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Graduate Advice: How to Ask the Right Questions at Interviews

It all happened so quickly – you’ve barely recovered from your graduation and now you’re sitting opposite a prospective employer in a cold and neutral interview room.

They’re dressed in clothes you couldn’t imagine affording (at least, not with your student loans) and their entire demeanour gives off an air of steely professionalism that makes you shuffle nervously in your chair.

The interview seems to have gone well, but then you’re asked a question that would leave some interviewees bewildered: “Do you have any questions about the position?”

This will usually be the last question you’ll be asked, and it’s partly designed to discern how engaged you’ve been with the interview process. But if you’re a novice when it comes to interviews, the need to suddenly quiz your interviewer – effectively taking the reins – might stump you more than a quiz on astrophysics.

While we’re not going to tell you exactly what questions you should ask at an interview, we are going give you a few pointers on how you should gauge the situation and make your questions favourable for you.

Make it Relevant

Chances are your interview will last a reasonable amount of time, and you should have built a decent rapport with your interviewer. To show that you’ve fully understood their questions, it’s best to pepper your enquiries with a few call backs to previous discussion points in your interview.

Ask for elaborations on certain ideas raised during the interview, or simply discuss ideas that interested you during your conversation. Not only will it seem like you’ve paid attention, it’ll also make you seem engaged about the job you’re applying for.

Show Your Knowhow

Although it’s important to answer questions spontaneously during an interview, you’re always trying to steer the conversation around to your talents and key skills. And that shouldn’t stop when you’re asking a few questions of your own.

When formulating questions, refer back to your personal skills and your knowledge of the company you’re applying for. This will leave a positive imprint in your interviewer’s mind.

Explore Your Opportunities

In this environment where scores of graduates sometimes compete for the same job, securing a position in a prestigious field like pharmaceuticals can seem like entering a bear pit. But you shouldn’t be willing to snap up any old position just to get out of the competition.

Find out the potential for progression in the job you’re applying for, and make sure that your employer will care about you and your future as much as you care about the job. This will make you look willing to excel in the position and make yourself a valued asset to the company.

If you want to put these tips to the test, check out our Graduate Academy page and see what pharmaceutical positions we can offer you. Also, remember to connect with us on LinkedIn for all the latest news and job hunting tips.

Interview Tips