Q3 is traditionally the busiest period of the year in graduate recruitment - and this time around was no different. In t
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It’s easy to see the interview process as a one-way street; an interviewer is just there to assess your knowledge, skills and passion, right? Wrong! Interviews are a two-way process; you need to make sure the company is the right fit for you just as much the company needs to check if you’re right for them.
With that in mind, you should make the most of an interviewer’s classic closer “So, do you have any questions for us?” in order to decide whether a job is right for you.
N.B. Don’t use all of these six questions at the end of every interview - you don’t want your interviewer to feel bombarded! Just pick out a couple which you feel haven’t been answered during your main conversation.
As a fresh grad, progression is going to be really important to you. You need to know that you’re not going to join a company, only to stagnate in an entry level position for years on end. If your interviewer alludes to the fact that it will take five years for a promotion, you need to think carefully about whether you’re willing to wait, or whether you’d prefer a company where you could expect to be moving up the ladder more quickly.
This question will help you get a better grasp of the company’s ambitions, and will help you suss out whether you want to join them on their journey. This will be a particularly important question to ask a small business, as their plans for the future could directly shape your role.
Most people are flattered when asked a question about themselves. This is a nice one because it isn’t too intrusive, but should offer you an honest insight into what it’s really like to work for a company. If your interviewer struggles to come up with something that they love about the company, or offers a fairly lame perk e.g. “I really like the free tea and coffee on offer,” then alarm bells should start ringing! A happy employee will be able reel off a list of things which make them proud to work for their company.
You might be the type of person who likes to learn on the job, but if formal training is important to you, you need to ask about it at the interview stage - not all companies will offer it.
How a company defines your success will ultimately determine how successful you’ll be in a role. If your interviewer says that everything you do will be judged on KPIs (Key Performance Indicators), and you don’t class yourself as target-driven, you may need to reconsider your options. Likewise, if you’re performance is going to be based on feedback from your clients, and you don’t think you’re very good at dealing with people, it could be time for a U-turn!
Never underestimate how important your company’s culture will be to your happiness at work. If you value your down-time but your interviewer says that they have a “work hard, play hard atmosphere” and are “out entertaining clients most nights”, the role might not be quite the right fit for you!
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