I am often asked "what questions should I ask an employer at the interview?" For the person conducting the interview, this is a critical time of assessment, as having no questions pre-prepared sends the message that you are only interested in the money and do not care about the organisation or job opportunity.

Asking some great questions points to the fact that you are taking this role seriously, highlighting your interest in proceeding to the next stage of the interview process.

Obviously, the type of questions you would ask depends on the role you are applying for, however as a whole, the following are some great questions to position you as an excellent candidate during your interview.

●If I was successful in this role, what would I need to achieve within the first three months?

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This highlights your action orientation, goal focus and willingness to succeed.

●What are the opportunities for professional development/further education?

This highlights your desire to be a continual life-long learner and progress professionally.

●Why is this position vacant?

Is this a new position or am I replacing someone?

This gives you a "heads up" in terms of future challenges and a glimpse into the leadership style of the person you would ultimately report to.

●What would you consider to be the most important aspects of this position?

This highlights your attention to detail and focus on ensuring the most critical aspects of the role are prioritised.

●Where have successful employees progressed to within this organisation?

Every employer will say their company is great, but this is your opportunity to genuinely hear real-world stories about how others have progressed through the business. Remember — if the interviewer cannot give you any of these, be very concerned.

●What types of skills do you not already have on board that you are looking to fill with a new hire?

Every team wants a good balance of skills and expertise within the group, so being attuned to this need will help you position yourself as the solution to any missing skills they may have.

●Are there other job responsibilities not mentioned in the advertisement?

One senior level role I once was recruited for, ended up requiring a whole range of skills that they had not mentioned in the advertisement or job description. Therefore, getting this question out in the open early will help position you ahead of other candidates who are not aware of further requirements the employer is seeking.

If the interviewer answers all your pre-prepared questions through the interview without you getting to ask them, ensure that in response to "do you have any questions?", say "Yes, I did, but you answered them all for me. Thank you."

Finally remember your preparation is vital. Do not ask questions that are clearly answered on the company's website or in any material provided by the employer in advance of the interview. This simply says that you did not prepare effectively for the interview and you are wasting the employer's time.

Visit www.cv.co.nz or www.CareerCoach.nz to find out more.