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How to stand out during an interview by asking insightful questions by Stockland


Applying for Graduate Programs can be hard work, how can you set yourself apart from the crowd?

Applying for Graduate Programs can be hard work. But the time you’ve spent perfecting your resume and passing those pesky psychometric tests has paid off and you’ve been invited to an interview! Congrats. You know as well as we do that there’s tough competition for graduate positions, so how can you set yourself apart from the crowd?

There’s lots of great advice out there about preparing for an interview by considering your answers to common questions – and that’s really important – but we think your real opportunity to shine is in the questions that YOU ask. It’s a safe bet that your interviewer will ask ”So, do you have any questions for us?” and the best type of question you can ask is one which not just elicits an answer from your interviewer but which sparks a two-way discussion between you.

Here at Stockland, we particularly love three types of questions:

Be Bold

Don’t be afraid to ask a challenging question, to put an opinion on the table, or to admit that you don’t understand something that you’ve seen or read about. This can make for a really interesting conversation.

For example:

  • I’ve seen that Stockland has entered the Apartments market but the company doesn’t yet have any track record in that space. How achievable do you think it will be to compete against some of the existing players?
  • I heard about Stockland selling its retirement living business but I didn’t quite understand why. Could you explain that a bit more for me?

Be Curious

Time and time again, our leaders tell us that they love working with graduates who show high curiosity. That’s because curious people are typically fantastic listeners, which enables them to be great learners, creative problem solvers, and to build authentic relationships. You can demonstrate these qualities through the questions that you ask.

For example:

  • Earlier on, I recall you talking about XYZ project. Could you tell me a bit more about the next milestones in that project and how I might be involved as a graduate?
  • I love that Stockland seems so varied. If I joined the team, what other parts of Stockland would I get the chance to collaborate with and what sorts of things would I be helping them to achieve?
  • Hearing about other people’s career journeys really helps me to think about the paths I might like to take. Would you mind sharing a bit of your own background with me?

Be Creative

People typically remember things which differ from the norm so surprise us with a slightly left-field question! This could be a great opportunity to show the diverse thinking style you will bring to the team or to strengthen your personal connection with the interviewer by talking about something non work-related.

For example:

  • I’ve heard that Stockland is really proud of its flexible culture. Do you mind me asking what’s most important to you outside of work and what your own work-life balance looks like?
  • It was really cool to read about Stockland’s new sustainability strategy. I was listening to a podcast about what some other companies are doing in this space and some were really interesting. Can I share a couple of these with you? I’d love to know if Stockland is thinking about these types of things. 

The simple secret to crafting a great question is to do your homework and to ask about something which genuinely interests you. Check out the company website, annual report, media articles and even the LinkedIn page of your interviewers to see what catches your attention. And, remember: the goal is to stand out. So be uniquely you and we have no doubt you’ll kick the ball out of the park! Good luck.