Many job seekers focus so hard on answering interview questions well that they forget something very important: You are there to ask questions, too.
Asking the right questions at an interview is important for two reasons:
First, when done correctly, the questions you ask confirm your qualifications as a candidate for the position.
Second, you are interviewing the employer just as much as the employer is interviewing you. This is your opportunity to find out if this is an organization where you want to work.
3 Things You Want to Achieve
When you ask the right questions, you want to achieve three things:
Make sure the interviewer has no reservations about you.
Demonstrate your interest in the employer.
Find out if you feel the employer is the right fit for you.
There are an infinite number of questions you could ask during a job interview, but if you stay focused on those three goals, the questions should come easy to you.
I recommend preparing three to five questions for each interview, and actually ask three of them. (I like to have more prepared than is needed because some of my questions might be answered in the course of the interview.)
Career experts agree that asking questions during a job interview is the best way to determine whether the organization is the right fit for you. Questions are also a great way to show the employer that you’ve done your homework and that you’re enthusiastic about the job opportunity. However, they will only work to your advantage if they are the right questions.
Here are 10 questions you should never ask during a job interview. Keep in mind that asking bad questions might be worse than asking none at all.
Here are 10 interview questions you could ask:
1. What skills and experiences would make an ideal candidate? This is a great open-ended question that will have the interviewer put his or her cards on the table and state exactly what the employer is looking for. If the interviewer mentions something you didn’t cover yet, now is your chance.
2. What is the single largest problem facing your staff and would I be in a position to help you solve this problem? This question not only shows that you are immediately thinking about how you can help the team, it also encourages the interviewer to envision you working at the position.
3. What have you enjoyed most about working here? This question allows the interviewer to connect with you on a more personal level, sharing his or her feelings. The answer will also give you unique insight into how satisfied people are with their jobs there. If the interviewer is pained to come up with an answer to your question, it’s a big red flag.
4. What constitutes success at this position and this firm or nonprofit? This question shows your interest in being successful there, and the answer will show you both how to get ahead and whether it is a good fit for you.
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