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Interview tips & Questions to ask at an interview

Congratulations - you've got the interview! But there's always the part at the end of the interview when the employer wants to know whether there are any questions from you...
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So, it’s the big day. You’re prepared, you know what your strengths and weaknesses are. You’ve thought of scenarios where you’ve showed those strengths or weaknesses & things that you could have done better. You're all prepared, that is until the interviewer(s) ask you if you have any questions…

Interview tip. Don’t say no. Prepare at least 1 question.

The interview is not just the employer finding out about you, but for you to find out about the employer and the job. But what should you ask?! We’ve prepared a list of questions that you should consider asking at your interview and why you should ask them. If you can think of something else to ask, let us know on social media – we can add it to the blog!

Questions are expected — and if you don't ask at least two questions, you will appear disinterested, or worse, less intelligent and engaged than a prospective employer would like.
Amy Hoover, president of TalentZoo

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

Day-to-day responsibilities should be listed on the job description of a vacancy, but this is your chance to learn more about the day-to-day work involved. This means that you can really have a think about whether you like what the job entails and if it is really what you want to do. It also shows the employer you’re interested in what you could be doing!

2. What are the best qualities for someone to excel in this role?

Asking this will help you know if you’ll excel in the company. If you know the company culture and what is expected of you, you can show you’re a good fit. For example, if they’re looking for a team player you can just mention that you play football or another team sport at the weekend!

3. What are your expectations for this role during the first few months?

This will help you know what the employer is expecting of you for this position. It can also let you know where you could be within a short amount of time! If you’re applying for a marketing apprenticeship they could expecting you to be managing the social media channels after the first couple of months!

4. What’s the culture of the company like?

You need to know whether the organisation is a right fit for you. Some companies are very hierarchical whereas others are very flat with a casual wear policy. This might suit you more than a very corporate, smart company. This dynamic is important to know whether the company is good for you or not. You can also ask your interviewer what their favourite thing about the company is.

5. Who do you consider your top competitor, and why?

Research the competitors first if you’re going to ask this question at an interview. It can be useful to know your interviewer’s thoughts and it can also be a good opportunity for you to show what you know about the company. This insight will help you if you’re offered the job in the future.

6. What are the biggest opportunities that you’re currently facing?

This can really excite you to be working with the company. It could also give you an advantage above other candidates. If there is an opportunity with a certain brand or process that you’ve done before it shows that you’re capable and could give them even more insight!

7. What are the biggest challenges that you’re currently facing?

Although this sounds like a weird question to ask, they could have a challenge that you have the skills to work towards overcoming. If you could be there to save the day why wouldn’t they want to hire you?

8. Have you had an apprentice before?

By asking whether they’ve had an apprentice before can lead you on to so many more questions. You can find out what the apprentice did, whether they’d be there to help with your coursework and where they are now. This will mean that you can see what your future could hold and how career advancement works in the organisation.

9. What are the next steps in the interview process?

Asking this shows that you’re keen to move forward in the process. It also will mean that you’re better prepared because you know what you’ve got coming or how long you’ll have to wait to hear how you did in the interview. If you don’t hear by that date, it’s worth sending a follow up email thanking them for their time but also enquiring when you are likely to hear about the outcome of your interview.

10. Is there anything else on my CV that you’d like me to expand on?

In your CV you may have mentioned a certain tool you have used in the past or something outside of work or school that you have done. The interviewer may not have had time to cover something but this means that you have time to explain anything in more detail or what the interviewer is unsure of. It also encourages them to look at your CV again – so make it good!

Finally, don’t forget to thank the interviewer for their time!

Good luck with your interview!

 

 

  • Author: Jenny Dallas
  • Published On: 25/09/2017

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