Ever started a job and soon realised it was not what you expected? The post-acceptance high might carry you through the first week, but you quickly find yourself back on the job sites.

That ‘any questions?’ segment of the interview isn’t just for show – it’s your opportunity to learn more about the role and company. 

What’s more, relevant questions will help you stand out against other candidates. So, we’ve outlined seven key (and distinctive!) interview questions you should be asking in 2023.

1. “What is the business’ take on flexible working?”

Ideally, you’ll know if the job offers flexible, remote, and hybrid working options before you’re in the interview chair – and you might presume that many roles in the food and drink manufacturing industry are factory-based. However, it doesn’t hurt to double-check. Since the pandemic, it’s become the norm, and many employers are much more open to it. But ‘flexible working’ might not mean the same to them as it does to you.

2. “What’s the next step in the hiring process?”

Recruitment processes are speedy these days. For employers to get hold of the best talent, they must act quickly. If the process is lengthy, make sure it’s worth your time, or you could miss out on another great opportunity. So, don’t be afraid to ask what the next stage is – and the steps after that. And while you’re at it, also ask about their onboarding process. If you get the job, you’ll want to know how your first few days will unfold.

3. “What is the business’ approach to training?”

Learning never stops, even for those at a managerial level. And your potential employers will want to know that you’re invested in your – and their – future. Are there specific courses you’re interested in? Are they willing to support this? Ask what learning and development opportunities the company offers. Their answers may help you determine if the role and company are right for you.

4. “What will make someone successful in this role?”

It’s all well and good if a job description says you’ll play a crucial role in driving success – but what will you actually do while you’re onsite? Hopefully, their answers will prepare you for the day-to-day of the job so you can determine whether it’s the right fit and hit the ground running. This type of question will reveal a lot – the interviewer can’t answer it without telling you about what is valued at the company and what they personally value. And crucially, it sends the message that you want to do well.

5. “What’s it like during the busiest and toughest times?”

The company will want to sell you on the job. But it’s not all sunshine and daisies. You’ll want to know how they deal with the busier, more challenging moments. In food and drink manufacturing, Christmas is obviously a busy time – but are there other peak periods you should be aware of? And consider offering potential solutions to get you over the hiring line.

6. “Where is the company going in terms of growth?”

It’s a tough economy currently, and you don’t want to work for a company that’s going nowhere. You don’t have to review their profit and loss sheets, but you could ask about their growth goals. And what about your individual growth? See if you can learn how they will measure your performance and success so you know what to aim for and illustrate your support for the company’s objectives.

7. “Which management style do you promote?”

Everyone has a different idea of how to manage a company or team. What approach does your potential employer take? Are they open to change? You might not agree with their leadership style, but it might be that they require a fresh take. And by finding out about their current leadership and management, you’ll learn more about their culture.

Get interview-ready with Silven

We have just one last crucial interview question: ask about the salary or benefits! Many shy away from the finance questions, but it can make or break it for either party – so it’s worth asking.

As for preparing for your interview or finding your next role, turn to us for some personal guidance. Get in touch on 0161 832 7463 or email info@silven.co.uk.