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Interview questions – Your turn

by Kathie Kelly on January 21, 2013

So you’ve made it to the interview stage, you’ve answered all their questions and then comes that dreaded final one, “Do you have any questions for me?”

“What’s the company policy on Facebook usage?” Probably not a great start….

But what are the types of questions to ask in this circumstance? In a lot of situations, you just feel relieved that the end is in sight and you’ve made it through relatively unscathed. It’s very easy to then finish off with, “No thanks, I think you’ve covered everything I needed to know.”

Wrong answer. Not only does it have the potential to seem like you’re not prepared, it can also send the message that you’re really not that interested. At the very least prepare three questions, however a better scenario is to ask a question related to something that the interviewer has already discussed with you. An example of this would be, “So from what we’ve discussed today, it sounds like your organisation has expanded a lot quicker than expected. What sort of impact will this have on your medium to long term planning?”

In preparing your questions prior to your interview, make sure you research not only the organisation but the interviewer(s). Do both a LinkedIn and Google search on them. You may find they have worked previously with someone in your network (or even at companies you have worked for).  There may be an opportunity to ask them about their previous work history, which will show you’ve done your homework. Use this information sparingly however, as you don’t want to appear like a stalker.

In preparing your questions prior to your interview, make sure you research not only the organisation but the interviewer(s).

I’m often asked for the best questions to ask at interviews. Firstly, make sure the question you ask is not easily accessible on the organisation’s web site. If you are applying for sales or marketing roles, do NOT ask who their main competitors are – you should have been able to find this out yourself from your research. A better question is to state that from your research you believe that XYZ and ABC are their largest competitors and ask if they would agree. A great question to ask is, “I see that your competitor XYZ has recently announced (insert something of interest here i.e. a new service, a takeover of another company, a new CEO etc). What sort of impact do you predict this will have on your current business?”

As I’ve mentioned in a previous post, you can search interview questions online and thousands will appear. Be careful to not just trot these out verbatim as you will look lazy and uncreative. Have a think about what you want to know and put your own individual spin on each question.

Some of my favourites are:

  • What is your company’s point of difference compared to your competitors?
  • How do divisional units interact and communicate with each other to reach their goals?
  • What excites you about this company and keeps you motivated?
  • What are some of the key achievements others have made in this role?
  • What are some of your key issues that you would like to see the successful person address?
  • What are the intangible cultural qualities that attracted you to this company?

There are, of course, loads more and you can download them to your heart’s content. However, the key thing to remember is that even though it may feel like you are being interrogated, the best thing you can do is to treat the interview as a two-way process and find out as much as you possibly can. You spend a lot of time at work so you want make sure it’s as compatible and enjoyable as you can make it!

Kathie Kelly

Kathie Kelly is the National Manager – Recruitment Solutions of BUSY At Work an organisation which provides workforce planning and recruitment services to businesses throughout Queensland and Australia.
Kathie is also a travel junkie,  has a keen appreciation for music, dance and live theatre, along with being a mad rugby league follower. You can connect with Kathie on LinkedIn at http://au.linkedin.com/in/kathiekelly

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Top image: The_Warfield

Kathie Kelly
With a background in both corporate and community organisations, Kathie felt there was an opportunity to use her skills to assist not for profit, charitable and arts organisations reach their potential through providing assistance in raising funds, generating and diversifying income streams. Hence Square Pegs was born - to help identify and connect partners and stakeholders with the aim of building long-term mutually beneficial partnerships. This might be through reviewing or writing grants/tenders/award submissions, developing strategies to attract sponsors, negotiating corporate partnerships or creating fundraising campaigns. All with the aim to help you keep doing the good work you do, but with a sustainable funding base to work from!
 
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