Do you have any questions for us?
An interview for a faculty or research related position in a UK HE institution is never a piece of cake. You can be rest assured of at least an hour long or more, of serious questions to gauge your competence. Recruiters will most certainly scrutinize: your qualifications, main research, publications, past experiences in similar roles and what significant contributions you plan to make if you are offered the post. Despite how well the interview may be going, things can take a drastic turn due to a sudden awkward response to a particular question as many job seekers often tend to focus on qualification, research and experience related questions.
“Do you have any questions for us? – this is one question most job seekers never see coming and are often unprepared for. Responses like: No I don’t, I can’t think of any one at the moment; create impressions of a lack of foresight. Awkward questions on holiday schemes, wardrobe allowances, salary increment and promotions; can seriously put off recruiters. Requesting specific benefit information during initial interviews may seriously jeopardize good impressions created earlier. However, well-constructed response questions can help to strengthen good impressions or even correct any bad impressions you may have created in the minds of recruiters.
The following 5 questions are suggested:
- May I know what follows after this interview?
This question gives the recruiters the impression that you are seriously interested in the job. It also shows that you are a result-oriented person; eager to know the outcome of the interview.
- If I am offered this post, when am I expected to commence work?
This response gives the impression that you are not only excited and serious about the job, but that you are a good planner, looking ahead to taking on a new responsibility. This response presents you as an organized person who is probably trying to manage time in order to round off current duties or engagements in preparation for the new post.
- Can you tell me about research facilities and opportunities?
This question shows that you are focused and research-oriented; ready to embark on programmes to expand the scope of knowledge in your field. It shows that you are not just there for the money and benefits. It gives recruiters the impression that you will be a significant addition to faculty.
- What are the opportunities for professional development?
Like question 3, question 4 also shows that you are serious minded and focused on improving yourself while on the job. This question also gives the impression of your humility and willingness to rub minds with peers and to learn from more experienced colleagues in the field.
- Can you update me on project XYZ your university is currently engaged in?
This question really sets you apart as a candidate who has thoroughly researched the institution and is ready for work. While recruiters may be not be able to provide specific answers, the question creates the impression that you already know so much about the university and should be the right choice for the post.