Your turn to ask questions

“Do you have any questions?”

Most professional employment interviews end with the part when the recruiter asks the candidate if he has any questions to ask.

Your questions may change the outcome of the interview! The more intelligent you phrase the questions, the more odds you have to enhance your employment chances!

Questions are meant both for you to demonstrate how much you know about the organization and to enable you and the recruiter to assess the company, lifestyle, business & people acumen, suitability for the role and in the team, ‘chemistry’, etc. It is moreover your turn to find out if the employer offers what you are seeking!

You should have a list of questions prepared for this challenging part of the interview. Every question you ask should demonstrate your interest and confirm your knowledge of the organization. To be able to ask such questions, you need to prepare for every interview, by reading as much as possible about the company, its products, its people and business plans. Of course these questions should reflect something positive, you might want to avoid embarrassing situations you read about or gossip spread. It is recommended that prior to receiving an offer you keep your questions in a positive vein. After you have the offer, you will have the time to ask the difficult or probing questions that will help you to assess if the job proposal meets your professional and personal needs & expectations.

Before listing some questions that you might want to ask, please be advised on the questions you should not ask!

  • Don’t ask about salary and benefits during the first interview! The recruiter might choose to bring up the information, but you should not initiate the topic. You need to avoid the impression that you are more concerned with package than the scope of the position.
  • Avoid asking personal questions (questions about the background of the interviewer, his past work experience, etc.)
  • Prevent from asking any questions that might put the recruiter on the defensive
  • Be careful not to ask questions that have already been answered during the interview

Once you know what you shouldn’t ask, focus on questions you should ask!

These are questions about:

  • the position (if the topic has not been fully covered during the interview)
  • skills, experience and background the recruiter is looking for in job candidates
  • development opportunities within the company
  • training programs
  • location and travel requirements

Here is a list of questions that you might ask:

  • What is the first priority of the person who will fill this job?
  • What do you consider the most important three day-to-day responsibilities of this job?
  • What are the strengths of the department?
  • How does the department contribute to the overall business of the company?
  • How receptive is the company to new ideas?
  • What are my potential career paths within the company?
  • What training and development programs are available to help me grow professionally within your company?
  • What is the company’s mission?
  • Which are your values and goals?
  • What differentiates you from competitors?
  • What is unique about the way the company operates?
  • What are some examples of the best results produced by people in this position?
  • What expansion / business development is planned?
  • What is your most important company challenge in the present?
  • How do market trends affect company growth and progress?
  • What do you feel are the key reasons an individual would choose your firm over your competitors?
  • How are your clients describing your company?
  • What do you like most about the company? Least?
  • What skills have helped people most to do this job?
  • What is the average age of people in your company?
  • What is the average length of service of people with your company?
  • What are the key performance indicators you measure people’s achievements against?
  • Can you describe for me a successful employee of your company?

The questions above are only a few of those that you might want to address. They are meant as a guide for you to prepare your own set of questions before every job interview. If you don’t have any questions prepared and you try to cover your mistake by asking spur-of-the-moment questions, chances are you have damaged your likelihood for a successful interview. Therefore, ask wisely!

Last but not least, good luck for all your interviews!

Featured Artist & Copyright: Geraldine Aresteanu

Posted in Knowledge and tagged , , , .

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