Let me start by stating that this is not about “turning the tables on the interview team and grilling them”. There might be some people out there who will disagree with me, but I can’t name a manager or recruiter that enjoys having an interview turned around by the candidate.
The candidate is not in control of this process, so attempting to take control simply usurps the recruiters power, and nobody likes that.
Example of what NOT to ask:
- What do you like about working for this company?
- What are you looking for in a candidate?
- What are other candidates bringing that differs from my experience?
- What plans are afoot for the growth of the company?
A well prepared candidate will know the culture, the values and prerequisites for this role and will have researched the mission and expansion plans of the company. They will have prepared actual examples to illustrate their behaviour, rather than using flowery opinion based statements. And they will have prepared answers for standard interview categories such as: on-going professional development, initiative, leadership qualities, team skills and problem resolution.
There is a fine line between asking intelligent, well thought out questions that benefit the candidate in this process and questions that a recruitment team cannot answer or don’t want to answer, such as questions about themselves. Keeping in mind that recruitment teams usually don’t run the company.
Questions you could consider asking (they will differ depending upon the role):
- I would like to progress within the role to a xxxxx, what professional development courses are on offer?
- Do you provide a mentor based system within your organisation?
- I would be happy to transfer or relocate in order to progress in my role, are their interstate or international opportunities?
- I see that you support “name of a charity of community service” how would I become involved in or contribute to that area?
All of thes questions are very specific and add value to the candidates aspirations and the interview process without being pushy or trying to turn the interview around.
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It is more about your preparation than a personal sales pitch (who of us like talking ourselves up?). It feels uncomfortable and makes the process more difficult.
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