You’re in an interview for a manufacturing role you’ve wanted for ages. You’ve answered all their questions confidently, and you breathe a sigh of relief, thinking the meeting is winding down.
Not so fast.
The hiring manager then throws the floor over to you, asking if you have any questions. Many candidates don’t realise the importance of this final stage of the interview process.
What you say in response to this innocuous, friendly question can either potentially win you the job or lose it.
Candidates often squander this golden opportunity in one of two ways:
1. They shut the interview down by saying they have no questions at all, along the lines of ‘I think you’ve covered everything, thanks!’
2. They send the wrong message by asking the kinds of questions that interviewers see as a red flag, such as ‘Can you tell me more about my salary, benefits, and holiday entitlements?
The former sends the message that you’re not that interested in the role and haven’t done the right research into the company, while the second indicates to hirers that you’re more interested in what’s in it for you than the details of the role or what you can do for the company.
Both outcomes are interview disasters, and can often mean that candidates who performed well in the interview somehow manage to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory!
So, if you’re not meant to talk about money, and the hiring manager has run a great interview with lots of information about the role, what on earth are you expected to ask? What purpose does this section of the discussion serve?
You’ll probably get more genuine, revealing answers about the role and company culture in this section if you ask the right questions, and you’ll also be able to portray yourself in a strong and keen manner.
If you’ve done well in the interview so far, this is your time to really shine and demonstrate why you are better than all the others they have interviewed.
Great questions to ask at the end of an interview
About the Job
- What does an average day or week in the role look like?
- What project(s) will I be initially working on?
- Who is the person I’ll be reporting to?
- Do you expect the scope of this role to change over time?
About your Success in the Role
- How would I know I’m succeeding? What does success in this role look like, and how will it be measured?
- What would you like to see me accomplish in the first 90 days?
- How will I know if I’m not succeeding? What are the feedback structures?
- What are the attributes of a person who will fit well in this role?
- What additional skills would help me succeed in this role?
- Do you have any reservations about my skillset or qualifications at this stage?
About the Career Path
- What are your training and development schemes relevant for this role?
- How does my role feed into a career path with the company?
- Are there examples of a senior figure who started in this role?
About the company and its place in the sector
- What separates you from your competitors? What do they do better, and what do you do better?
- What are the company goals?
- In this role, how could I help make the company perform better?
- Are there any new products or markets you can tell me about?
- What’s your biggest challenge in the current market?
Be alert to the potential in this last one: a smart candidate may be able to loop this back to one of their strengths. For example, if the hiring manager says: ‘Brexit has put the sector under some uncertainty regarding employment law’, and you have strong knowledge of the Brexit landscape and/ or employment regulation, this is a great time to mention this.
About culture and the team
- What’s the company culture like?
- What kind of management style can I expect?
- Does the work require frequent collaboration or is it more autonomous?
- What can you tell me about the team I’ll be working with?
- Do any team members spend time together outside work?
About the interviewer
- Where did you come here from and how long have you been here?
- What do you think are the most significant pros and cons of working here? (This kind of question can often bring out a thoughtful, more heartfelt answer as it forces the interviewer to go ‘off-script’.)
A few things to avoid:
- Don’t ask too many questions as it will seem you’re cross-examining them! 3-4 is a good number.
- Don’t ask about salary/benefits/holidays. Wait until the final stages of the interview process.
- Don’t ask basic questions that could have been answered with the most cursory of Google searches about the company. For example, if you’re asking what products the manufacturer makes or how long they’ve been in operation, you’ve failed to do sufficient research.
- Ask a good range of questions- don’t hit them with all questions about culture, or they might think you only care about having fun at work.
- Don’t put them on the spot by asking if you got the job. It’s okay to ask when they’re planning to decide though!
The dying moments of the interview are when an interview can be won or lost. Any doubts? Ask your manufacturing recruiter which questions might make the right impression.
We are ‘South Wales Recruitment Specialists’ based in Cardiff, Wales.
We offer a full range of permanent recruitment solutions to many of South Wales’ and the South Wests’ leading manufacturing, technical, automotive and life science organisations. This includes companies in Cardiff, Swansea, Newport, Ebbw Vale, Port Talbot, Bridgend and the surrounding areas in South Wales.
Sigma Recruitment has one of the largest and most comprehensive recruitment candidate databases in the area. To get in touch with our team call us now on 02920 450 100. Alternatively, contact us here.