Ask the right questions and everyone will be happy
You’re always left wondering after a job interview. Did you come off too confident or too insecure? Was your friendliness perceived as sincere? Did you answer the questions to their satisfaction? Did they like you?
There’s no shortage of advice out there on how to present oneself in interviews, from grooming to speaking. In books, and online self-help sites, one thing is agreed upon – you’d do well to ask a lot of questions. More importantly, however, you want to ask the right questions. Sure you want the job, but you don’t want to settle for one that isn‘t ideal.
Have you ever been so anxious to make a good impression that you passed on an opportunity because you were focusing on your responses? At the end of the interview, a candidate is typically asked, “Do you have any questions?” If you’ve ever hastily responded, “No, I’m good” to appeal well-meaning, you may have blown your chance to be further considered.
When asked for any additional queries seize the moment and pose an inquiry. For one thing, it will give you a little more time to make a winning impression. Be mindful, not all questions are good, be certain to ask the “right” ones. You are given the opportunity to ask questions because they can be used to gauge not only how qualified you are but how interested as well. That’s why it’s important to inquire about something that they will deem sincere. Such preferred questions may boost the interviewer’s belief that you have potential. It can also demonstrate your level of interest in working for them. Ultimately if provides insight into whether the position is indeed a good fit for you.
Naturally, your questions shouldn’t reflect what you believe to be your obvious competence, or how easy you imagine the job will be under your advanced skillset. Be practical; learn more about how well you’ll fit into the environment and whether it truly matches your needs. Then you can express your earnest desire for the position – after you’ve asked a couple more things that could help your cause.
Pose a question that expresses an interest in the future. This will indicate that you plan to be onboard for the long term. Obviously they want to detect traits of drive, motivation and determination, but there’s only so many ways to probe for answers. So, demonstrate how you’re already looking ahead with their company. For instance, you may ask how many months you will have to wait before your first evaluation. This shows that you’re looking forward and anxious for their feedback. You’re already striving to improve. You acknowledge that there’s going to be a learning curve and imply that you can’t wait to get started.
Then, a natural follow-up question could be, “what are the next steps?” indicating that you’re ready to go. You may even sound as though you’ve already been offered the position, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. It could be amusing, or it could be dead on – maybe you’re in. After all, you demonstrated subtle confidence that let the interviewer know that you’re serious about successfully filling the position.
You should also do some preventative maintenance, what if the job isn’t all it’s cracked up to be? You’ve probably had experiences where you’re a new hire only to discover drama in the workplace and unhappy coworkers. And nobody wants to take on a position that is inherently overwhelming. If this is a scenario you wish to avoid, simply ask the interviewer, “why is the position vacant?” It’s a nice way of inquiring why the last guy quit. It could be useful to you in your decision, frankly. And it gives the interviewer an opportunity to be candid, and possibly reveal more truth about the position. It may give you better insight into the kind of personality, skill and dedication the job requires. Don’t be reluctant because you’re fearful of how difficult the job has been for others, you may learn that the position is actually new and not previously held by anyone.
Of course you can do a web search about the employer for testimonials of what it’s like to work for them. But the interview is a superior way to gain such insight. Turn the tables a bit by asking “what do you like best about working for this company?” it’s a legitimate question. It may solicit surprise at first, likely followed by some useful info. They may even share something really insightful and inspiring.
You have options, and you want to know what makes this the right place for you to work. You may also consider asking, “Why do applicants choose to work here rather than for your competitors?” Now your employer has an opportunity to sell himself. It gives insight into the competition that they face, and what they have to offer you.
You may choose to ask your own variations of these questions come interview time. Ultimately, your goals are to find a job you love, make a positive first impression and show your interest as honestly as possible. In the best outcome, you both will like what you see and hear. In that case, may your new endeavor be one of great success.