The world of interviews is not the most fun world to be in, but once you nail your interview technique, you can transform the dreaded and sometimes strenuous process into a somewhat breezy stroll in the park.
Easier said than done, of course.
Prepare, prepare, prepare!
There’s a lot of layers to the interview process, and we’ve covered some topics already in our previous blogs, like how to prepare for a job interview and online internship interview mistakes to avoid . Preparation is key in a lot of career related situations, but it is absolutely essential in any job interview process from start to finish. However, many people forget that an interview is a two-way street. You should also prepare questions to ask recruiters at the end of your interview.
Preparing questions to ask recruiters is not only essential for you to understand more about the role and company you are potentially landing, it’s also essential for recruiters to grasp how invested you are in the opportunity.
At the end of an interview, the recruiters will almost certainly ask if you have any questions. This is when you’ll be thankful you have prepared your list of questions to ask employers, and get the opportunity to know more about the company you are potentially signing up to.
Preparing questions to ask the recruiter is a solution that is so easily overlooked, yet can avoid both recruiter and candidate experiencing the implications of a wrong hire.
Top 15 questions to ask recruiters
Capital Placement is equipped with many years experience in the interview world, holding a wealth of questions to ask recruiters. We recommend you ask your interviewer two to four questions, and we’ve chosen a few of our favourites that you should consider when you have your chance to take the reins:
1. Do you need me to clarify or elaborate on anything I said or you have read on my CV?
Show you are super prepared and want the recruiter to really consider every detail of your interview by asking this question. It gives you an opportunity to expand on anything you said including any important details you might have missed. It is also a great and organic method to revisit an underperformed answer to a question that you may otherwise be kicking yourself about following the interview.
2. How did this position become available?
From the job postings and company LinkedIn page, it could be hard to tell what happened to the previous employee in this position. This question could tell you if the role is newly created or a backfill.
3. What does a typical day look like in this role?
By asking this question, you could show that you are enthusiastic about this position, and keen on learning more about the role’s day-to-day activities or some of the main priorities.
4. What are the most important skills for the job?
A recruiter would be able to give you an insight into the skills that are most important for the position. This can also help you evaluate if you are suitable for this role.
5. What do you think is the most challenging aspect of the job?
If you are applying for an entry-level job, it’s likely that you haven’t fully done the job you are interviewing for just yet. So by asking this question, you can have an idea of the most challenging aspect of this position, and you can pay more attention to it if you join the company.
6. How do you evaluate success in this role?
This can help you understand what it means to do the job well and the company’s expectations of the person who fills this role.
7. What qualities are the most important for succeeding here?
Sometimes, fitting into the company’s culture is equally important to your qualifications and skills. This question can help you understand who the company wants to employ for this role.
8. What are the company’s current and long term priorities?
You want to be certain a company is going to scale or remain competitive, especially in the current business environment. Asking for information about the company’s current and long term priorities allows you to envision how you can position yourself within the company, and gives a mild insight into the progression opportunities that may be available.
9. Who will I work with in this role?
You can ask this question if you want to know about the team you could potentially be working with. Sometimes the recruiters might tell you a bit more about the team members that you might be meeting in the following interview stages, so this could be an excellent opportunity for you to prepare for more specific questions that you might want to ask them.
10. Will I have the opportunity to meet my potential manager or colleagues during the interview process?
You might’ve been briefed about the interview process by the recruiter, but if they didn’t mention who you will be meeting at each interview stage, you can go ahead and ask them if you will get the opportunity to meet the people who you will be working with the most. Don’t forget that interviews are a way for you to see if you can see yourself working with the company and the team.
11. What are the biggest challenges/opportunities the company is facing right now?
Questions that tackle the challenges or opportunities specific to the company and the industry show that you care about the bigger picture. If you’ve done your interview preparation, you could even offer your insights into the challenges and opportunities.
12. What is your favourite thing about working for the company?
Money isn’t always the motivator when it comes to a job. This question will help you understand the company culture more and what they have to offer besides a salary and perks.
13. How do you help your staff grow professionally?
You demonstrate your interest in staying and growing in the role by asking this question. It’s also a way for you to see how the company invests in its employees.
14. If I were to be successful, what can I do to prepare for the role?
Passionate and eager to learn, you can show you are one step ahead of the game with this question. It shows you are determined to make a good impression on your first day if you were to be successful, which can really make you a memorable candidate.
15. What does your timeline for a decision look like? When should I expect to hear back?
A great finisher to the interview that reflects your eagerness and interest in the role. If you miss this question, it may leave you anxiously checking your emails every day wondering if you have been ghosted by a recruiter.
Questions to avoid asking from recruiters in 2022
As much as we want to give you all the confidence in the world to ask any questions you want to ask, there is a fine line between great questions and disastrous questions. We’ve given you a heads up on some great questions that would make us positively raise our eyebrows in a job interview, but there are some questions that you should avoid asking so you don’t send the wrong signals to the recruiters.
1. What does your company do?
You should always research the company prior to your interview, and ask questions that demonstrate you have done your research. Asking this question could immediately leave a bad impression because this could show that you didn’t take this interview seriously enough to spend a few minutes researching the company.
2. Who is your competition?
This question could either make you sound thoughtful – or totally backfire and reveal that you did zero research about the company prior to the interview.
3. Anything related to salary or benefits until the very final stages of the interview.
These questions can break the fine line between a great interview and a disastrous one, as this can give recruiters a red flag that you could be joining them for a quick fix and not a long term opportunity.
4. Are any other jobs open?
You don’t want to ask this question unless you are applying for a temporary role. You want to focus on the role you applied to and show that you have the right skills and the potential to grow.
5. Are you going to check my references? Do you do background checks?
It’s part of the hiring process to check your references, normally towards the final stages of your interview. If the recruiters have requested the referee’s contacts from you, it’s safe to assume they will check them. You can focus more on finding the right referee and request a reference letter from them.
Swapping shoes with your interviewers
You may be a low key or not so low key bag of nerves, wishing you were on the other end of the table, but hear me out.
The employers are nervous too.
There’s a lot of factors and reasoning behind this, but think of it this way – a bright and potentially very valuable candidate like yourself is applying to their firm, and they are faced with the pressure of making you fall in love with the company or losing out to a competitor. A classic example of the “fun and games” of the business world.
Recruiters are also faced with the pressure of potentially bringing the wrong talent on board, which could result in many implications for their firm, including loss of revenue and customers, decreased work production and a disrupted culture within the company.
We hope you’ve put preparing your questions to ask employers high on your to-do list after reading this blog, and we wish you the best of luck on your interview. You’ve got this!