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The 10 best questions to ask at a job interview

There’s a lot of advice online about the best interview questions to ask in a job interview, but you do need to be careful that those questions don’t give the wrong impression to your potential employer. For instance, if your very first question was about salary or holiday entitlement, what do you think that would say about you? Everyone knows that these are important considerations when you’re thinking about committing yourself to a job, but a good interviewer will mention them at some point in the interview, so it’s best to allow it to happen organically.

The best questions won’t only help you find out more about the role, but will also impress your interviewers by your interest in their company.



When thinking about this role, what would you say is the difference between a good employee and a great one?

Asking this question will show your interviewers that you’re really keen to be successful in the job. The answer will give you a glimpse into what it might be like working at the company, and point in the direction you’d need to go to get ahead.

How does the company encourage team development?

In any job, teamwork is a vital component, and by asking this question you’re showing you’re willing to be a team player. It’s interesting to note that friendships at work aren’t just for the benefit of the employee, but are also hugely beneficial for the company. Gallup have conducted a survey that discovered close friendships at work help to boost employee satisfaction by 50%. People with a best friend at work are seven times more likely to fully engage in their job, are more focused, loyal and passionate. They also take fewer sick days, change jobs less frequently and, vitally, have more satisfied clients.

What new skills can I learn whilst in the job?

This question tells your future employer that you have great potential and are willing to improve your skills and experience, but you’re also humble enough to acknowledge you don’t know everything!

How will this position evolve over the next three years?

This question shows that you’d not only be committed to the job, but it’s also a subtle way of telling them you’re keen to progress the job and therefore the company.

How does this job contribute to the company as a whole?

Asking this question shows you understand how all the different job roles fit together to benefit an organisation overall.

How will you measure my success in this role?

This shows that you’re goal oriented, and aren’t afraid to take responsibility for those goals.

What are some of the challenges of the job?

When you ask this question, you’re showing your potential employers that you not only have realistic expectations (every job has challenges), but you’re willing to deal with any problems face on.

What’s the biggest challenge the team has faced recently?

Again, a realistic expectation that every job will have it’s own problems and challenges. The answer will give you a good idea of how the company tackles them and how, if you get the job, you might be able to help solve them in the future.

What do you like about working for this company?

Asking the interviewer/s about their background in the company shows you’re interested in them as people (and who doesn’t like talking about themselves!) as well as the corporate culture in general. It shows you’re actively thinking about working there.

Do you have any questions about my qualifications?

This is a very brave question to ask, but it’ll demonstrate you’re confident in your skills and abilities. And if they do have concerns, you’ll have the opportunity to discuss how you’ll address them.

If you’d love the chance to put these questions into practice, search our available positions, or call us on 01279 713900

When recruiting for a vacancy, you’re obviously going to want to choose from a selection of the best candidates for the job. As experienced recruitment consultants, we know what’s likely to work best at attracting excellent candidates, giving you a much better chance of employing exactly the right person.


Getting the right candidate


Clearly define the job you’re offering

Think carefully when writing the job description. Make it clear and be very focused about what you want from the candidate, but also about what the job will be offering them. What kind of responsibilities will they have? Are there opportunities for training and job progression? If you’re going to employ a great candidate, they need to know if there are opportunities for them to stay with the company.  

Treat the job description and advert in the same way as any of your company’s marketing materials. If it’s lacklustre, inaccurate, or full of mistakes, it’ll put off the best candidates.

Clearly define the candidate you want to attract

What kind of person are you looking for? What skills and experience would you prefer them to have? How do you want them to strengthen the team? Once you have a clear picture of your ideal candidate, you’ll find it easier to target them.

Enhance your brand

A good candidate will do their research before even applying for a job. How well does your company come across to someone who’s looking for a job with you? They’ll be looking at your website and social media outlets to gain an overview not just of what your company does, but also about its corporate culture: how well it looks after its employees; what sort of CSR policy it has etc. Make sure what you tweet/share/blog about is an accurate reflection of the workplace in order to attract the candidates who’ll best fit in.

Interview well

Prepare for the interviews in the same way that you’d expect the candidates to. The interview process isn’t just for the candidates to sell themselves to you – you also need to sell yourselves to them. If they’ve got a bad impression of you, they’re much less likely to accept the job.

Use a specialist recruitment agency

Recruitment is a time consuming process. If you do it all in-house you won’t only be wasting time sifting through dozens, sometimes even hundreds of applications from unsuitable applicants, you may also be missing out on good candidates who simply don’t find out about the vacancy. Agencies will do all the hard work looking through CVs, presenting you with just a short-list of the most suitable job seekers. They’ll also have good candidates on their books they can contact direct, not only speeding up the process but also ensuring the best quality. It’s a very good idea to approach a recruitment agency that specialises in your area as they will already have attracted a pool of candidates in the right line of work.

