These Are The Questions That Candidates Should Be Asking In An Interview

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Often is the case that we view the interview process from the wrong perspective. Cue a heady mix of excitement and nervousness, often underpinned by standard interview preparation that includes researching the firm, along with the person who will be conducting the interview.

However, instead of letting the interview nerves get to you, and perceiving the process as passive, you should see it as a two-way street.

An interview gives the candidate an opportunity to assess a potential employer in the same way that they are assessing you; because both parties need to be assured that the other is a great fit.

With this in mind, it’s important to take advantage of this opportunity and go into the interview with questions that will enable you to actively participate and determine if the workplace is aligned with your professional goals and personal values. By asking questions at an interview, you will also change the interviewers perception of you, and help you to appear intelligent, interested and engaged, giving you an edge over other candidates.

Below, we have compiled a list of thoughtful and forward-thinking questions that will allow you to glean in-depth information about the business, and truly determine if this is an organisation that you would like to be a part of.  (Scroll down to see the answers.)

  • How is success measured and celebrated in the organisation?
  • Who are your major competitors/what is your share of the market?
  • How would you describe the company’s culture?
  • What type of soft skills help employees in this company succeed?
  • How does this role contribute to the businesses goals?
  • Where do you see this company in five years?
  • How often does the business recruit?
  • What are the known challenges associated with the role?

How is success measured and celebrated in the organisation?

It’s natural that we want our hard work to be recognised beyond our salary. By asking this question, you can delve into the company culture with regards to how employees are made to feel valued.

Upon asking a question such as this, you not only show that you are goal-orientated, but also that you don’t shy away from accountability and instead that you welcome it. It shows you want to understand how this behaviour and initiative will be acknowledged.


Who are your major competitors/what is your share of the market?

This question may seem a little bold, but what it does is demonstrate that you are already taking a comprehensive approach and thinking about the bigger picture – the industry in which they reside in.

From this answer you are able to learn about the brand positioning and their goals.


How would you describe the company’s culture?

Finding a workplace that possesses the right cultural fit for you, is imperative. As we spend on average one third of our lives at work, it’s important that the workplace has a philosophy that is conducive to supported and motivated employees.

It’s likely that you have managed to get a sense of this from their questions, mannerisms and information that has been discussed throughout the interview. However, by asking the question directly, you will be able to assess whether employee happiness is a priority.


What type of soft skills help employees in this company succeed?

It’s likely that by the time you enter the interview, you are aware of the hard skills required for the position. By enquiring about the soft skills, you are showing a holistic approach to the role and thinking about how you could succeed.

Many candidates fear asking questions such as these because the concern is that they would be giving the impression of running before they can walk. But this will indicate to those in the interview that you are a dynamic individual, looking for a long-term position that you can grow and develop in, and a business that offers an opportunity to advance in.

It also provides you with an insight into the skills that are held in high regard by the company and its management values.


How does this role contribute to the businesses goals?

The answer to this question offers direction and guidance when it comes to how the role impacts overall business processes and ambitions, and what would be expected of the person undertaking the role.

It catapults you into the limelight as a candidate who is demonstrating they want to explore how they can self-manage and prioritise high-value activities.

It also opens up discussions about the opportunity for you to progress and the role that each individual in the company plays when it comes to achieving success.


Where do you see this company in five years?

 This is another question that communicates to the hiring manager that you are thinking long term, and about the bigger picture of both the role and the overarching business.

This question helps you to determine the level of growth that the company is striving to achieve, and in turn, your role. It also allows you to compare these growth proposals with any plans that you had in mind for your own career and professional development, and if the two are compatible and mutually beneficial.


How often does the business recruit?

Again, you may have some concerns that this question will seem to be a little forward. But by asking it, you gain direct information about how quickly the business is growing or how effective it is at retaining staff. If the answer indicates that they spend a lot of time recruiting, but aren’t growing the team, alarm bells might ring.

Once this discussion point has been opened, you could delve deeper and find out what the main reason for the turnover is and any action the company is proactively taking.

This question gives you a chance to peek behind the curtain, and explore the information that could potentially make or break your reasons for wanting to work for the business.


What are the known challenges associated with the role?

By asking this question, you indicate to the hiring manager that you already picturing yourself in the role and want to understand the challenges so you can begin to think of initiatives to overcome them.

This question demonstrates that you don’t shy away from challenges; you proactively tackle them and want to be prepared.

It also helps you understand some of the less desirable aspects of a role, giving you a holistic view of the role and if it is the right fit for you.

It would be overambitious to plan to ask each one of these questions in your interviews. We advise that after carrying out your initial pre-interview research, determine which ones will give you the insight that you require to be able to make an informed decision about whether the organisation is aligned with your goals and values, and will offer the environment and experience that will enable you, not only to perform your role, but to excel.

If you’re a candidate, send us your CV or apply for one of our jobs now.

If you’re an employer, read about Our Services or see our Case Studies to find out more about why businesses love Anne Corder Recruitment.


Alex Smith

Recruitment Specialist

I’ve worked in recruitment for the same agency for over 12 years, covering finance, office support, construction, and engineering. Temp and perm. Previously, my line of work was within banking and estate agency.
Favourite food: “Curry (Hot)”
Favourite film: “Heat”

Outside of work

“Gym 5 days a week. Home life consists mostly of entertaining a 3 year old! (for clarification – my son)”

Alex on ACR

“Very refreshing to work for a recruitment agency that genuinely care for their candidates and clients”

T: 01733 235298

Sarah-Jane Bond

Recruitment Specialist

I have spent the majority of my career working in Operational and Project Management roles. I first worked with ACR about 25 years ago as a candidate. ACR secured me a role at RNIB, where I stayed for 15 years, finishing as Head of Operations. Recruitment has always been a big part of the roles I have undertaken and is something that I really enjoy. When you match a fantastic candidate with the right client there is no better feeling!
Favourite food: “Has to be any dish from the Mediterranean”
Favourite film: “There are many, love a chick flick, especially ‘The Holiday at Christmas”

Outside of work

“I love socialising with friends, can always squeeze a bit of retail therapy in around volunteering at Deeping Rangers FC, running their hospitality on match days.”

Sarah-Jane on ACR

“I couldn’t have been more delighted when Nel asked me to join the company and have felt at home since day one. They really do care about providing the best service for their clients and candidates, building genuine relationships with both. The team culture is second to none, everyone supporting and looking out for each other. It is a pleasure to come to work every day.”

T: 01733 235298

Emily Hill

Recruitment Specialist

Emily was a Primary School Teacher for 10 years, before moving into the EdTech space, as a Relationship Specialist for MATs. She joined ACR in July 2023 and particularly thrives when recruiting for Account Management, Customer Service and Sales roles.
Favourite food:
“Spag bol or pizza”
Favourite film:
“The Notebook – or any romantic chick flick really!”

Outside of work

“I have a 1-year-old, so love fun family weekends with my husband and son more than anything. Time socialising with friends and family is where I’m happiest.”

Emily on ACR
“The unique culture, values, and style at ACR is polar opposite to other recruitment agencies and what I believed recruitment was. Having previously been a Relationship Specialist, I feel I’m doing the same thing! No hard sell, we truly care about our candidates and clients, and the team culture is 2nd to none!”
T: 01733 235298

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