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Candidate Interview Advice & Tips
A job interview is the best chance you have to make a great impression. Score high with the interviewer and you will take a step towards securing that dream role, but if you make a critical mistake, you may miss out to a professional who prepared more effectively.
Here are two tips on how to adequately prepare for your interview and 5 best and worst interview questions.
How to Prepare for a Job Interview
The first tip is to thoroughly research potential employers and interviewers. Reviewing a company's website and social media is a great place to start. There you will find information on business objectives, values, key activities, and achievements. To go the extra mile, research what their industry and competitors are up to and then find ways to work this information into your interview answers to show you have done your homework.
The second tip is to ensure you have prepared as much as possible the day before your interview. This includes printing out a copy of your CV and going over it so it is fresh in your mind. You should plan your route to the interview and decide on what time you need to leave so that you arrive no more than 10 minutes before your interview is due to start.
Our final piece of advice is to have at least one relevant question prepared for the end of the interview. Here are the top 5 best and worst questions to ask a potential employer.
Top 5 Best & Worst Questions to Ask an Employer
Worst: How much does this role pay?
We understand that salary will likely be important to you but asking the interviewer directly is not the right way to approach this subject. It can express that you are not that interested in the role itself or their business. Instead, you should leave this for your Recruitment Consultant to negotiate for you or wait for the employer to approach this subject themselves. If the employer does ask what your salary expectations are, and you are dealing with a Recruitment Consultant, let the employer know that the Recruiter will be in touch to discuss this so that you are not caught off-guard.
Best: Have I answered all your questions?
Ensuring you have covered every question adequately is important. Following up an answer with, “Would you like me to explain anything further or provide any examples?” will help you to gauge how well you are doing. It will also provide the opportunity to revert back to an earlier answer and strengthen it.
Worst: What does this company do?
To ask what the company does at any stage of an interview can tell the employer that you didn’t come prepared. Most companies have ample information on their website, so make sure you do your research before applying for a role. If you’re working with Parker Bridge, your Recruitment Consultant will provide plenty of inside knowledge on the company so that you are adequately prepared.
Best: What training is offered and how is it provided?
This is a great question to ask if the interviewer covered off everything to do with the role. Employers want to find employees who have a thirst for learning and, ultimately, want to grow with their company. Even if you are quite far into your career, you should never stop developing yourself or you may risk stagnating in today’s dynamic market.
Worst: What hours would I work, and will I need to work weekends?
The drive for a better work-life balance may lead you to ask this question at the end of a job interview, unaware of the damage it can cause. To ask about working hours can imply that you are unwilling to be flexible. Of course, it is important to find out how this role would fit around your personal life and commitments, but it is best to leave this question until both parties are ready to negotiate.
Best: How would success in this position be measured?
The answer to this question can often provide great insight into how this employer manages performance, so listen closely as it may indicate how well you will fit into the company's culture. At the same time, this question may also showcase your interest in being successful in this role.
Worst: How did I do?
It is only natural to be inquisitive on how you performed in a job interview, but this question is best left until after a hiring decision has been made, or you can ask your Recruitment Consultant once the interview has finished. Receiving feedback is crucial to your development but directly asking an employer in an interview setting can put them on the spot. In this scenario, employers are rarely able to answer honestly, so their feedback is scarcely helpful.
Best: What challenges do you and your team encounter and how can I help to overcome them?
Managers are looking for people who can help overcome challenges by being innovative and creative, and this question can help an interviewer see you as such. It might also be beneficial to pay close attention to the interviewer’s answer because if they cannot tell you how you can help, you might not be as valued in this position as you would hope.
Worst: Would you like my references?
This is another question that can be asked at the wrong time. If you ask this before you know the employer is interested in proceeding with your application, it can come across as desperate. If an employer wants your references, they will ask for them. However, you can remove this issue from the equation altogether as we will take care of the reference process on your behalf.
Best: What is the next step?
A great closing question. If you want to proceed then this is a question you should always ask. This is because it can indicate to the interviewer that you are interested in progressing forward and invites them to explain the next step in the hiring process. Hopefully, the next step might be that job offer!