Heading into the interview room as a candidate for your next contract, trade, or labourer role, you are prepared to answer all the interviewer’s questions. It all seems to be going well, and then the interviewer asks if you have any questions. You ‘um’ and ‘ah’ for a moment and say it all seems pretty clear and straight forward. You have no questions to ask.
What you don’t know, is that by not asking questions, you miss a golden opportunity to; differentiate yourself from the other candidates and find out if the role is the right one for you.
No one man is the same. Our individual circumstances and values differ. Accepting a role that doesn’t meet your needs, lifestyle, and family circumstances, is not going to be helpful to you – or your employer. On the other hand, asking the questions you have, may actually help you avoid getting a job that doesn’t work for you anyway. The interview is not only a step in refining the candidates for the employer, but also a chance for you, the candidate, to find out if the company is the right fit for you.
According to research, interview questions make up one of the three key elements of a successful hiring process. While the employer has ‘acceptable’ answers which will make the right candidate the winner, you, as the contractor or employee, can and should, apply the same principle. If the answers you get don’t match-up to your needs, then maybe they’re not the boots you want to fill.
Most of the time, we avoid asking these questions because they relate to pay, lifestyle and flexibility - which can be sensitive topics. And while that may be true, they are still important questions.
So, buckle up and work up the courage to ask those difficult questions that will determine if this is your kind of gig or not.
#1 What’s the rate of pay?
While you need to be careful not to come across as someone who is only interested in the figure, the fact is, pay rate plays a key role in your decision to accept or decline a job offer. Everyone has bills to pay – some have more than others. You may be a one-income household, in which case pay rate is not something you can compromise on. If the offered rate doesn’t meet your expectations and cost of living, chances are you will be back in job search mode very soon after accepting the role.
#2 Are there any big issues the company is facing right now that may affect the way I do my job?
It may be a tight deadline the employer is working towards and the team you will be placed in is the one with the most deliverables. Or, maybe they are having issues with unions. Knowing current work circumstances can help prepare you so there are no nasty surprises on the first day.
#3 What’s the team like?
This is a good question to ask so you get a feel for the teammates you’ll be working with. Knowing the kind of team environment you are walking into helps you position yourself within that team.
#4 On a scale of 1-10, how would you rate the pace of work on site?
Finding out the pace you’ll be expected to work at helps to avoid any false assumptions you may have had and prepares you to deliver according to the needs of the job.
#5 Do I have the option of working 5 days from time to time instead of 6 days a week?
While there are many people who are happy to work all the hours in the world and take on as much overtime as is physically possible, some either need or want to have the option of working less days from week to week. It may be once a month, or on an ad-hoc basis, but knowing upfront if the employer is able and happy to accommodate this makes all the difference.
#6 How accommodating are you when it comes to time off whether it’s sick leave or unforeseen family circumstances?
This is an important question to ask – particularly for candidates who have a chronically ill or disabled family member which they have responsibilities towards.
#7 Do you have any hesitations about hiring me?
While you may think this is a little forward to ask, it’s actually a good way to invite the interviewer to make an on-the-spot judgement on your suitability for the role. It also shows your interest in how you rank compared to other candidates.
If you are open to new opportunities, contact a recruitment agency like Trojan Recruitment Group and receive advice from the experts in labour-hire, permanent and contract staff.