If you’ve got a defence contract role interview coming up, you’ve probably been busy researching how to prepare accordingly and eliminate any interview nerves.
More often than not, you will probably stumble across one of the most common pieces of advice out there: “make sure you prepare questions to ask”.
But what does that really mean? How and where can you research questions to ask? And what type of questions should you be asking anyway?
Well, it’s a good job you asked! Read on to discover our ultimate guide to common interview questions and answers in the defence sector…
Why you need to prepare candidate interview questions
Picture the scene: the interview has gone well, you’re feeling good, and you really think you might have nailed it. You’ve talked about your relevant experience, highlighted your defence skills and even have a bit of rapport going with the interviewer.
Then they ask those dreaded words, “Have you got any questions for us?” – and you’ve got nothing. The panic sets in, you start to feel flustered, and before you know it, things are ending on a much less positive note.
It’s common practice for an interviewer to ask if you have any questions of your own at the end of the interview, so make sure you have some common interview questions and answers ready.
Preparing a selection of well-thought-out questions will show your potential employer that you are interested in the role and how eager you are. It shows that you are driven, motivated, and it could even give you the edge over other candidates.
What’s more, it also gives you the chance to make sure the company is right for you as well.
How and where to research
In order to put together a selection of clever questions, a good place to start is by researching the company and having a thorough look at the job description.
Scroll through the company website for any latest news and important announcements, and if the company in question has a blog, have a read of any recent posts to get a feel for the company.
You should also do a more general Google search for any industry news and have a read of any key industry publications to get up to speed on any hot topics in the industry.
Finally, have a look at social media channels (Facebook and LinkedIn are good places to start).
Look up the company, and if you know the names of your interviewers, then the interviewers too so you can get a bit more background info and make a note of any recent articles or activity that you could bring up during the interview.
The type of questions to ask
Next up, you need to put together your list of questions. Of course, the specific questions will depend on the defence role you are interviewing for and whether you are interviewing in the land, marine or aviation sector.
But generally speaking, here are a few pointers to get you started:
1. Ask about the role
From who you will report into and the day-to-day role itself, one of the most important things you can do is ask questions about the role itself.
After all, if you are contracting abroad, this will be your new life for the next few months, so it’s a good opportunity to put any questions you’ve got out there.
Possible questions to ask include, “What is a typical week like in this role?”, “Who will I report into?”, and “What kind of challenges can I expect to face?”.
Our interview with a contract mechanic can also give you some great insight into what to expect with contract roles with M&E.
2. Ask about career development
One of the biggest benefits of contract roles is that you can climb the career ladder fast. You’ll most likely be working on some of the world’s most exciting equipment.
From Apache helicopters to M1 tanks and Chinooks to Bradley Fighting Vehicles, whatever your specialism, defence contract roles will give you the opportunity to work at the forefront of technology.
So, if you’re interviewing for a defence contract role, it’s only natural that you’ll be interested in career development and training opportunities.
Questions to ask could include, “What training and development opportunities are there?”, “How will this role help my future career development?”, and “How often will training be delivered?”.
3. Ask about the culture
Without a doubt, work/life balance is becoming more and more important, which means that company culture is integral to job satisfaction.
During your interview, it’s important to get a feel for the company and whether you’ll fit in – especially if you are interviewing for a role overseas where you will be spending a lot of free time with your colleagues.
In fact, if you come from an army background and are contracting overseas for the first time, you will most likely find you are working with a number of like-minded people.
To test the waters, possible questions to ask include, “How many people will be in my team?” and “What is the working environment like?”.
4. Ask about life abroad
If you’re interviewing for your first contract role abroad, it’s only natural that you might have some questions about life in another country, whether you are applying for roles in Europe or the Middle East. So, think of your interview as a chance to ask any burning questions.
From whether the working hours are similar to how you will find accommodation to what there is to do in your free time, now is your opportunity to ask!
With that in mind, potential questions to ask could be, “Will you help me find accommodation?”, “What support is on offer for people contracting overseas?”, and “Do I need to speak the language?”.
So, there you have it – our ultimate guide to common interview questions and answers so you can make sure your next defence contract role interview is a success! And don't forget, for additional help and job-hunting advice, our expert team is on hand every step of the way.
Whether you need CV advice, have got a video interview coming up that you want help preparing for, or are currently wondering whether oversea contracting is right for you, we’re here to answer all of your questions.
Alternatively, why not have a look at the fantastic opportunities we are currently working on to see if any excite you and get ready to start the next stage of your career with M&E Global today.