Interviewing your Interviewer

05 April 2022 Maree Hayes - Recruit I.T. General Manager, Wellington

Interview Questions

Fantastic news. You’ve secured an interview for the job of your dreams. But is it? You’ll get the opportunity (hopefully) to meet several of the team you will be working with during the meeting, which will give you the chance to ask some great questions. But... what should you ask?

Let’s think about what is important to you and what you’d need to know in order to say YES should you be offered the role after the interview:

  • Day to day responsibilities – what will you actually be doing vs. what it says in a job description. Job descriptions can be written in very formal and technical language and don’t always paint a clear picture of what a role really entails.

  • Training and development – chances are, you are making a move to progress your career, so it is essential to understand what training and induction you’ll receive and what opportunities there will be within the role to enhance your career further as you progress.

  • Culture of the organisation – we spend a lot of time at work, so it is essential to gauge whether an organisation’s values and culture will fit our own.

  • Team fit – different teams have different ways of working and ensuring success, so you’ll want to find out if your potential new team has a working style and approach that will compliment your own and bring out the best in you.

  • Management style and approach – we rely on our managers to coach, motivate, support, lead and inspire us, and they can have a significant impact on how successful we are in our roles. It’s good to know if your potential boss has a relaxed, hands-off approach or likes to micromanage every task.

  • Benefits of working in the organisation – is there flexibility to work from home or other appealing benefits that would clinch the deal for you.

  • Salary – this is a big one and something many of us find hard to discuss!

This is all vital information you’ll need to know to decide if the role and organisation are the right fit for you and great topics to consider going into an interview. Hiring managers will appreciate that you are thinking about the position in this level of detail and are engaged and interested and keen to know more

Hiring Managers are great advocates for their organisations and love telling people about their teams. But how do you ask questions and get the information you need without making things uncomfortable?

During interviews, there is generally question time at the end of an interview. This is your opportunity to roll out your notes and ask in a polite but inquisitive manner. To get clarity on the areas above, you could ask:

  • Please describe a typical working day in this role? What tasks would I carry out/be involved in/responsible for?

  • What kind of initial training and induction would I receive? In terms of ongoing training and development, do you have a budget for this each year, and how is it used?

  • What do you enjoy most about working at Company X? What about Company X makes you most proud to be an employee?

  • How does the team work together? Is it a collaborative environment where people will help each other? What other teams do you work with/engage with, and how do you work together?

  • How would you describe your own management style?

  • What benefits does the organisation offer? Does the team have flexibility in terms of work location or hours?

When it comes to salary – now, this is a tricky one – and definitely not one you should openly discuss, especially in a panel interview where some of the team may be involved. Thankfully, if you’re working with an agency like Recruit I.T., we will take care of all this information and negotiation if necessary.

Asking your interviewer and the panel questions will not only allow you to find out more about the organisation and role, but just as importantly – you will be able to show your personality and abilities further.

So do your own research on the role, be prepared, and most of all – try and relax. Nerves are OK during an interview – it means you care about your interview and the outcome. Try and find some common ground with the interviewers – weather, holidays, movies etc. And good luck!