How to Get the Most Out of an Interview

The essential guide...

Career Tips
8th September 2017

An interview should always be a two way discussion allowing the interviewer to gauge your suitability for the business but at the same time, as a candidate, you must be able to learn more about the opportunity and whether it is the right fit for you.

Asking intelligent questions is a useful and important way to help you understand and visualise the opportunity.
Furthermore, it allows you to demonstrate you are engaged and that you have done your own homework.

General Tips

Do – research the company and role thoroughly so that you can ask more educated and effective questions
Do – keep them relevant for the interviewer (don’t ask overly technical questions in an HR interview)
Do – make a written list of your questions (c.10 is an advised amount) to ensure none are forgotten whilst in the heat of an interview
Don’t – ask things that can be easily found on the website or through a quick google!
Don’t – ask about salary, unless it is brought up. This is something you should discuss with your recruiter
Breaking them down into categories can be helpful. The examples below have been split into: Company based, Position based and Personal Development

Company based

  • What is the company culture?
  • What do you (directed at the interviewer) like most about the business?
  • What are the strategic growth plans of the company/business unit?
  • What key challenges are the company/business unit facing at the moment?

Position based

  • How will I be measured in this role?
  • What support exists in the department for this role?
  • How many people are there in the department? What are their roles?
  • What key tasks will this person face in their first month/six months in the position?
  • What other projects do you have in the pipeline?

Personal development

  • What is the career road map for this person?
  • What type of learning & development programmes does the company offer?
  • What will be the next logical career steep for this person?

The target of an interview is always to either progress to the next stage or ideally, be positioned to receive an offer. 

How to close an interview

Don’t be afraid to close an interview with three simple questions to help achieve these objectives:

  • Do you feel my skill set and personality is a good fit for the position?
  • Are there any areas of concern that would stop me progressing in this process?
  • What are the next steps?

Closing off an interview in this manner offers you the chance to:

  • Hear what strengths you have portrayed throughout the interview
  • Learn the concerns your prospective employer might have
  • Address any concerns directly with the interviewer
  • Clearly understand the timeline of the process

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