Please contact THC Recruitment if you’re searching for an experienced candidate, or are looking for a new job in our key industries.

There has been a lot of news coverage about the possibility of Britain leaving the EU. It’s a hugely complex subject which has certainly brought out a lot of passion on both sides, but which has caused frustration and confusion for anyone looking for certainties and facts. We’ve put together a summary of how the possibility of a Brexit is affecting the financial markets.


The asset finance publication Leasing Life is reporting pretty much a 50/50 split in the question of staying or leaving amongst UK brokers in the bridging, development finance, asset finance and mortgage markets. 21% believe that leaving the EU will have a positive effect on business, and 31% think it will have a negative effect. The rest think that it doesn’t matter which way the vote goes, there’ll be no effect at all.

The Financial Times reported that retail trading platforms are asking for higher cash balances for transacting in Sterling and UK shares in an effort to protect themselves and their customers from potential market shifts ahead of the EU referendum.

Investors are also divided on the subject. The Investors Chronicle asked some of the UK’s top 100 managers for their views and got an interesting range of replies. Many agreed that a Brexit would weaken Sterling with a subsequent increase in mergers and acquisitions, a fall in share prices, slower growth, less investment, a possible recession. Thinking about a remain vote, many are predicting a short-term spike in Sterling followed by a drop caused by less confidence in the government, a bounce in shares, a rise in inflation, and certain sectors such as UK financials could outperform. Everyone, however, agreed that the referendum has caused a lot of uncertainty and confusion.

Such is the uncertainty about the vote, a number of the global banks will have their traders working overnight on 23 June to be able to monitor the markets and handle client trades.

All we can do now is hope that 24 June brings with it certainty and positivity. Meanwhile if you are thinking of a change closer to home (we mean a career change) call us on 01279 713900 or visit our website for more information and advice.

Having spent a considerable amount of time in the recruitment industry, we have gained a little insight into how to effectively retain your employees. Here are our top recommendations for a successful employee retention strategy.

Recruit retainable employees

We firmly think employee retention begins at the job interview stage. It is imperative companies clearly map out to the employee, the immediate and long term benefits, right at the offset. Recognition, flexible work arrangements, work-life balance and employee development are all examples of approaches that can become a part of the mix when creating retention strategies. It is so important to get retainable employees on board at recruitment level. Using a recruitment service will help you in that selection process. For example, one of the methods we use to recruit great candidates is that we “surface” people who are settled in their current position, who are consistent high achievers and who are not currently looking for a job. Seek and you shall find the best!


Set performance goals

According to Entrepreneur  “study after study confirms that people have a deep desire to feel they’re succeeding and that their talents and capabilities are being used in a way that makes a difference to the business.  When people sense their actions are fulfilling this desire, they begin to develop a sense of belonging and a feeling that your company is their company.”

Each employee wants to know they are succeeding,  so it is important to set clear goals and objectives and conduct regular and consistent performance reviews.


You may or may not have won any awards for your company but we guarantee employees want to work for a successful business. This establishes employment longevity and pride in the company.  Ensure you define what your company’s competitive advantage is.   It could  be your customer service, your product standards or the fact that you are locally owned and operated. Whatever it is, ensure your customers and your employees all know!

Employee development

Whilst of course it is important to give your staff on-the-job training,  it is also equally important to help your employees grow and expand. Offer cross-training and mentorship opportunities and create a leadership ladder that can help individuals earn the skills they need to move up. Good employees will welcome the opportunity to advance, not just stand still.

Two way dialogue

Managers and employers need to actively create an open rapport with employees.  You don’t have to become best friends but taking the time to be friendly and engaged with your employees will reap dividends. Conduct employee surveys and create opportunities for your staff to feedback to you in an easy and informal way.

Well trained managers

“Employees don’t leave jobs,” says  Steve Miranda, Managing Director of the Center for Advanced Human Resource studies at Cornell University.  “They leave managers.”  Up to 80% of employee turnover is caused directly by ineffective or overtly hostile management.  Bill Gates, in the early days of Microsoft, reportedly memorized employee license plates to know who was at work but eventually he admits he had to loosen up!  Ensure you train your managers in soft skills as well.


No lip service

Don’t approach employee retention half-heartedly.  Everything you do should be part of a complete and overarching strategy. Doing a little, here and there will reap short-lived rewards in our opinion.  The most successful way though to retain your best employees is to create a friendly and inviting work environment which promotes employee success and growth.


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    • Our sister company is Persona Sales Training – a specialist training company in leasing and vendor finance.

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