So, you’ve landed a job interview.
Now it’s time for the all-important preparation.
It’s easy to think that interviews are all about an employer putting you under the spotlight – but they’re just as much about finding out about whether the company is the right fit for you, too.
A good way to do this (and to show that you’re an inquisitive and interested candidate) is to come armed with questions.
Most of us are familiar with the questions we shouldn’t ask in an interview, but which ones will impress employers and help the most?
Experts have shared some key ones to remember:
Can you describe your core values and company culture?
Charlotte Davies, a careers expert at LinkedIn, says: ‘Company culture is the foundation of any business, and it can often be the reason why you thrive in your new job. It’s the collective personality of an organisation and its people, defining what the business is, and its aspirations.
‘Companies that have a defined and vibrant culture are often more successful as their workforce is united around a shared purpose.
‘Getting the intel on your prospective new employers’ company culture will mean that you have knowledge to make a call on whether or not it aligns with your values and what you believe in.’
For example, if your eco footprint is important to you, ask about how the company operates and how sustainable it is.
What is your company’s approach to career progression?
It’s only natural to want to know what opportunities will be there for you in the future – plus this question is a great way of showing ambition.
Charlotte adds: ‘Asking this question will give you a clear picture of how the company invests in its employees, where this role fits into your career journey and the wider organisation.
‘Understanding exactly what that looks like will help you make the right decision for you, whether that’s meeting your ambitions for the future, or saving you some difficult conversations down the line.’
What is the company doing to address diversity and inclusion?
Charlotte says: ‘Asking how they are approaching diversity and inclusion as an organisation will give you a picture of their long-term commitments and level of focus on such an important area.
‘Knowing this, you’ll also find out whether this approach aligns with your core values.’
Where do you see the company in the next five years?
Saira Demmer, CEO at SF Recruitment says: ‘Candidates get asked this question all the while, where do they see themselves in the next five years – so why not ask a client?
‘This will give you some insight to their background, their place in the market against their competitors, growth/development opportunities and future projects.’
Saira adds that it will also show the company your commitment to the role.
How is success measured in this position/what are you looking for me to achieve in the first six months?
Saira stresses that this will give you a clear idea of how quickly you will need to get up to speed in this role, what you will need to do well and how quickly you will need to get there in order for you to be considered a successful hire.
She says: ‘This will also give a clear insight into what are the most important elements of the role that will be key to you completing the probationary period.
‘You will also get an idea of the learning curve and support offered for your first six months.’
What does a successful employee in this role look like?
‘This one will showcase your willingness to adapt into the role you are being interviewed for and build upon relevant skillsets and traits that will help you progress and grow,’ says Dominic Wade, co-founder of recruitment firm Wade Macdonald.
What are your biggest challenges at the moment?
It’s vital to show interest in the company you’re interviewing for – and this question helps demonstrate this.
Dominic says: ’It also suggests that you are thinking about how your role and expertise can help manage said challenges.’
If the business was a TV series, which one would it be?
Interviews can be pretty serious, so this is a great way to inject some personality.
‘It’s always great to throw in a wildcard question, something that shows your creative side and most likely will never have been asked before,’ adds Dominic.
What does a typical day look like in this role?
Paul Ainley, managing director at employer brand agency Chatter Communications, says: ‘This simple question might sound pretty basic, but it’s one of the things that gets my attention when I’m chatting to a candidate because it shows me that they’re eager to understand the actual day-to-day work.
‘It signals that they’re keen, interested in the nuts and bolts of the role and asking questions that will help uncover whether it’s a job they’d be happy to do.’
What are some of the things that your best performing team members have in common?
Paul says: ‘This isn’t something anyone has ever asked me, but I think it’s a great question because while the short-term objective of the interview is to get the job, the next step would be to join the team.
‘So understanding what makes that team tick and the sort of attributes that the most successful employees share, is a good way to decide whether the role is right for you, and how to do well if you end up getting the gig.’
Credit: Original article published here.