ASK HR: How best do I prepare for this job interview?

Thursday November 15 2018

What are the guidelines for asking intelligent-sounding questions in case the interviewing panel gives me a chance to ask questions? PHOTO | FOTOSEARCH


Q. I am due for a job interview in two weeks’ time, how do I know whether this is a good company to work for? Also, how do I best prepare for it so that I can impress the panel?

During an interview, what are the guidelines for asking intelligent-sounding questions in case the interviewing panel gives me a chance to ask questions?

You have jumped over the highest hurdle, since you have been shortlisted to attend this interview. Job advertisements have lots of information that most applicants fail to consider.

For example, an advert that says the company is an equal opportunity employer is an indicator that this is a good employer, and if the role is due to expansion, it is a sign that the company is on a growth trajectory and therefore has money to invest.

Go online and conduct a background check on the company, and if possible, talk to employees or others associated with the company, such as suppliers - companies that delay their suppliers’ payment may also not pay their employees on time.

What values do they subscribe to? This you can tell by visiting the company before the interview is due and interact with their security and reception personnel.


How security handles you at the entrance could give you an indication of how the company treats its clients, and in extension, its employees.

Your interaction with the HR staff who call you for the interview can also give you useful information - are they flexible in terms of scheduling time for the interview, are the instructions clear? Are they willing to refund transport costs and accommodation expenses where applicable?

How to prepare: Employers look for employees who understand their business and are also innovative. Understand the products or services they offer and know who their competitors are. Also have clarity on how your role will impact the business and demonstrate the same during the interview.

The questions should be more skewed on how your role will contribute to the business, although you can have one or two to get clarity on the role.

Based on the information you have gathered, ask questions that demonstrate your understanding of the company and which show you have solutions you can offer if considered for the role.

Avoid questions that portray you as lazy, inflexible or self-centred. The questions should focus more on your contribution and the benefit you will bring to the business.


Do you have a question? Send it to our team: [email protected]