Going for a job interview can make you feel very anxious. Sometimes you can come out of an interview feeling like you have been interrogated rather than interviewed. This is a great shame because the whole idea of an interview is to allow an exchange of information both ways between the employer and the potential new candidate so that both parties can learn more about each other and decide whether the candidate is a good fit for the job, and the job is a good fit for the candidate.
Share the focus
If you have a job interview coming up, then obviously you will need to do your homework on the company to help prepare yourself and give you some good background information about the company and its history.
What can be useful here is to look at your research and look for where there are gaps and missing information. You can then come up with some questions to ask during your interview that will give you the answers you are looking for.
By doing this you will be switching the focus from solely being on you as the interviewee and turning the interview into an equal exchange of information. This is an approach that can actually win you favour with the employer because they will see someone sitting opposite them that is not only answering their questions but is also engaging with them and showing interest in the company by being curious and inquisitive.
Flatter them with your questions
You have to remember that the employer is looking for the best possible fit for the role on offer. They are protecting and supporting their company by finding someone that will fit seamlessly into their team and will thrive within their company culture.
Your interviewer will be passionate about the company, so will be more than happy to talk about the company in a very positive light. The key here is to not only ask the right questions but to add in a compliment wherever possible.
So for example, you can say that you are very impressed with the values of the company and would imagine that everyone is happy to work for such an ethical employer, but then ask them what is their favourite part of working for the company.
By asking this question you will not only flatter the interviewer, but you will also be able to get a good sense of what their opinion is of working for the company. If they are passionate and enthusiastic with their answer, then that is a good sign that tells you this could be a good company to work for.
Useful questions to ask your interviewer
Keeping the conversation flowing and the focus switching between you and your interviewer through asking useful questions can make the whole interview process much less stressful for you. However, you will also equip yourself with some good insight into the company so you can come away from you interview armed with enough knowledge to allow you to decide if the role is for you or not. Let’s look at some useful questions you should ask your interviewer:
1: What would my day-to-day responsibilities look like?
Getting a good idea about the everyday nitty-gritty tasks you will be completing is valuable because you will need to know if you will be happy to do these jobs every day – all year round. If the job description sounds as dull as dishwater, can you really see yourself still working there in five years time?
2: Does the role offer good career progression?
You will want to know if the company offers their employees opportunities for growth. If you have ambitions to progress in your career then you will want to know if you will be eligible for promotion.
3: Who will I be working with?
It can be helpful to know where you will fit in, especially if you are to be part of an already functioning team. You should also ask about who you will be responsible to, such as line managers or departmental heads.
4: Is there anything particularly challenging about this role?
You may find that the job has stressful elements that you need to be aware of, such as meeting strict deadlines or developmental timelines that need to be met to enable other departments to do their job. If you like a challenge and want a stimulating role, then these details are good to know.
By asking the right questions during your job interview you can not only take some of the pressure off your shoulders, but you can gain valuable knowledge about the company that you may not have been able to research beforehand. This can allow you to see beyond the veneer of the interview and come away knowing whether the job feels right for you.