Questions at an Interview

It is traditional to allow some time towards the end of an interview where an applicant will have a chance to ask some questions. Unless the Interviewer brings up the topics of terms of employment, salary, working hours etc, its best for the candidate to avoid these type of questions especially at a first interview. You can ascertain this information regarding salary and hours of work etc, before you attend an interview. If you are being supported by a Recruitment Agent ask them for background information and where best to do your research for the job. It is more likely in a second or further stage interview that terms of employment and salary would be discussed and agreed.

If you are an Interviewer or an applicant/interviewee, it’s worth noting down some thoughts and questions as part of interview preparation.

Some homework prior to an interview:

  • Check out the organization website
  • Have you asked for a full job description and person specification for the role.
  • Ask if there is a brochure about the company and their wider divisions (if relevant)
  • There may be some editorial/news online about the company developments too

What type of questions do Interview Managers or your Recruitment Agent get typically asked by an applicant?

Some examples of questions you may wish to ask about the job:

  • Why has this position become open?
  • What happened to the person who previously held the position?
  • What are the career prospects in the role?
  • Is there opportunity for career progression within the company?
  • When was the last person promoted?
  • What would my first project or assignment be?
  • What would my duties and responsibilities be? (check out the job description)
  • How is performance in the job evaluated?
  • What is the make up of the team I would be working in?
  • How many people are employed by the company and what is the make up of internal teams/divisions?
  • Who do I report to in the role?
  • How much supervision would I get as a new employee? (If relevant)
  • What training or induction would I receive on joining the company?
  • How many people would I be supervising and in charge of? (if relevant)
  • What is the organisation strategy and growth plans?
  • Are there new products, services or initiatives being planned that I would be involved in?

Closing the interview:

Before bringing the interview to a close the Interviewing Manager is likely to mention the following:

  • When the applicant is likely to hear of their interview results
  • Explaining how they will get in touch with to advise of your interview result; via your Recruitment Agent or direct by telephone or email
  • They are likely to mention how many applicants they still have to interview and a timeline of this
  • What the next stage interview process might look like (if there is one)
  • (if appropriate) how the applicant will be reimbursed for travel expenses.
  • They may ask about the applicant’s notice period and availability to take up a new job
  • They may ask about holiday commitments or any factors that impact on the starting date
  • For senior applicants they may be asked about any existing clause in their current contract that may prohibit working for a competitor company or some restrictions.
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