I remember when I was in college interviewing for jobs, I never knew what questions to ask at the end of interviews. I thought a lot about what to ask, because I wanted to ask questions that were not just good but also smart. As a part of the recruiting team now, I wrap up interviews by taking questions from you, and this part of the interview is crucial. The types of questions you ask illuminate whether or not you took time to research and prepare, and if you find our business model and the client services role, not just our culture, engaging and right. When candidates ask smart questions, I get to gain further insights on who you are, how you think, and what’s important to you. Moreover, when you ask smart questions, I learn too. I learn to think about AlphaSights in different ways, and you challenge me to articulate my thoughts better. While you should certainly formulate your own questions, the following are three questions that aren’t helpful in making you a stand-out candidate. Here are some top tips for your upcoming interviews, no matter where you might be applying:

What’s your culture like?

If you are following the blogs, social media and reading the website, you already should have a flavour of what the company culture is like! For example, if you are applying to AlphaSights, you should have read several of our posts in addition to the website. All of the content out there is designed to give candidates the best possible chance of success. On the employers' end, we expect you to be prepared, so demonstrate all the time you put into preparation and ask about a specific aspect of company culture you want to know more about or follow up on a particular post you found most impactful.

What do you do day-to-day?

On a day to day, everyone does something different. Working in a high-growth, responsive organisation means that the projects we work on have shifting priorities daily - according to client and business need. There really is no typical day to day, and that truly is the most accurate, though perhaps not the most useful response! So, help us further your knowledge of the company you're looking to join, and instead ask, “Which aspect of your role do you enjoy the most?” Different people have different preferences and as a result of that, you will receive diverse answers from which you can piece together what your day to day responsibilities will be.

How much will I get paid?

When I’m asked this, it’s usually the last question. Quite frankly, it doesn’t end the interview on the highest of notes. Compensation, while important, is a discussion point that generally occurs after the interviewing process for graduate level positions. In an interview setting, I want to focus on you, your knowledge of what we do, and your genuine interest in the experiences you can earn here. As an alternative last question, ask me for feedback on your resume, on our conversation, or on your candidacy. This shows me your willingness and eagerness to deepen your understanding of yourself as a candidate, and allows me to offer you suggestions on how to be an even more competitive candidate for further rounds of interviewing.

If you’ve done your research, asking smart questions is how you show that off. So, give it all you’ve got and challenge me. On my end, I cannot wait to learn.