Have you ever left an interview feeling that something was missing? Perhaps there was an important point of which you only scratched the surface, or you felt you were given the “company line” in lieu of an open conversation. Or maybe, in the moment, you just weren’t 100% sure what to say.
These are common interview experiences – breathe a sigh of relief! Especially for leadership positions, where you’re really keen to dig deep, but conscious about asking too much too soon.
But, with some strong, focused questions to hand – you’ll come away with a great view of your future in a transport organisation. After all, role satisfaction is about figuring out if your potential employer’s values, ethos, and expectations align with your own.
Good employers in the transport sector recognise that candidates who ask relevant, astute questions are the ones to watch. Here, we share three fantastic questions that every transport leadership candidate should ask during the interview process. Revealing answers are guaranteed!
QUESTION ONE: WHAT CAN YOU TELL ME ABOUT THE COMPANY CULTURE?
Before accepting a new role, leadership candidates should determine if a potential employer’s culture aligns with their own.
This could be social and equality values or work-life balance. It could be environmental credentials or partnerships with responsible organisations. It could even be about career progression, such as reverse mentoring or championing the unconventional.
There’s a growing school of thought that a sense of workplace belonging contributes to stronger commercial performance. And of course, we’re all more likely to feel included, welcomed and accepted if we see our values and cultural experiences represented in a company’s ethos. Saying “yes” to organisations you align with (and stepping away from ones you don’t), gives you an immediate head-start in your next role.
So, how do you approach the culture question? Most importantly, ask for examples of company culture in action – encourage potential employers to share a real-world story behind the buzzwords! We’re taught to ask, “what are your values?”. When really, we should ask, “what are your values, and how do they shape your day-to-day?”. This slight addition to a common question will be revealing and tell you whether an organisation is the right place for you to progress a rewarding leadership career.
QUESTION TWO: CAN YOU TELL ME ABOUT SOMEONE WHO HAS PROGRESSED THEIR CAREER WITH YOU?
Before a leader accepts a new transport organisation role, they’ll want to know about career progression.
We expect that you feel the same way! The trick to mastering this question is to shift the conversation away from plans and projections and instead focus on paths trodden before you instead. Sure, you can ask any potential employer if there’s scope for progression but let’s not forget that the answer will almost certainly be “yes”, and the example given may well be the interviewer’s own.
A better way to approach the question of progression opportunity is to ask your potential employer to share an example of a colleague who has demonstrated real career and growth in their employment. Moreover, you could also enquire about professional development plans in the next twelve to eighteen months. This, again, will give you a great idea of whether you’re destined for superstardom or stagnation.
QUESTION THREE: HOW WILL SUCCESS IN THE ROLE BE MEASURED?
Any mission-critical or leadership role in a transport business will include professional targets. However, every business is different and therefore how success is measured varies, too.
What’s important for transport leaders is that they have a clear idea not just of responsibilities and targets, but also how these are measured. Metrics will be specific, cross departmental, even collective – meaning that executives’ success may be measured by their effectiveness in their own activities, and activities of an entire team or department.
So, as a candidate, take the conversation a step further in an interview. When discussing the success metrics, ask your potential employer to expand on the actual mechanisms that will be used to determine your impact.
This is important to understand the scope of responsibilities, and you may well uncover a niche that increases your attractiveness as a candidate. For example, the use of a specific framework or familiarity with unusual legislation. Alternatively, you may identify an unmissable opportunity for professional and personal growth, such as putting ED&I learnings into practice.
ASKING THE RIGHT QUESTIONS LEADS TO THE RIGHT ANSWERS
When all’s said and done, no candidate should accept a role without a broad understanding of the give and take of value between employer and employee. Sure, you can ask about salary, benefits etc. but these will likely already be outlined in the job description – and discussed throughout the recruitment process.
A better approach is to be brave, confident, and genuine. Don’t be afraid to ask a transport organisation to be specific about their answers. Remember, if an organisation has offered you a position, they want you to work for them and will be only too happy to share how exciting the future of transport will be!
Are you unsure about how to fine-tune and temper your interview questioning approach? Get in touch with Intuitive. Our inclusive process, continuous coaching and knack for matching candidates with organisations will help you secure your dream transport leadership position. Contact us today.