Job hunting can be really tough. Even when we do get through to the interview rounds, it can feel like we’re just one resumé blending in with the stacks upon stacks of other accomplished, ‘team-players’ and ‘excellent communicators’ who are all excited to ‘help the company achieve its goals’.
So how do we stand out when we do go for interview? Many recruitment managers seem to suggest it’s your response to this question:
‘Do you have any questions for us?’
This is the question that apparently shows recruiters the cream of the CV crop. If you’ve done your research and are genuinely interested in the role and the company, you should have lots of question! But it’s all about asking the right ones. Sure, you may want to know about holidays and pay and all those things, and you should definitely ask those, but first, take the opportunity to show off a little more so they know you’re really serious about impressing them with questions like these:
Can you tell me more about the day-to-day responsibilities of the job?
Showing an interest and a desire to be prepared and ready to do well in this role is always a good sign to recruiters. Plus it’s great for you to know what’s expected of you in this role so that you know exactly what you’re getting yourself in for. It shows a readiness to take on responsibility.
What are the most important qualities for someone to excel in this role?
This shows you want to emulate those qualities. If someone who is organised and good with deadlines excels in this role, then you can draw attention back to those qualities – if you have them highlighted – on your CV. It also impresses recruiters because this question shows you’re invested in this opportunity.
What should someone in this role accomplish within the first three months?
This is one that recruiters love! You can switch out three months with six, or even a year, but it shows your growth and results-driven, which is something companies are always looking out for. You look like a motivated and conscientious employee who will actively aid in the company’s goals.
What are two or three actions that create real, measurable results for the company?
Similar to the last question, this shows you’re a motivated individual, whose career goals align with the growth goals of the company. Recruiters note that you’re already actively thinking about how to make the most of your role and stepping up to take responsibility to further the company.
What is the company’s culture like/ What do you like best about working here?
If ‘team player’ isn’t just a word on your CV, but something you’re genuinely good at, this is an important question to ask. Knowing what the company’s culture is like – fun, friendly, professional – can tell you a lot about whether you’ll be a good fit with the people in this place. If your ethos matches theirs, then it gives you a good opportunity to show recruiters that by bonding over some of the things they mention.
What kind of career opportunities come with this role later down the line for people performing well?
This shows recruiters two things: 1. You intend to stick around and are serious enough about this company that you see a long term future here and 2. You intend to be good enough at your job that you’re seeing potential promotions in your future. It gives you a certain confidence without it coming across as cocky and gives your employers a good idea of your work ethic without you having to spell it out for them.