Securing your future with effective questions

Asking effective questions in an interview is vital if you are to understand and secure the right type of role. As such, it is critical for you to recognise that an interview is as much about you screening a prospective employer and role as it is about a hiring manager screening you.  Asking intelligent and relevant questions will provide you with a better understanding of the role, the work environment and your manager so you can be empowered to make the right decision for you and the business. Sometimes it is better to say no to a prospective opportunity than to “give it a go” and thereby potentially compromise your credibility as a strong candidate for future opportunities.

To safeguard your longevity in the role, you need to understand what is happening in the business on a macro level and how that is likely to impact you on a personal level. It is also helpful to understand the environment on a team level. It will also be beneficial to learn about the structure of the team and how the reporting functions come together as they may also give you greater clarity on your specific role. Knowing how your skill set is aligned against the requirements of the role will help you understand if the role will challenge you and where you will be able to develop your skills to better position you for future opportunities.

Following are a few questions you can consider integrating into the interview process:

Questions about the Organisation:

  • How is the business currently performing and how does this compare to historical averages?

  • Would you consider your business to be ripe for any acquisition takeovers?

  • What can you tell me about the owners/board?

  • What are the key challenges impacting your industry/business today?

  • Have any accounting functions been outsourced or offshored? If not, what is the likelihood of this happening?

  • How streamlined and automated are your current systems?

  • What are the current end of month reporting deadlines?

  • How do you envision the business changing in coming years?

  • What system(s) do you use?

Questions about the Team:

  • How would you describe the dynamics and culture of your team?

  • How would you describe your management style?

  • Are you currently working on any internal process improvement projects that I may need to support you on?

  • What are your expectations of your staff?

  • Can you please explain where my role sits in the organisation’s structure as well as provide some context of the responsibility of other people that I will be sitting around?

Questions about the Job:

  • How clearly defined is the role?

  • Are there any areas in the role that you feel are likely to evolve in coming months based on the requirements of the business?

  • In your opinion, what are some of the key ways in which the position will allow me to add value to the organisation?

  • Who are the key stakeholders I will be working with?

  • What are some of the biggest challenges you expect me to come up against in the position?

  • What are your expectations of me in the first 3 – 6 months?

  • How do you believe my skillset is currently aligned to the requirements of the role?

  • Are there any areas that may put me at a competitive disadvantage over other candidates you are talking to?

We hope this will be of use to you in securing your ideal job.

If you are an Accounting/Finance Professional interested in exploring new opportunities in the Brisbane market we’d love to hear from you on (07) 3135 9780. I also encourage you to join our private LinkedIn network Accounting & Finance Professionals in Brisbane (click here). As you probably are aware we do move quite quickly on the roles we recruit for so it pays to stay ahead of the competition. Our group is an exclusive community I am building up for Finance Professionals in Brisbane who want to share job search opportunities, industry news, blogs and other content. You’ll also have an opportunity to network with each other. You might even come across some people you have worked with in the past!

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