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  • Stacey Baker

The Role - What to ask

You will hear a lot of different opinions on this, but it is always advisable that you have some questions to ask at your interview, whether these are in your head or written down. Some people dread the upcoming sentence of ‘is there anything you want to ask me?’, or ‘do you have any questions that we have not covered today?’ and freeze. Be prepared!

Remember an interview is a two-way process. You are being interviewed to ascertain if you have the right skills competencies and personality for the role and their company culture. But importantly, asking questions enables you to discover more about them and whether the company and role are in fact the right fit for you too.

Perhaps the below could help…..

1. What is the next step in the recruitment process?

Whether you are going through recruiter, agency or directly, it is always a good idea to ensure that you get this information from the employer themselves. The situation for each candidate may be different, and the process that the company takes may differ, so it’s good to ensure that you talk this through directly and expectations can then be managed accordingly.

2. What would I be expected to accomplish in my first month/year on the job?

This way you can find out what is to be expected of you, should you be successful and is this in fact achievable. It will also assist you in any further interviews for the role as you can expand on this.

3. What is the key to succeeding in this role?

No matter who is interviewing you and what their title may be, remember everybody had to start somewhere. Asking this question will allow you to gain more insight into the interviewer, about how they would deal with the position, and ultimately how they would expect their perfect candidate to do things. It also shows that you are thinking positively and wish to learn and develop within the company.

4. Would I need to travel for the position?

Travel may have been covered in the main part of the interview, or in the job description, however if it has not, now is the perfect opportunity to address it. Some companies will expect you to travel in a certain capacity to perform the role, so it is imperative that you are clear on these parameters from the start. If travel is not something that you wanted to do, then maybe this role isn’t for you.

5. What is the onboarding process like for new hires?

Again, this can give you an opportunity to plan ahead. If you are aware of what you are going to experience during your first few weeks in the role, then you can make sure that you are ready and have done any background research that you need to do. Make yourself aware of the systems that the company uses, their HR policies and latest social media postings, so that you are prepared to start and are already knowledgeable about the environment you are going into.

6. If I were hired, what would be the ideal starting date? (or how soon would you want me to start?)

You want the job, you know you can do the job, but you need to know when they are looking for the individual to start. You may have a longer notice period than others, so may find that this knowledge isn’t exactly to your advantage, however, it can give you an idea of how quickly they want to move. Not only will this give you a goal date to work towards but will allow you to learn how process driven the company is and whether they will want you enough to wait.

7. Do you expect the responsibilities of the role to change in the near future?

Some companies do ask for more than what is written in your job description. Sometimes, that might mean your responsibilities will develop, or perhaps the company is a start-up, in which case the role may evolve over time. However, there may be occasions when something is expected that is not in your realm of work, and this is what you want to know about. If you are unable to complete the extra task, how will they react? If you think it is too much, what will happen to you? Can things be discussed?

We will endeavour in further blogs to expand on appropriate interview questions related to the company, the training you receive, the culture and aiding you in being that little bit more impressive than expected. But for now, we hope this blog has been helpful. You never know one of them may be the difference between going home empty handed or getting the role of a lifetime.

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