Author Topic: Key questions to ask at an on-the-spot interview  (Read 1525 times)

Badshah Mamun

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Key questions to ask at an on-the-spot interview
« on: June 19, 2012, 06:29:40 PM »

Key questions to ask at an on-the-spot interview

The best candidate doesn't always get the job - often it is the best interviewee. And that applies equally to on-the-spot interviews granted at graduate fairs. Being the best interviewee on the day will take preparation and a fair bit of hard work, including some thought on what questions you should ask the interviewer.

"When you arrive, the first few seconds are vital and, although they shouldn't, first impressions always count - so be positive, confident and concise and make sure you look the part," says Andrew Bath, team leader at financial recruitment specialist David Chorley International.

"A strong handshake and plenty of eye contact also go a long way. During the interview you need to make sure that you listen, and that you are honest, consistent and positive."

So what about that dreaded moment when the interviewer asks whether you have any questions? How you respond will affect their evaluation of you. Going blank at this critical stage of the interview will make you appear passive rather than curious and interested. More importantly, this your chance to find out whether you and the organisation are a good fit for each other.

So be prepared to ask insightful questions about the organisation. Good topics to touch on include the competitive environment in which the company operates; the employer's management styles; what obstacles the organisation anticipates in meeting its goals; and how the company's goals have changed over the past three to five years.

On a more personal note, Andrew Bath suggests the following line of questioning: Can you talk me through a typical day? What sort of training do you offer? What opportunities are there for growth and career development?

You don't want to subject the interviewer to more than half a dozen questions - he or she will be keen to interview as many candidates at the fair as possible. But here are a few more examples of questions you might consider asking: What are the most challenging aspects of the job? What makes your firm different from its competitors? How are employees evaluated? Is it company policy to promote from within? How would you describe the work environment? What characteristics does a successful person at your company have?

If the interviewer seems pressed for time, ask if there is someone from the company you can talk to if you have further questions.

By and large it's unwise to ask about pay or benefits or other similar areas. Why? Because it can make you seem more interested in what the organisation can do for you.

If, after the interview, you are interested in working for the organisation, make sure that the interviewer knows it by saying so - they're not mind-readers - and ask when you can expect to hear a decision. Finally, don't forget to thank them for their time.

Take away a business card and make sure you send a "thank you" letter. Then follow up with a call a week later.

Md. Abdullah-Al-Mamun (Badshah)
Manager (Operation), Skill Jobs