So, you have made the interview stage, well done! Now you have secured the all important interview with your chosen company, it’s time to start your preparation in earnest.
It is easy to fall into the trap of seeing the interview as a daunting, one-sided process that will involve you, the candidate, being grilled about everything from work experience to hobbies and interests to assess whether you ‘pass’ and are the ‘right fit’ for the job and the company culture. (Please check out our previous blog posts for tips on how to excel at answering interview questions you are likely to be asked.)
However, this is a two way process, it is ,therefore, important that both parties feel that they have had an opportunity to ask the right questions and have all the information they need to make an informed decision. In short, you have to like them just as much as they like you!
We have compiled a list of questions that you could ask at interview – the answers to these should help you make the right decision as to whether the company and role is right for you at this point in your career:
Part I is listed below with Part II to follow next week:
How would you describe the culture in the business?
It is really important to gain an insight into the culture of the company you would be joining - what are the values, beliefs and approach adopted by the organisation? Are they aligned with the type of culture and environment that you work well in?
What attracted you to join the company?
This is a great way to get to know what motivates your interviewer, who you could potentially be working closely with. It could also bring to light some aspects about the company that you are not yet aware of which could make all the difference in your decision.
What do you like about working here?
The answer to this will give you an insight into the way the organisation works, how it treats its staff and an indication of staff commitment and loyalty to the company.
What are your growth plans over the next 3-5 years?
Gaining knowledge of the organisation’s future prospects is valuable and will give you an indication of how well planned the business is and if it has been communicated well to the employees. Working for a business that is adept at identifying growth opportunities and plans efficiently to maximise on these, is a positive sign and could potentially lead to opportunities for the employees to grow and develop their roles too.
What are the major opportunities for the business?
This should give you a little more information on where the growth is going to come from and whether this has been communicated to all staff. Having knowledge of the growth areas could prove useful in your preparation for a second round of interviews or, if it is an area you have knowledge of, this would be a great opportunity to demonstrate this now!
Who are your major competitors?
Of course you will have found out who the main competitors are as part of your interview preparation, but it is always good to have this confirmed - there may well be a few competitors that you had not considered. This is a good opportunity to gather background on the competitors which may prove useful in a second round of interviews. The response to this type of question also highlights the knowledge levels of staff (or at least the staff that are interviewing you) of the larger market and threats within that marketplace.
What is the vision for the company?
The response to this question will give you information about the leadership vision and levels of employee engagement in how well this is communicated to employees. Is the vision innovative? Is it ambitious? Does it excite you? Is it a vision you could imagine yourself being inspired and motivated by?
Part II next week…
Gill is a founding Director of Pure and has worked in recruitment since 1988, including eight years of specialist recruitment experience within an international specialist recruitment company and five years working within financial services recruitment in Sydney, Australia. Gill’s approach is to provide clients and candidates with the highest quality of service. She has a consultative style which has led to her building long-term relationships with both clients and candidates.