In Interviews Ask Questions

Bob Larson, CPC

Career Report
August, 2019 — Issue 234

 

In Interviews, Ask Enough Questions

When interviewing, many job candidates don’t realize that the questions they ask are just as important as how they present themselves and the answers they give. According to an article published by CareerBuilder.com, failing to ask questions shows a lack of genuine interest in the job and asking foolish questions indicates that the candidate didn’t do enough research prior to the interview. Making either mistake can cost a candidate a job offer.

In the article, Heather Krasna, author of “Jobs That Matter: Find a Stable, Fulfilling Career in Public Service,” advises job seekers to prepare a list of questions before the interview, much like they’d create a list of talking points that address the value they offer the employer.

“Every interview is different” she told careers writer Selena Dehne who authored the article. “Some interviewers will only give you the chance to ask two or three questions. Others will ask again and again if you have any questions, so prepare more questions than you think you will need in case this happens.”

Developing a list of questions to ask can indeed be a challenge for many job seekers, the article noted. For guidance in the topic, Krasna offered the following suggested questions and explained why such questions can give candidates a much-needed edge:

What are you seeking in the ideal candidate for this position?

This question allows you to counter by adding any particular skills or qualities you have left out of the interview, but which the employer thinks is important.

Can you give me some examples of the types of projects I may be working on?

If the job description was a bit vague on the types of assignments you would be doing or if you are otherwise unclear on this point, this question is essential to ask.

What do you like best about working for this organization?

This question not only gives great insight into the culture of the organization, it also makes the person answering the question feel good. In addition, if the person answering can’t come up with something good to say, this is a red flag about the place you might be working.

How did this position become available?

This question is a bit pushy, but it is quite important if you do not know how the position opened. Is the organization expanding? Or did the last person leave, and can you subtly find out why?

What would you like to see happen six-to-12 months after you hire a new person for this position?

This question is akin to “How will I be evaluated?” or “How do you measure success in this role?” It can also clue you in on whether the expectations for the job are realistic.

What resources are available for this position?

This question addresses the technology, staff or budget resources you will have and gives many insights into whether the organization is being realistic about what you can accomplish given the resources available.

How would you describe your management style?

When you are being interviewed by a hiring manager to whom you would report, that is a great question for gathering insight into whether you might get along.

What is the next step in the process? May I have your business card?

The final question can help relieve your anxiety after the interview because you at least have some clue about how long it will be before the employer gets back to you. Ask for business cards from each person interviewing you so you can send thank-you notes.

Krasna added in the CareerBuilder.com article that there are also questions candidates should steer clear of asking during the interview, such as inquiries about salary, scandals and office politics, and personal qualities about the interviewer.

 

NEWS from BLK

As summer unwinds and we prepare for the fall season we at Berman Larson Kane have witnessed a steady job market with competition for top talent being extremely competitive.  Unemployment remains at record lows and employment numbers although lower for 2019 still are positive and strong.

So if you are a hiring authority or a job seeker we look forward to assisting you to meet these challenges.  We thank all the privilege of helping staffing needs and career goals for the past 39 years.  It is truly an honor.  Enjoy the final month of summer as we prepare for the anticipated after Labor Day acceleration of the job market.

 

 

 

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