Questions you should always ask at a Job Interview

and why......


Questions you should always ask at a Job Interview, and why

In another BLOG I talk about Questions you should never ask at a Job Interview.  In this BLOG on Interview technique I want to talk about the Questions you should ALWAYS ask.

Most interviewers will give you the opportunity to ask them some questions at the end of the interview, so this is a fantastic opportunity to either reinforce their good impression of you, or take advantage of your last chance to change the negative picture that they have may formed during the process so far. I mentioned last week that in many cases the questions you should NOT ask are in of themselves perfectly reasonable.  You do want to know how much holiday you get, of course!  And if you have responsibilities out of work why should you not be able to ask if you can leave early on occasion?  The reason is PERCEPTION, as I explained.  

The job interview is the key occasion at which you have to sell yourself to your potential new employer and to put it simply these types of questions are just going to put the interviewer off.   It will give them the wrong impression of you.  So don't do it. The key to choosing the right questions is also about perception, however.  In this case it is about giving the interviewer every reason to believe that you are exactly the right person they are looking for. They will have a picture in their head of the perfect candidate.  If you ask the wrong question you challenge that view and if you do too much damage then it's 'game over'.

So, let's work out what are the Questions you SHOULD ask.

They should should elicit one of the following responses in an interviewer: "He's smart". "She's thought this through". "He's done his homework". "We need someone like this in the team". "I thought she was the right one, and this just clinches it".

So, you ask questions that show the interviewer how prepared you are, how much homework you have done, how serious you are about the role, how keen you are to be given this opportunity.   All good stuff that any employer would seek in a new employee.  The more specific the questions the better.  If you ask a question about developments in the new factory they have built in Poland (because you did your homework) - they will be very impressed indeed.

The specifics of a question will depend upon the job for which you are applying and the stage of your career, of course, but here are some examples of questions you should ask, and the thinking behind them.

"How will I be measured?" - you want to perform well.

"How do you like to work with your team?" - good if you are being interviewed by your potential boss - you are telling him you want to be a cooperative employee.

"If I was successful in my application what's the key thing I need to deliver?" - you want to be successful and are all about delivering the goods.

"Will there be an opportunity for Overtime?" - you are flexible and want to work hard.

"Could you tell me about your time in the company?"- it's how you get a boyfriend or girlfriend - you get them to talk about themselves.

"What's it like to work here?/Could you describe the culture of the business?"  Accompany your active listening to their description with many nods and smiles. Hopefully you get the drift.  

One last tip.  

It's absolutely OK to write your questions down and take them with you into the interview.  It's actually very good practice, because it reinforces the fact that you have prepared, that you are taking the process seriously, and that you want the job.

See my other blog in which I explain how to end an interview on exactly the right note.  

If you like my advice on CVs, Interviews and Job Hunting please sign up for updates, and please tell your friends. If you don’t like my advice – please keep it to yourself.  :-)

To get expert help in preparation for an interview, check this out: Live Interview Preparation    


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