Navigating your way around the job market may feel like an overwhelming experience, and it is, until you get to the moment when you realise that on the path to your chosen career you need to successfully survive … an interview. An interview is an essential part of the employment process and making sure you have a few questions ready to ask is imperative in presenting yourself as interested, relevant and employable.
The answers to the questions you are asked show the company what kind of a fit you will be in the role, but the questions you ask give you an idea of whether the job is for you at the same time giving the interviewer a window into your motivation for applying for the job. The interviewer will learn a lot from the questions you ask, so make sure every question you ask gives the right impression.
These questions show what is important to you about the position:
- How would you describe the company’s culture and leadership philosophy?
- Can you please show me some examples of projects that I’d be working on?
- What is the single largest problem facing your staff, and would I be in a position to help you solve this problem?
- What specific qualities and skills are you looking for in the job candidate?
You need to look for answers where the company’s philosophy is clear, structured and unhesitant. Your interviewers should know what type of a person they are looking for and the fit for the company, so let them sell the position and company to you. It’ll give you the upper hand and show that you can lead as well as follow.
Use these questions to find out about the atmosphere and culture that you will work in and the availability of the career path:
- Is this a new position, or did someone leave? If someone left, why did they leave or what did they go on to do?
- What is the typical career trajectory for a person in this position?
- What would you say are the three most important skills needed to excel in this position?
- Who would be my manager, and will I have the opportunity to meet him or her?
- Why do you like working here?
- What does a typical day or week look like for the person in this position? Is there travel, flexitime, etc?
- How do you see this position contributing to the success of the organisation?
You need to have a general idea of how the position works to know if it will fit in with your career path. These questions also show an interest in wanting to know what they consider a recipe for success and what the position needs – and it shows you are interested enough to take an analytical approach.
You need to ask questions that show you are interested in the company and how you can make a difference:
- What do you think distinguishes this company from its competitors, both from a public and employee perspective?
- Does the company offer continued education and professional training?
- How can I best contribute to the department?
- What particular achievements would equate to success at this job? What would success look like?
- Are you most interested in a candidate who works independently, on a team, cross-functionally, or through a combination of them all? Can you give me an example?
- What is your ideal communication style with your staff? Do you meet regularly with your team, rely heavily on e-mail, use status reports or work primarily through other means?
Choose only one or two of these questions as you don’t want to seem unimaginative and pedantic, but you do want to show that you know you will have expectations places upon you, and that you can manage them.
These questions may be the most important in any interview:
- How do you see me as a candidate for the job in comparison with an ideal candidate?
- Do you have any concerns about me or about my qualifications that may prevent you from selecting me for the job?
- What is the next step? When do you think you will be making a decision?
These questions essentially ask for the job! They should be your parting shot so that the impression you leave is that you are impressed with the role and the company and are anxious to get started and give your best to every aspect of the position.
These are all questions that are excellent to use in an interview, choose the best ones for the interview at hand, but don’t over use them. The whole process is for them to interview you, not for you to monopolise the time and make it all about your expectations and nothing about the position. There are also questions that you should never raise in an interview as everything you say has an impact.
Questions to avoid in an interview:
- Never ask for information you could have easily found with a quick google search. Never ask if you can change the job details, the schedule, or the salary.
- Never ask many questions about the interviewer’s background.
- Never ask about pay, time off, benefits, etc. (Wait until later in the process to inquire about these things.)
- Never ask “What does your company do?”
- Never ask “If I’m hired, when can I start applying for other positions in the company?”
- Never ask how quickly you can be promoted.
- Never ask “Do you do background checks?”
- Never ask about gossip you’ve heard.
- Never ask if the company monitors e-mail or Internet usage.
The implications of these questions are self-explanatory and no matter how well the rest of the interview went, if you ask any one of them – don’t expect a call back any time soon. These types of questions destroy trust and make the interviewer suspicious of your motives for the job. It may very well mean that the second best candidate is selected because they trust that they can be left to do the job, rather than have to monitor them closely for any hint of misconduct.
Questions are a great way to showcase your talent, your enthusiasm and your willingness to do a quality job. Use them wisely and they will strengthen your candidacy, increase your information and your ability to make an informed choice. Always have a few up your sleeve and you’re sure to impress everyone enough to secure the perfect job.
This post was courtesy of Free Resume Builder