Regardless of the reasons you may have for moving on from your current job, taking the next step in your career is often a nerve-racking experience. Getting an invitation for an interview does not mean you've got the job. As much as getting all the answers right is important, you have to remember that it may not be enough. Asking your interviewer the right questions will demonstrate not only the preparation you’ve done but also your genuine interest in the position and your drive to excel in the role.
Here at Allexo Search, we’re helping candidates every day to prepare for nterviews within the FMCG sector. This short guide will give you an idea of the type of questions YOU should be asking to get an advantage over your competitors throughout an interview process, and assure both yourself and your potential employer that you are the right candidate.
Is the job right for you, and are you right for the job?
First, do some in-depth research on the company and position. Is there anything that is unclear to you? Not explained in detail? What are your day-to-day responsibilities? Who do you report to/who are you going to manage? What’s the next step in the interview process? What training can they offer? These questions will help you gain more insight into what specific skills and strengths are needed and show that you are seriously considering the opportunity at hand.
Make sure that you leave an interview feeling confident that you know everything about the role and what you’re potentially signing for. An example of a question to demonstrate your genuine interest in the role would be:
“If I were hired for this position and had to start tomorrow, what would be your best advice for me?”
The position of your interviewer in the company determines the type of questions you should ask.
If you’re interviewing with a hiring manager or your future manager…
“What are your expectations for this role during the first 30 days, 60 days, year?”
This question gives you an idea of what is expected from you and what the short- and long-term goals are.
“Where do you think the company is headed in the next 5 years?”
This question is important because not only will it give you a sense of how stable your job might be, but the job you take today should always be aligned with your long-term career goals.
“What are the biggest opportunities facing the company/department right now?”
This question shows your drive to seize the opportunity and will help both you and the employer to understand whether you have the right skills and experience to help the organisation achieve their business goals.
“What is the typical career path for someone in this role?”
By asking the question, you show your interest in growing with the organisation. It will help you to understand what progression looks like, and whether the future in the business aligns with your career aspirations.
“What is the single largest problem facing your staff and would I be in a position to help you solve this problem?“
This question not only shows that you are immediately thinking about how you can help the team, it also encourages the interviewer to envision you working in the role.
When interviewing with a peer/someone you may end up working in line with…
“How would you describe the culture of the company?”
This will help you to understand whether you will enjoy working there, regardless of the scope of the role.
“Where will the job fit into the team structure? Can you tell me a little about each member of the team?”
This is a powerful question that can answer or open a number of other questions, such as how realistic the opportunities for progression are, how much autonomy you will have to make decisions, and how you can learn from/mentor.
“Is there anything I should know about working with them that will make my integration a smooth process?"
These questions will give a great idea about the type of people you’ll be working with. It also demonstrates that you’re a team player and you care about fitting in.
“What have you enjoyed most about working here?”
This question allows the interviewer to connect with you on a more personal level, sharing his or her feelings. The answer will show you how satisfied people are with their jobs there.
If your interviewer is your future potential director…
Think bigger picture. This is an opportunity for you get insight into the wider business or industry, beyond just your role/team.
Eg. “How do you think the recent merger between your two main competitors will affect the future of the industry?”
This type of question will demonstrate your interest and knowledge of the industry the company operates in, it’s also a good idea to have a question ready regarding a current event or issue in the market.
How well your interviewer reacts and answers your questions gives you a great insight into the company. The interview isn’t just for the future employer to see if you’re the right fit for the organisation – if you’re confident about your skills and ability to do the job, you should also be making sure they’re the right fit for you.
Remember that it’s not a good idea to ask about pay or benefits, as this can make you seem more interested in what the organisation can do for you, rather than what you can do for them.