June, 2011 — Issue 136
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
Our BLK webinar series continues to receive rave reviews from job-seekers across the globe. Thank you for your positive comments; we will continue this monthly free series as part of our mission to assist all those that are looking for work. Click here to register for our upcoming webinar.
Berman Larson Kane will continue to support both the MIS Networking Group and Society of Human Resources Management (SHRM) PHR training for the Fall 2011. It is our pleasure to have these organizations utilize our conference facilities.
As our Free Recent College Graduate Placement service comes to a close, we thank the corporations that participated in the program and offer congratulations to the students that secured employment. Our wish is that by next May/June hiring authorities will be fighting to get new graduates on their teams, because the economy job creation engine is running on all cylinders.