Maximize Your Interview by Asking the Right Questions

February 2nd, 2009 by admin

We all know that there are certain tricks that can help you nail a job interview. I’m sure you’re well aware of the obvious ones like researching the company before-hand, looking polished during the interview and sending a thank you note afterwards.You may even be well-rehearsed on the old turn-your-negative-into-a-positive responses. Heck, I was still in high school when my Communications teacher went over how to respond when an interviewer asks where you have the most room for improvement. You simply give them an answer like “I can be too punctual,” or “sometimes I’m too organized” or something else that follows the: I’m too _______ (fill in the blank with an attribute) formula.

But, what about that particularly delicate moment when the tables are turned and the interviewer becomes interviewee – the part when your potential employer invariably asks “do you have any questions for me?” Being well prepared for this precise occasion can make all the difference.

In fact, the questions you ask can say a lot about you. So, remember that this is not your chance to find out about time off, paid holidays or overtime requirements – unless you want to communicate that you’re not interested in working very often.

You can maximize each moment of your interview by asking the right questions. Here are a few examples:

What you ask: What contributions do you think I can make to this company?
What you’re really saying: I actively seek out ways that my skills and abilities can be put to best use.

What you ask: Does the company encourage employees to pursue continuing education?
What you’re really saying: I am enthusiastic about learning, growing and developing. I’m the type of person who enjoys building new skills and I take the initiative in doing so.

What you ask: What kind of opportunities for advancement and growth are there?
What you’re really saying: I have career goals and I’m interested in making a long-term commitment to an employer that can help me achieve them.

What you ask: When will a decision on the job candidate be reached?
What you’re really saying: I am interested in this position and I am eager to hear from you in the future.

What you ask: May I get in touch with you if I think of any other questions?
What you’re really saying: My interest in this position won’t end once this interview is over and I would like to keep the door open for future communication.

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