#WinningMindspark

Any questions to ask the Interview Panel?

The covid19 effects are starting to bite hard. There are massive layoffs both forced and voluntary, due to increased pressures on staff to go the extra mile to work for the business survival. Some companies are closing due to a lack of cash flows to meet the operating costs, that are increasing without corresponding revenues to offset them. This process is expected to continue until the year-end whether a cure or vaccine for #covid19 is found sooner or later.

Many people are going to start looking for jobs. Now is the time to prepare. Whether you have a job or not, it is never too late to do the right thing. What we have learned from #coronavirus is that no one can predict what will happen next. The best strategy is to stay ready, and not to get ready. Reading this article to the end helps you stay ready.

Two of the most common interview questions asked are, “introduce yourself to us” and “do you have any questions to ask the panel?” Find the other key question at the end of the article.

Many job seekers opt to keep quiet, by answering “no”, when asked if they have any questions to ask the panel members. After attending so many interview panels as a consultant, member or just support staff, I have noticed that over 80% of the candidates that did not have any questions for the panel, never got the job! This means, asking questions is a sign of intelligence and makes the candidate outstanding especially if they ask a question that demonstrates preparation and interest in the prospective employer.

To win at panel interviews, plan and write questions to ask the panel, in case you are allowed to ask. Study the job description, read about the company, and prepare well. Ok, “Do you have any questions for the interview panel?”

[Hint: Demonstrate the presence of mind and intelligence by asking informed questions that are relevant to the job you have applied for and the employer.

Never say, I don’t have questions. It may show a lack of interest in the job and company. Research about the company and try as far as possible to formulate critical questions to ask the panel that is at the level of the job you are looking]. Below find an indicative approach to answer the questions, change depending on the level of the job – operational (lower-level staff at the front line like bank Teller or branch offer or salesperson), tactical (manager level role like bank manager) or strategic (director or senior manager reporting directly to the chief executive officer or head of the executive committee).

Assuming you applied for a managerial position in a bank: ask the following questions.

  1. What are the top 3 expectations of the management on the Manager Treasury role? What would my supervisor and management call a work well done in my role?
  2. Which kind of support does management give the Treasury manager?
  3. How does the Treasury function, and specifically this position, support the CEO and the overall strategy of the bank? How does the department support strategy?
  4. Are there any challenges in the department that you would need new staff to immediately fix? What are these?

Etc.

You can choose any one of the above questions that are applicable. Avoid asking the panel many questions. At worst, ask two questions. Make sure you pick questions other candidates are unlikely to ask.

Remember, this is a competition. You must make an impression to stand out. Many times, the panel finds a great candidate and offers them another job that had not even been advertised. The role of the top management is to be on the lookout for exceptional talent. That is why you should always put your best foot forward.

The other question that puts the panel members off is “what are your salary expectations?” Many candidates reply it wrongly, “I will accept to be paid as per your salary structure.”

There is nothing that demonstrates a lack of self-awareness and confidence as a failure to properly answer this question.

Be confident and say your desired salary that reflects your value. At worst, state the minimum amount you need to perform your role comfortably. Consider transport costs, meals, rent, family upkeep, medical and critical costs like school fees, if any, and state the minimum that you can start with. This demonstrates your value and personal worth. Plus, it shows you are a person of integrity. You are not the kinds who are looking for a job and then start exploring how to commit fraud.

Succeed.

Copyright Mustapha B Mugisa, 2020. All rights reserved.

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