Every interview is different; some are formal, some are informal. Some are based around a competency-based interview framework, and some are simply having a chat. If you’re meeting a decision maker at a client you’re interested in working for, then that’s an interview. Don’t be fooled by the informal setting and the coffee. Also, there’s no such thing as a ‘rubber stamp’ interview, the final interview is as important as the first.
Your experience of an interview and how successful you feel you’ve been, is partly based on the quality of the questions you’re asked. You, of course, should want to ask questions of your own – particularly where you feel they further support your specific skills and competencies for the company and the role being discussed.
- What are your strengths?
- What are your weaknesses?
- Why do you want this job?
- Where would you like to be in your career five years from now?
- What's your ideal company?
- What attracted you to this company?
- Why should we hire you?
- What makes you good?
- What do you like least about your current/previous job?
- When were you most satisfied in your job?
- What were the responsibilities of your last position?
- Why are you leaving your current job?
- What do you know about our company?
You should think about asking questions in 3 categories; the interviewer, the company and the job. Prepare as many questions as you can. Don’t underestimate the power of demonstrating your interest by asking questions, and certainly don’t lose out on the opportunity because of it.
- What do you enjoy about working here?
- What do you like least about working here?
- What can you tell me about your new products/services or plans for growth?
- What are the company’s current business priorities?
- What are the company’s current business challenges?
- Can you tell me more about the team I’ll be working with?
- Who previously held this position?
- Do you offer professional training?
- What does success in this role look like?
- If successful in this role, where could I expect to be within 3-5 years within the company?
- What is the next step in the process?
Competency-based questions are wide and varied. The interviewer has identified particular skill-sets that successful people at their company are deemed to possess. Competencies could include problem solving, conflict resolution, adaptability, listening, decisiveness or creativity.
A question is designed to illicit a specific, detail response against that competency such as;
- “How have you resolved a situation of conflict in the workplace to the benefit of all concerned?”
- “Tell us about a situation where your communication skills made a difference to a situation?”
- Conclude the interview by thanking the interviewer for their time and, if appropriate, reiterate enthusiasm for the role to leave the interviewer with a positive message.
- Depending on which role you are interviewing for, it may be beneficial to ask what the interviewer thinks of your meeting and if they would have any objections in taking the process forwards (assuming you would like that to happen).
- Following an interview it's worth taking a moment to reflect on what might have been done differently with a view to modifying interview technique in future.