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6 essential interview questions you should always ask

Posted by: Nicola Batty
26/04/2019
Company News

We’ve previously covered things you should never say in an interview, but what are the burning questions you should always be taking time to ask if you want to make a great impression? Read on to find out.

1. What key skills do I need to excel in this role?

With any luck, you should already have a good idea of what skills are needed from the job description or application form, and hopefully you’re up to the task. While you shouldn’t be re-treading your steps, this question is a great way to get a feel for the role. You might want to identify the skills you’ve already read about, and ask the company to expand on them. 

For example: “I know that this is a sales role, but what key skills would I need to be the top earner in the business?” This tells the interviewer that you’ve identified a huge part of the job and that you’re not interested in just treading water. You want to excel!

2. What is the career path for this role?

Progression is important and you want more than a job – you want a career. This question tells the interviewer a number of things: you’re taking the role seriously, you’re looking to do well, and you’re interested in staying with the company for a long time.

Try this to work the question in: “Can you tell me about the last three people who started in this role and where they are now?” This should give you an idea of where you can expect to be in the next 6, 12, or 18 months.

3. What is a day in the job like?

This is arguably the most important question because it’s what you’ll be doing day-in day-out. Depending on your situation it can be tempting to take any job you’re offered, especially if it’s for more money or better than your current one. But make sure you really ask yourself whether this is the job for you. Perhaps your daily tasks will involve a couple of hours of stats and admin. If you’re not interested in that then the job isn’t for you.

By asking this question you’re telling the interviewer that you’re assessing the role’s suitability for you.

4. Why is the job available?

The common line for any new role is “Due to continued growth….” This is true for a lot of jobs – successful companies grow, which means they have to hire more and more staff to meet demand. Similarly, as employees progress, they are promoted, which opens up a new position. If this is why the role is available then things are looking good.

However, if there are a number of roles available because five people have quit recently, then there might be cause for concern. People leave jobs for many reasons and it’s not always because their current role is bad. Just be sure to get to the bottom of this question so you can accurately assess why the role is available.

5. How will my progress be measured?

Much like the career path question above, you need to know what your prospects are. Every role (whether you know it or not) has Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). These are a list of things which assess your performance and, most importantly, they’re measurable. A KPI might be to sell 3 products per month. That’s a very black-and-white goal which can be easily measured and assessed.

All companies shout about it, but not all companies take progress as seriously as others. At Navartis, we set very clear goals and make sure everyone knows how they’re progressing and what they need to do to meet their KPIs.

If an interviewer can’t answer this question then that’s a big red flag. If your progress isn’t being measured, then there’s simply no way to prove you’re good at your job and therefore ready for the next opportunity.

6. How has the company changed & where are you heading?

In many ways, a company’s progress is just as important as your own. Businesses are quick to tell you what they do and why they’re great at it. But the sales pitch no longer applies when you’re considering joining them on their journey.

If the interviewer has worked there for five years and not much has changed in that time, then perhaps it’s not as forward-thinking as it makes out. If, however, they’ve seen huge growth and its workforce has tripled, then you’re dealing with a company on the rise.

Just as important is where the company intends to be in five years’ time. If they aspire to go global, or open new offices in local areas, then this is a good sign. Make sure you research the industry and know what the company’s competitors are doing to stay on top. You want to be in that team.

One of the most important things to remember is that an interview is a two-way street. You’re looking at them as much as they’re looking at you. Don’t get so wrapped up in landing a job that you don’t stop to think about whether it’s the right one for you.

All of these questions are designed to test the interviewer’s knowledge of their company and the role on offer. It’s also a great way to get to know a potential boss/colleague.

Navartis are specialist recruitment consultants supplying highly skilled technical and management professionals. We’re always on the lookout for hard-working and passionate people to join our growing team. Follow us on Facebook to see what we’re up to or click here to start your journey today.

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