It’s sometimes easy to forget that an events or marketing job interview is a two-way process. Any good interviewer knows that they need to sell the opportunity as much as the candidate needs to demonstrate their suitability for the role. Many good candidates however, miss the chance to ask important questions about the job or the company because they feel intimidated or, more often, because they have not prepared. 

A good interviewer will have a structured interview plan that enables them to get the information they need to decide if you’re a good match for the position and the organisation. Within that structure they will normally allow you time to ask questions of your own. 

Not only is this a great opportunity to make sure you have all the information you need to decide if the job is right for you, critically it also offers a unique opportunity to impress the interviewer with intelligent questions that leave that all important positive last – and lasting – impression.

It will certainly pay dividends to prepare your questions in advance. Half an hour spent looking over the job description and the company website will help you come up with questions of your own about the role, the company structure and so on. But where do you go from there? What questions might also give you the edge?

Here are a few questions that will help you stand out. They look wider than just the role, and delve deeper into the reality of the opportunity, and its context. Spend some time thinking them through and considering how you might adapt them for your next interview. They will demonstrate an intelligent approach to your interview and show you are serious about the opportunity. 

What would you say are the greatest challenges in the role? 
This question gives you a deeper insight into the role and also helps you understand the employer’s expectations. It also demonstrates you are up for a challenge if you ask in a suitably enthusiastic fashion!

You’ll need to be prepared to respond with some ideas of how you’d respond to the challenge though, if you do ask this question. If the greatest challenge is, for instance, managing a difficult team, if you can honestly say you’ve turned around a poorly performing team in the past, you will stand out. Or if you can say, that’s just the sort of challenge I am looking for, then it all adds to making the right impression.

How did you (Mr/Mrs interviewer) get to your position/role? 
This question can help build rapport and, because we all like talking about ourselves, helps to fix you in the interviewer’s memory.  Most people get a positive buzz from being asked about themselves – so it’s all to the good!  It can also give you deeper insight into how careers can progress in the company. This sort of question is great if it is a more junior role, as it shows ambition and a keenness to learn, and is also great for account management roles, as it nicely demonstrates your interest in clients and people generally, and building rapport is key to these types of role.

What are the company’s future plans?
Your research will have given you a good idea of the company’s history and what it does now, but you can also demonstrate your interest in taking the company forward.  If you’ve picked up a bit of news about future plans you can build on that. For example, “I see you’re about to launch a content division. How does that fit into your wider plans?”

This not only gets you useful information other candidates might miss, it also shows you’ve done your homework, and are thinking about your next role – the role they are looking to fill - for the long term.

What kind of person does well in this organisation? 
The answer to this question will tell you a lot about the real culture of the organisation. You might fear that the company is very straight-laced and corporate but this question could reveal those people who build empathy and cooperation do best.

This will help you decide if the organisation is right for you and gives you guidance on the kind of values you need to demonstrate to progress.   

Is there anything we haven’t covered?  
This catch all question gives you a great chance to fill any gaps from the interview. There are several variations you can use; one useful example is “Are there any important areas where you feel I haven’t fully answered your questions that I can review with you now?”.

What are the next steps?
This is superficially an ‘admin’ question but it also demonstrates you are still interested in the role at the end of the interview, and that you are someone who is organised and thinks ahead. The information you get here will also help to manage your expectations and leads nicely into the end of the interview. 

A final word of warning

Don’t take over 
You don’t want to leave the interviewer feeling frustrated that they haven’t got all the answers they wanted, so make sure they’ve finished their questions before launching into yours. 

Wait to be asked if you have any questions but if the interview begins to draw to a close and you haven’t, you should politely request the opportunity. In the unlikely event of the interviewer saying no, for no good reason, you probably have all the answers you need. 

At Regan & Dean, before any of our candidates go for their interview for that all important Events or Marketing job, our Consultants always spend the time to make sure you are thoroughly briefed and to support your preparation – be it handy hints, the inside track on what this interviewer looks for, or general confidence building practice and support.

So, if you feel you’d like to work with a team who give you more than just a job spec, and you’re looking for your next events or marketing job, get in touch now or register for our job alerts here.

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