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Looking for a perfect role? The 5 questions you MUST ask at your next job interview…….

By Christine Langley

Looking for a new job is a significant thing and most interviewees will do some preparation when they get an interview. They will do research on the company, the interviewers, examining the job description to see which skills, knowledge and behaviours will be needed and how they will evidence these. Generally interviews go well, but it’s the inevitable question at the end that often throws people: ‘Do you have any questions for us? - Oh dear! Only standard questions come to mind and many of those have already been covered.


Interviewees often get so caught up with the questions they may be asked that they forget to think about the important questions to which they need the answers. After all an interview should be a balanced event and interviewees should go to it in that frame of mind: they interview you and you are checking the fit for you!


You may have other options that you are weighing this opportunity against, so you will be in a better place to make measured decisions on your options by asking insightful questions that not only make the interviewers stop and think but you can end the interview on a strong note and help yourself decide whether this job will be, for you, ‘the perfect role’.


Here are our suggested top 5 questions:


1. Tell me something about the team I’ll be working with…..

Answers to this question will start to reveal something about the culture and team working in the business, helping you to self- select and reference the environment that will suit you best and your ways of working.


2. How will you help me develop myself?

Asking this question shows you are interested in self development and that you are self aware. Support to develop yourself may include having continuous professional development programmes, coaching and mentoring programmes, sponsorship to gain MBAs and professional qualifications. Do they move people around actively to gain more experience and advancement? Are there secondment programmes?


3. Are there any gaps in my experience I will need to fill?

Asking this question shows that you are open to development and aware that you may have gaps – that you are ‘humble’ and ‘up for change’. It will allow you to address the gaps at interview if you can give more information and calibrate how they find you at interview. It may also inform what they are likely to ask about at subsequent interviews if you only part way through a process.


4. What does success look like in this role – what will you see or hear me doing if I am being successful?

This question will help the interviewers imagine you in the role – and there is an implied command (‘will’) which helps them imagine you actually doing the role. It also helps to clarify the objectives in doing the role and how you will do the role in order that these objectives will be delivered.


5. What skills are going to be most important in fulfilling the role?

This is a great question to ask as it will help you pre-qualify the role and understand what will be essential in terms of knowledge, behaviours and experience to be successful.



Christina Langley is the founder and Managing Director of Langley Search & Interim which is the leading niche recruiter for procurement, supply chain and operational excellence jobs. Langley manages permanent and interim procurement and supply chain jobs across the UK, Europe and globally for our clients, from large global multinationals to SMEs and provide valued career advice for candidates who seek new jobs. Christina can be contacted on +44(0)7958 258258, Christina.Langley@langleysearch.com or www.linkedin.com/in/christinalangley


Copyright © Christina Langley


The Procurement Doctor blog (www.procurementdoctor.com) has been designed for procurement and supply chain professionals to share best practice in order to improve both our profession and its reputation. Come and join the debate – contributions, articles and editorial content always welcome



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