When It’s Your Turn to Ask Questions in an Interview

Interview QuestionsAn interview is like a conversation. If you look at interviews as a one-way communication, you’re terribly mistaken. Unless you start approaching job interviews as a conversation, you won’t be able to make the most of them. In a conversation between two people, both have the right to ask and answer. Likewise, in an interview, you’re not there to only answer what you’re asked.

You have every right to ask questions during an interview as well. Usually, hiring managers or employers provide applicants with an opportunity to ask questions towards the end.

Therefore, it’s crucial to be prepared!

I’m sure you’ve heard this – You can tell whether a man is clever by his answers, but you can tell whether a man is wise by his questions. If you want to showcase your wisdom to an interviewer, you should always have a list of good questions and use them when given an opportunity during an interview.

If you don’t know, employers or hiring managers evaluate the wisdom of a job applicant by listening to the kind of questions they ask. In fact, there are plenty of employers who’ll hire candidates based on the type of questions the candidate asks rather than the answers they provide. And there are some good reasons behind this tactic used by interviewers.

The questions that you ask –

  • Show your level of understating/intelligence.
  • Inform whether you’ve done enough company research.
  • Prove whether you’re really interested in the job.
  • Send signals about your preferences/ attitudes.

There are many other qualities that employers can quickly judge as you ask them a set of questions.

But what questions should you actually ask during an interview? You can’t make the mistake of thinking about what you want to ask while you’re sitting in the interview room. You must do the preparation in advance, so you’re confident enough and sound intelligent when it’s your turn to ask.

First and foremost, you should do your homework appropriately. You should find out as much about the company, its employees and the work culture as possible. Then, you should create a list of questions that you plan to ask. There are chances that some questions on your list may be answered during the course of interview itself. So, there’s simply no need to repeat those questions. But it’s a good idea to remove your doubts associated with the company culture or the value delivered to employees.

It’s quite tempting to ask questions focusing on salary or employee benefits. But that’s quite risky. When given a chance to ask questions during an interview, you should avoid directly asking about these issues unless the interviewer has raised such issues himself. Don’t do things that show you’re very money-focused.

It’s always good to ask about the key competitors that an organization might have. You may also ask questions related to the operation structure of the company. Asking about the organization’s future plans is also a good idea. You can also ask questions to gain more insight into the day-to-day responsibilities you’ll be handling in the company once hired. Then there are topics like the performance review of employees, career growth opportunities, technological strength of the organization, relocation facilities and other policies and rules.

Sadly enough, there are a lot of job applicants that would simply say – “No, it’s fine.” – when given an opportunity to ask questions. If you say you have nothing to ask, interviewers make an instant judgment that you’re either dull or not really interested in the job you’ve come to get interviewed for. Not asking any questions at all, is the biggest sin you’ll commit at an interview.

So, get ready to ask.

Please feel free to comment.

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Carl began his career as a recruiter in the year 2000. Since then, he has interviewed hundreds of job applicants, dealt with several hiring managers and helped a lot of people find better jobs. He's passionate about guiding people towards their best-suited careers.

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