At interviews candidates expect, and are hopefully prepared to answer questions. However are we prepared to ask questions as well?
And as hirers and recruiters are we prepared to turn the tables and be the ones answering questions for a change?
I recently had the opportunity to join one of Escape’s clients as they conducted interviews for their business.
Watching others interview is an interesting experience as everyone has their own style, preferred questions and format. The thing that grabbed my attention the most at these particular interviews was that right at the beginning the interviewers set out a clear message to their candidates by saying:
“This is not just us interviewing you, you are also interviewing us”.
They then went on to tell the candidate about themselves, their background and their role at the company. Not only was it a great ice-breaker but the candidates all immediately got a feel for the culture of the organisation and the style of their prospective managers.
Towards the end of each interview the candidates were also asked the question that many of us dread:
“do you have any questions for us?”
Now I know some people find this awkward as I’ve been asked many times “what should I ask” or “is it okay to ask about…”. I’m also still haunted by my first job interview after leaving school where I panicked and asked “where do people go for lunch?” (I must have done something right though as I did get the job!).
However candidates should remember that asking questions is a great opportunity to find out whether this really is the right job and company for them.
Additionally, in our current climate many employers now find themselves recruiting in a highly candidate driven market. So, for hirers, encouraging your candidates to engage with you and actively giving them the chance to learn more about you and your organisation is an important step in building their interest and commitment to the recruitment process, all of which will ultimately help you compete against other hirers in the marketplace.
So good luck in your interviews and remember, as Seasame Street taught us:
“Asking questions is a good way of finding out things!”
Read “Do you have any questions, Part 2” for hints and tips on questions to ask.