Many guides, spoken advice and blogs will tell you how to dress, answer questions and act during an interview, but what is just as important (highlighted by famous British entrepreneur James Caan) are the questions YOU ask.
According to Caan, “the company needs to sell themselves to you as much as you need to sell yourself.”
“What you have to remember is that a vacancy is available because the company has a need or a problem. You have to position yourself as the best solution to that problem - and the mere fact that you have got to this stage means you are in their top bracket of candidates. So as much as the interviewer will ask you questions, you need to do the same.”
Planning a list of questions in advance, and even bringing them into the room with you, shows the employer you have planned ahead and thought about what services/ products they offer; in other words, shows you have done your research. Not only does it impress the employers, but it can also help you to set realistic expectations of the job you are going for. If there is something you do not genuinely understand- then you can ask. This allows you to clarify any grey areas surrounding the job and means you have a better knowledge of what lies ahead should you get the job!
The honest advice is that if you have got to the end of the interview and you don’t have any questions to ask; it doesn’t look good.
“Not only does it make you seem unconfident, but it gives the impression that you’re not actually that committed to getting the job. If you really want to work for somebody, then it makes sense to find out as much about them as possible – in particular things which you can’t glean from a mere job advert.” Caan comments.
Our advice; have that list of questions in front of you in the interview. Employers do not mind if you want to bring in notes or a pad and pen, in fact they are impressed you are prepared and obviously want to learn more. By having your questions in front of you, it also allows you to tick them off if they are answered in the general interview (showing the employer that area was of key interest to you) and it also means that if you do hit a mind-numbing moment at the ned of the interview, then you have your questions to read from.
Our Pareto Graduate Resourcing Manager, Josh Edwards notes that he is impressed with curious candidates.
“Graduates who are prepared, ready and genuinely want to know more about the job are those who we remember. They seem a lot keener to get the job and ask about the business inside operations; which shows they want to be involved with the daily on-goings, rather than just the pay packet at the end of the month- they want to have an impact of the business.
Asking questions is also a good way of pulling back a slightly nervous interview. Having done some research shows your work ethics; which is really important to demonstrate. If you have practiced asking the questions and know what you want to say you also gain some control over your interview and it can really boost your confidence (and can even put the employers on their toes for a bit!). So asking questions, especially well thought-out, prepared ones, will really get you noticed.”
For more information on how to do well in interviews, see more of our blogs for hints and tips, or alternatively contact a member of our graduate management team who will happily talk you through the recruitment process.