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The top three questions candidates forget to ask in interviews

David Melancon, CMO at Just Capital, puts forward some crucial questions all candidates should ask at the end of an interview

You have spent an hour or so with your interviewer, you feel you have established a good rapport with them and you know the job is perfect for you. At the end of the interview, the interviewer asks whether you have any questions.

At this stage, many candidates take the opportunity to ask as to the salary, working hours, benefits and role requirements;

The top three interview questions many candidates don’t ask are:

1. In terms of education and development, what is the company’s position?

You may have put a lot of investment and effort into your education over the years and it is quite feasible that you may not be offered a commensurate salary; however, some organisations and companies understand this and will offer help with paying towards student loans or your future education. The company may have a programme of courses that allows you to continue studying key subjects and skills in line with your role; therefore, check this during the interview process.

2. Are there any key qualities that are required in this role to be successful in your organisation, both as a worker and as an individual?

The culture within a company cannot usually be changed and it is very easy for a business to use words that are indigenous, such as ‘entrepreneurial’, ‘hard charging’, ‘hands-on’ and ‘mission-driven’. Often it is the case that these words describe those at the top or what the company would like to be; in such cases, the words don’t easily or directly translate to every role.

As an example, you may be applying for a role as an administrative assistant. How would the word ‘entrepreneurial’ apply in this case? Similarly, if you are applying for a role as an intern in a HR department, or as an accounting clerk, would the phrase ‘mission-driven’ mean anything to you in your role? The answer is ‘probably not’.

If you ask about the key qualities you need for the role, you give the interviewer a good chance to provide you with key attributes that will be applicable to you, the role within the business and the culture of the company rather than to the company itself.

3. How do you keep your employees excited, interested, motivated and innovative?

To attract and keep the best employees with the right skill sets, companies should ideally have a keen interest in developing their workforce. There are some powerful motivators other than financial benefits that can be offered, such as flexible working and occasional working to help with their employees’ work/life balance, company team building and social days.

These can be great ways in which to keep your employees motivated and excited, not only about their roles but also about your business; in addition, such motivators can help employees to feel more involved.

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One comment

  1. Duncan Carmichael

    I would have thought the top questions would be:

    What is the next stage of the hiring process?

    Have I sufficiently shown the potential and current skills to have me go forward to this next stage?

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