NEWS… BUT NOT AS YOU KNOW IT
You’ve done a great job at selling yourself, you’ve mentioned all your best attributes, and even managed to handle the tricky ‘what’s your biggest weakness?’ question.
Now, the final hurdle: ‘Do you have any questions for us?’.
It’s tempting to just say no, or ask something that inevitably makes you look like a shirker (it’s fine to ask how much holiday leave you get, FYI, but it shouldn’t be your only question).
But you should approach this question strategically – and use it to its full potential.
Paul Farrer, founder and chairman of digital media and marketing recruitment agency Aspire, reckons it’s worth asking questions to help you figure out if this is somewhere you genuinely want to work.
To help you along, he’s suggested some top questions to ask.
(Don’t ask all of them, as you’d be in your interview all day. Take your pick of the ones that matter most to you)
Paul tells Metro.co.uk: ‘Get a clear idea of what your potential employer wants to achieve – their grand vision for the business and the reason “why”.
‘If it’s something you already believe in or feel like you could buy into, you’re off to a good start.’
What matters to this business? Honesty? Equality? Customer service?
‘Knowing what an employer stands for – and asking yourself if these values align with your own – is key,’ says Paul.
Get a sense of exactly what responsibilities you’d be taking on, and just how structured your day and week will be.
No job is going to be all peaches and cream. While it’s unlikely your potential boss is going to spill on all the bad bits of the workplace, they probably will chat about some potential tricky stuff.
‘Ask your potential employer how many people are in the team currently,’ recommends Paul. ‘Which roles? Who is responsible for what? How might the team grow or even reduce in size? Which personality traits are you likely to encounter? The more you understand, the better.’
Are they super hands on, or more of a ‘let you get on with it’ type?
So much of how much you enjoy your job is down to your manager, so it’s well worth sussing them out.
Paul says: ‘Candidates increasingly want employers who aren’t just paying lip service to diversity and inclusion, but ones holding themselves accountable and committed to creating a more inclusive workplace and society.
‘For many, this is fast becoming a priority.’
Show that you’re keen to learn and find out exactly what type of training will be provided – beyond the initial settling in section – so you can see how you’ll progress and grow.
‘Leading on from the previous question, if you’re ambitious and want to progress up the ladder, having a sense of how – if at all – your potential employer will help you get there is crucial,’ Paul tells us.
Paul asks: ‘Will you receive monthly, quarterly, or annual appraisals?
‘In many cases, performance reviews are linked to pay reviews.
‘Knowing how often these come around is useful, not just from a financial perspective, but also in terms of having a detailed discussion with your manager about your own performance.’
What does success in this role look like? What will you be judged on? What targets will you have?
‘There has been a shift towards prioritising employee well-being in recent years, with businesses trialling four-day working weeks, organising more away days and staff trips, offering mental health support and much more,’ Paul says. ‘Ask the question when you have an idea of the type of initiatives you need personally.’
‘Try to get an idea of what your potential employer thinks its key points of difference are, compared to its competitors,’ Paul suggests. ‘This could relate to their product, customer service, how well their staff are treated or various corporate social responsibility initiatives.’
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A juicy one.
‘All businesses need to be self-aware – both in terms of how they can improve their service but also in ways they could become a better employer,’ Paul notes. ‘The sooner you know the areas in which a business is looking to improve, the better.
‘And as it happens, those that recognise and are open about their problem areas and show a willingness to change could prove to be a more enjoyable, fulfilling company to work for.’
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