Breathe out. It’s over.
You’ve put your best foot forward and hopefully not in your mouth. It’s that massive relief that comes with getting to the end of the job interview.
Already your dry mouth is in need of a pint, your mind is spending the salary on junk from Amazon and you’re working out who in the office is best for a Christmas party fling…
“Do you have any questions for us?”
Shit. I thought it was over? You’re not satisfied with all the nail biting, sweating and nervous trembling I’ve been through from seeing the job, applying, Skype interview and now sat in front of HR and your (hopefully) future manager? You want to torture me with one more opportunity to screw up?
Hopefully you don’t say that bit out loud. Here’s the thing with ‘questions for the interviewer’', they can actually really help you. Regardless of how good or bad the interview was, this is a time to shine and take control of the situation.
We’re not gonna make you scroll forever, here’s a handful of “flip the script” questions you SHOULD be asking in every interview, whether they invite you to or not.
So I’m gonna go out on a limb here and say that your A1 motivation for this job is money, right?
So let’s not tiptoe around the subject like we don’t care about it. We do. We come to work for money.
You can’t fill up your car with “great office atmosphere”. Good luck booking a trip to Vegas with “career progression”. Here’s what you want to know:
1 - What is the fixed salary?
2 - Are there any bonuses and/or commissions to be expected?
3 - If the answer to 2 is no, is it negotiable?
4 - When are performance/salary reviews?
Obviously, you don’t storm into the interview and demand to see the CEO’s bank statements or submitting your taxi fare for expenses. However you do want to cover the topic and make sure you’re happy with the answers and you know what you’re getting. This way you start on the right footing, everyone knows where they stand and you can get on with kicking ass at the job.
One complaint we hear all the time is that the job wasn’t what it seemed. You interviewed as a customer service rep and next thing you’re taking care of travel arrangements, preparing meeting rooms, training new staff, making coffee and washing the company football team kits.
If you take a job, you should know exactly what it entails, because as soon as your manager starts piling extra responsibility on you, this should mean you’re paid accordingly.
So many people I speak to complain that they’re working their ass off doing things that aren’t their responsibility. Who’s fault is that?
Can you blame a manager for delegating extra responsibility to you? Or should you blame yourself for saying yes to too many extra tasks and not being paid more for it?
So here’s a few pointers for questions to prevent this from happening and make clear what your role and responsibilities are. Just to be clear, this isn’t advice to just do your job, screw the world and be in the elevator by 4:59pm. We completely recommend being a team player and helping out but don’t get walked over. Here’s how:
1 - What would be my daily/weekly/monthly/annually responsibilities and are these fixed?
2 - Are there any other projects or duties you’d expect me to take on?
3 - Assuming I am meeting expectations and fulfilling my responsibilities, would there be reviews on my salary and workload regularly?
4 - Would there be any overspill from other departments that I’d usually be required to help with?
Making the mad sprint to the bus stop while still fixing your tie with toothpaste dribbling down your chin and a half eaten piece of toast in hand is not the best way to start the day.
If you’re going to start working somewhere, you need to factor in your commute.
Here’s an example to get you thinking:
There’s a €30,000 per year job that takes you 90 minutes to get to work in the morning.
There’s a €24,000 per year job that’s at the end of your street.
Which one would you choose? No brainer right? Give me the highest paid.
But did you know that you’re spending around 660 hours a year commuting? You’d better have a good book.
This means that for the travel time, you’re essentially being paid €9 an hour. If you factor in the cost of transport (let’s say its two busses at €1 each) then it’s now €7 per hour.
What’s more, you’re losing that extra time in bed in the morning and that time socialising the evening too.
That’s taxing 3 hours of your day. It’s up to you if it’s worth it, but this is worth considering.
So here’s a few things to consider:
1 - How long will it take you to get to and from work?
2 - How much will commuting actually cost you, weekly, monthly, yearly?
3 - How reliable is this transport route, are there usually delays, roadworks, traffic?
4 - Are you willing to accept all of these factors, in order to get the job?
Usually with a “job” that you don’t like, there is a contract in place.
This isn’t the type of contract you sign physically, this is an unwritten contract:
The company pays you as little as possible, but just enough that you don’t quit.
In return you work as little as possible, but just enough that you don’t get fired.
This may sound strange but you’d be amazed how many people work their whole lives this way, and funnily enough they spend most of their time complaining how job sucks, they’re under appreciated and don’t get enough holidays and “wish” they could find something new.
Don’t be that person.
The difference is how much opportunity there is for you in the workplace. Not just to survive but to thrive. You want to grow as a professional, master skills and learn new ones. Move to new departments, take on different challenges, move through the ranks.
The working world isn’t what it used to be. Companies used to appreciate and reward staff for spending their entire careers in the same company and maybe even in the same role. With our world today of scrolling, swiping, 280 character wisdom and 8 second attention span, we get bored easily. It’s much more accepted to hop companies and chase better money, prospects or travel to new places.
If the company you work with is giving you opportunities to develop, for both their benefit and yours, this can lead to a new type of contract, the type you want:
The company pays you as much as possible, and helps you learn, develop and grow.
In return you work as hard as possible and commit to your role and employer.
This is the kind of contract where people can truly love their job and have happiness and balance both in and out of the office.
So consider asking these questions:
1 - What training can I expect for this role and what kind of ongoing or refresher training do you offer?
2 - Would there be a chance to train with and learn from other departments or staff members?
3 - What kind of progression can you see in this role? Is there a management, team lead, director etc position above this?
4 - How would the company help me grow and develop?
5 - What kind of work/life balance would I expect? Extra hours, working weekends, team building days, conferences, company travel are all points to raise and understand.
One little bonus for those of you that made it this far. I’d strongly suggest developing this kind of mentality when applying and interviewing for jobs:
“This company would be lucky to have me, it’s up to me to show them why”.
Be sure of yourself, confident in your skills, know your limitations and present yourself in a way that makes it clear what can be expected. If you stick by this mentality, this will shine through and separate you from other candidates. It could be the difference in getting the job.