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Interviewing - It’s Not All About Them

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Interviewing - It’s Not All About Them

When attending a job interview, many individuals let nerves get the better of them and focus solely on trying to impress the interviewer with their relevant experience. It is important to relax and remember the employer does not hold all the cards. This is particularly true as we move to a candidate-led market with more opportunities.

The interview is really a chance for both parties to find out more about each other so don’t forgot to ask some probing questions. Not only will you find out about the real challenges beyond the role profile; by asking the right questions, you will demonstrate you are interested, prepared and serious about this role.

Here are some questions I like to ask when going to meet a client to take a new job brief:

  1. If someone was to start tomorrow, what would be their top priorities?

  2. Why did you join the company and what do you like about working here?

  3. What does success look like in the organisation and who tends to do well in the company?

  4. What improvements or changes do you hope the new person will bring to the position?

  5. What in your opinion are the most important issues the company will face in the next 12 months?

  6. How would you describe the culture of the business?

  7. Is this a newly created role or is someone leaving the team?

  8. Does the company have clear business objectives and are they widely understood by employees?

  9. Is the leadership team fairly new or established?

  10. How many people work in the team?

  11. What are the opportunities for career progression?

  12. What is the next stage in the interview process and what are the timelines?

You don’t need to ask every question but the above should hopefully give you a better idea of the company and role. And by asking these questions at interview stage you will get an understanding if you are a good fit for each other.

In terms of questions not to ask…I would veer away from asking about salary, holidays, benefits and flexible working hours. Yes they are important but so is timing. These are things that your recruitment consultant will be able to advise you of and if they are the only questions you ask, it doesn’t tend to excite the interviewer about your motivations for working for them.

By Julie Mazzei, Managing Consultant, VMA GROUP North and Midlands.