close out the interview on a positive and they knew I was interested in the position. Fingers crossed I get the job!

    • Khadija Niang July 11, 2013   Reply →

      Good luck Megan!! I plan on using some of the questions on my 3rd follow-up interview as well.

  • Barbara Hadjiapostolou July 16, 2013   Reply →

    excellent topics to research and ask questions on. thank you

  • Edel July 17, 2013   Reply →

    Hi Nicky,

    Thanks so much for posting sucha helpful article as I am due to go for an interview tomorrow. I just wanted point out a spelling mistake in the article under “Prospects”, you have,”How much empathises is placed on career development within the company? It should be “emphasis…”

    Edel

  • Lisa August 22, 2013   Reply →

    Hi Nicky,

    I like your selection of questions. Thanks for sharing!

  • Mili December 8, 2013   Reply →

    I am due for an interview first thing tomorrow morning and I am finding your post so very helpful. It’s already given me the confidence I so desperately needed. Thank you

  • Catherine July 7, 2015   Reply →

    Thanks so much for all this information. I am about to go for an informal chat and will use a few of your suggestions to ‘interview’ my potential new manager.

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