Whilst the current trend is for more people to be employed than unemployed in the UK, the competition for the 'good' jobs is greater than ever. Don't be surprised if the job you are going for has over one hundred applicants. That really isn't unusual these days. Despite the current employment levels, companies really do have the luxury to remain choosy; picking the best available talent to fill their positions.
Do not think that carving out a shining CV with all the right information, writing a good covering letter and posting or e-mailing it off is enough. You may well get an interview (many don't, so it's best to temper your expectations for each job you apply), but then you are going to be up against and compared with the very best competition.
So how can you stand out during your interview?
There may not be a great deal to choose between yourself and other suitably qualified and experienced candidates, so you could gain an edge over them by asking some very carefully selected questions to show that you understand the company and your role, and, that you have something specific to offer which meets their needs.
Here are some examples of some particularly good questions you could ask:-
- Why has this role become available?
- What do you consider the primary responsibilities of this position?
- What are the company's long- and short-term goals?
- What are the opportunities for training and professional development?
- How will my performance be evaluated?
- What are the most important skills for the job?
- When can I expect to hear from you? When do you expect to be making a decision?
Clearly, you may have to adjust the questions slightly to fit the role and company, but it shows that the job matters to you and you are taking a genuine interest; you are not just there to go through the motions in what may be one of a number of interviews that you have lined up.