Recruitment

Recruitment: Questions a job applicant should ask their interviewer

Beef Central, 06/03/2014

 

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“What are your strengths and weaknesses? Where do you see yourself in five years? How do you handle pressure?”

If you've ever been in a job interview, there's a good chance you've been asked one, two or all of these questions. And, if you're currently preparing for a job interview, it's likely you're practising how to answer them in a way that will prove you're the perfect candidate.

Theoretically, it is an interviewer's job to ask the questions and an interviewee's job to answer them. Well, not entirely. In fact, most interviewers will encourage interviewees to ask some questions themselves – so it pays to be prepared.

When you attend an interview, you need to interview the employer right back. After all, you're the one who will potentially fill the position. You need to know if it's going to be a good fit, right?

While salary ranges, benefits and schedule flexibility are important details you deserve answers to, hiring managers don't appreciate questions like those until at least your second interview (or maybe even after they make you an offer.)

Here are some questions to ask at the end of your interview that will help you master getting the job:

 

If I were to start tomorrow, what would be the top priority on my to-do list?

The answer to this question will give you more insight into the current state of the position while showing you're invested and interested in learning how you can start things off with a bang.

Added bonus, the interviewer is already picturing you as the position holder.

 

What would you say are the top two personality traits someone needs to do this job well?

The answer to this question will be very telling. You can translate ‘creative’ and ‘intuitive’ to mean you will be on your own, while ‘patient’ and ‘collaborative’ could mean the opposite.

This is a good question to allow you to feel out whether you'll be a good fit, it will also get your interviewer to look past the paper resume and see you as an individual.

 

What improvements or changes do you hope the new employee will bring to this position?

This answer can shed light on what might have made the last person lose or leave the job, as well as tip you off on the path to success. Asking this shows an employer you are eager to be the best candidate to ever fill this position.

 

I know this company prides itself on (e.g. being the leaders in workforce solutions), so what would you say is the most important aspect of your culture?

This question is sure to impress. It shows you researched the company, and gives you a chance to gain insight into what values the company holds highest.

 

Do you enjoy working here?

This question might take the interviewer back a bit, but his answer will be telling. A good sign is a confident smile and an enthusiastic "yes," paired with an explanation as to why. Consider it a red flag if they shift in their seat, looks away, and coughs.

Regardless of their answers, good or bad, employers appreciate the chance to reflect on their own opinions, and it turns the interview process into more of a conversation.

 

Is there anything that stands out to you that makes you think I might not be the right fit for this job?

Asking this question can be scary, but also beneficial. Not only does it give you a chance to redeem any hesitations the employer might have about you, it demonstrates you can take constructive criticism and are eager to improve and proactive. These are valuable qualities in any candidate

 

What successes have you experienced recently?

It's a good idea to visit the company's social media profiles or website to check out what they've been up to for the past few weeks or months. You can then bring some of these topics up for discussion and demonstrate that you've done your homework.

 

Where do you see the company in five years?

Why not turn the tables on the interviewer and ask them where the business is heading? This will show you're not only interested in your future at the company, but also the future of the business as a whole.

 

Can you describe the company's culture?

This will give you some useful insight into the way the business operates, and whether or not you think you might be the right fit.

 

What are the company's strengths and weaknesses compared to its competition?

If not already discussed throughout the interview, this gives you an opportunity to find out what the company’s core strengths and weaknesses are and find out where the company sits within the market place.

 

More importantly here is a list of questions NOT to ask:

  • What does this company do? (Do your research ahead of time)
  • If I get the job when can I take time off for vacation? (Wait until you get the offer to mention prior commitments)
  • Can I change my schedule if I get the job? (If you need to figure out the logistics of getting to work don't mention it now)
  • Did I get the job? (Don't be impatient. They'll let you know.)
  • Never ask about salary and benefits issues until those subjects are raised by the employer.

 

 

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