Questions to ask at the end of your next interview

 

No interview process is a one-way street, and it’s always worth jotting down some questions to ask at the end. This will not only show your employer that you’re keen but give you a chance to get a better idea of what you might be in for if you’re successful.

What are the day-to-day responsibilities of the job?

Knowing what responsibilities you’re going to face on a daily basis will not only help you to accurately determine whether or not you have the right skills for the job but give you an idea of whether or not it is something that you enjoy. Ask your interviewer to describe a typical day at the office for someone in your role, without leaving out any of the gory bits if possible. 

Are there any challenges I might face in this role?

It’s always good to know both the good and bad aspects of the role you’ve applied for. This way, if you’re offered the job, you’ll be able to make an informed decision and weigh up the pros and cons before you decide to commit. While it’s unlikely that your prospective employer will go into huge detail about the challenges of the position, you still might be able to get a good idea of some things you might have to work with. 

Do you offer any training or career development opportunities?

Your career might not be up and running yet, but you still need to think about your future goals. Asking this question will give you an idea of whether the company promotes from within or whether you think your employer will be willing to invest in course for your training and development. Often, the answer to this question will be detailed in the job description, but it’s still worth asking. Sites such as CV-Library arrange their vacancies in a way that includes as much information as possible about the role before you click ‘Apply’.

Can you outline a typical career path for someone in this role?

On the subject of career progression, it’s always good to ask your interviewer to briefly outline how they are expecting you to progress from the role you’ve applied for. One of the most sought-after qualities in employees is determination and a desire to learn, so asking this question will be sure to stand you in good stead.

How will my work performance be measured and reviewed?

You’ll need to know how the company will measure your work so that you know how to deliver results correctly. Not only will asking this question benefit you, but it will demonstrate to your employer that you are planning on working to the goals that will be set out for you.

What is the office culture like?

While it’s important to know what your daily schedule might look like, you’ll also want to know what the overall office culture is like too. After all, you’ll be spending most of your day in the office, and this question is the best way to get to know who you’ll be working with without actually meeting any of your colleagues. It will also give you an idea of the structure of the company and the department that you’re working in.

What are the next steps in the interview process?

To put your mind at rest, it’s worth asking what the next stage of the interview process is and when you should expect to hear if you’ve been successful. This will demonstrate that you’re eager to move along with the process and how well you’ve performed.

 

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Guest blog: Preparing for interviews

 

 

Today we have a guest blog from Natalie Raeside who runs a company called Candidate Solutions. She is going to give us some tips on preparing for competency-based interviews.

 

In 2001 I conducted the first of what now feels like hundreds of job interviews.  Having always had an ambition to work within Human Resources and upon joining the Resourcing Team of a global bank, I was introduced to the concept of Competency Based Interview.

Competency Based Interview questions (Behavioural or Structured interview questions as they are sometimes known) are very specific in terms of their structure. This type of interview requires an interviewee to give the interviewer an example which demonstrates a particular competency or skill.  The Interviewer uses the evidence (the examples) that the interviewee brings to the interview and uses it as an indication of how he / she will perform in the future.

Using the right example, the right key words as well as using a good amount of structure is essential to passing a Competency Based Interview.  I have witnessed too many job applicants losing out on a job offer simply because they have given poorly constructed answers to Competency Based Questions. This, in my experience is generally down to the lack of preparation.

After leaving the big wide world of business to stay at home with my 2 children, I set up a small business called Candidate Solutions.  The objective of this business is to help job seekers prepare for job interviews.  In this vulnerable climate,  job seekers who are lucky enough to be invited to an interview in my opinion must have an advantage over all other applicants in order to succeed.

An interviewee who has thoroughly prepared for a competency based interview, in my experience, has more chance of being successful.

Preparation

In order to prepare for the interview, my advice to applicants is to find out from the recruiting manager or recruitment agency what format the interview will take and what type of questions will be asked.  If the format is Competency Based Interview, it doesn’t harm to ask what competencies will be used.  Alternatively, read through the job description, role profile or job advertisement and try to pick out the key skills that the job will require.  These key skills are the competencies.

Once the competencies or key skills are established, preparation can begin.

During a Competency Based Interview, the series of questions that are used usually start with “Give me an example of a time” or “Tell me about an occasion”.

Examples of Competency Based Questions

Give me an example of a time where you had to deliver a communication to your team.

Tell me about a time when you achieved a successful result through the actions of a team.

Tell me about a time when you had to open up to a colleague to help them understand your point of view.

Other Tips

When answering Competency Based Interview questions, using the STAR acronym may help to structure the example more effectively and help to set the scene for the interviewer.

Situation

Task

Action

Result

 

Answer the Question

 It is so easy fall into the trap of using all the examples that have been prepared without answering the question that is being asked.

Be Specific

Examples should be specific. Talking generally about situations that the interviewee finds themselves in on a daily basis will not gain marks. Talk about one situation and use one example.

Need more help? 

As an experienced interviewer and using the knowledge and experience that I have gained over my career, I have written a guide to help job seekers prepare for interview.

I have 25 free copies of this guide to give away.

This comprehensive guide (usually £18.99) covers the 15 competencies you are most likely to encounter during your interview. It breaks down each competency individually, provides examples of the types of questions you may be asked and gives you expert advice on how to answer the questions.

Get your limited FREE copy by contacting me at natalie@candidatesolutions.co.uk or visit my website www.candidatesolutions.co.uk

 

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