4 questions you should ask in an interview which might cross the line (but you deserve answers to)

Out of all our interview tips, the number one thing to remember is to ask lots of questions of your own. If we had to boil interview technique down to one primordial axiom it would be this: whatever you do, good or bad, heroic or villainous, make a lasting impression. It is much worse to be forgotten than remembered and rejected.

That’s why sometimes it pays to take risks. In a piece for The Muse, Richard May dives into the grey area between appropriate and inappropriate within the context of a first job interview.

His contention is that while it’s still a good idea to not mince your words and tread the edges of the ‘appropriate’ carefully, you should never let etiquette get in the way of you asking questions that you deserve answers to.

Here are four questions you have every right to ask despite them appearing a bit ‘rude’.

1. “Is this a new position, or are you looking to backfill the job?”

Going into a job it’s always good to have some idea of how smoothly things are running under the hood. If you’re being interviewed for a new role, that’s a good sign that the company is in a growth period. If someone moved on and you’re filling in, you have the right to know why they moved on or whether people don’t tend to stick to this role for very long.

2. “What opportunities are there for personal growth?”

This question is a bit assumptive since actually having the job would be personal growth but ideally every job should be a step-up or at least provide you with the tools to step-up. Does the company provide seminars and resources to improve employee morale and skill sets? This question doesn’t imply that you’re looking to smash-and-grab, and they’d be in the wrong for seeing it that way.

3. “Why did you join the company?”

This question achieves two things. It humanises your interviewer and allows you an honest insight into what it’s like working for this company. Don’t feel intimidated by your interviewer, remember they were once in your position.

4. “What are the expectations for this role?”

Look, the reason you’ve got an interview is because you are somewhat qualified for the job. The rest is down to you. It’s good to know what kind of work-load you’ll be dealing with as to steer your decision of whether you want to job or not. This is the kind of question asked by either the lazy or the over-achieving; the goal is to come-off as the latter.