When you make the decision to secure a new role, interviews can be long and stressful processes, with candidates feeling as if they need to showcase their experience and sell themselves to the company within a very small window of time. However, as the market is becoming increasingly candidate led, particularly in IT, candidates are having more and more options, and in some cases, will have multiple job offers when they decide to pursue a new position.
Candidates now have more information than ever before and can now be more selective than ever before. With sources such as Glassdoor offering an insight into a company’s culture even before attending interview, companies are being forced to be more transparent than ever before. As a result, candidates should treat the interview as an opportunity to find out what value the company can add to them in the long term. It is important to impress in an interview, but it is equally important for the interviewers to impress you also.
You will always be encouraged to ask questions towards the end of an interview, but what should you ask? As candidates are now not just concerned merely with the role and the salary on offer, I would recommend the following:
- What training allowances are in place, if any?
This is especially important for IT and technical roles. As employers continually try and differentiate themselves, many companies offer training budgets and allowances to allow candidates increase their knowledge and value while working there. If an employer will pay for you to do a CCNP, CISSP, or whatever certificate would be relevant to your field, this should be an indicator that this role offers more than just a pay check.
- If I perform well, what could my role look like in 6/9/12 months and beyond?
The time of a “job for life” is long behind us. Candidates are rarely staying in one place for 10+ years but are more likely to stay 4-5 years with one company. However, it is important when moving roles that you will have an established career path, should you perform well in your role. There is very little point moving positions for a slight salary increase, if you will be doing the exact same role in 2 years’ time. Establishing the likely career trajectory at interview shows that you have an interest in the role, but also puts your mind at ease that this will be a move that will add value to you career.