(Follow up article to “4 Questions to Ask During Job Interview”)
It’s not a firing squad. It’s a job interview. So turn the tables, take control and ask the “right” questions. You’ll show the interview you mean business.
And who knows? Your questions might even turn up a red flag or two that could indicate the company isn’t a good fit for you at all.
It’s your future on the line. The interviewer wants to find out if you are the person they need for the position. And your job is to find out if they are the company you need for your life. Know what questions to ask and you’ll be showing initiative, confidence, and thoughtfulness. You’ll also get the chance to sniff out any cracks in the company’s facade that might clue you in that this particular business isn’t worth your time.
Don’t interrupt the interviewer when he or she is asking you questions; your chance to turn the tables will most likely come toward the end. Avoid questions that make you look like you’re interested only in money and benefits. Instead, you want to show that you’re curious about the work culture of the company. Be sure to ask open-ended questions (the ones that can’t be answered with a simple “yes” or “no”).
Here are three good ones to ask:
What are the long range goals of the company and of this position in particular?
This question slyly shows that you intend to stay with the company for the long-term and that you are planning your career deliberately. You’re not hopping from one position to the next. Instead, you’re curious about the potential for growth and how you can achieve the company’s goals.
If your interviewer can’t articulate a clear vision for the company and your role there, there’s a good chance they don’t have one. And that means they don’t have a clue what they’re doing.
What happened to the person who had this position?
If employees have been promoted within the company or if they have moved on to better positions elsewhere, that’s a good sign. If the person who had the job you’re applying for was there for a few months, and so was the person before her, it might be a sign of high turnover and employee dissatisfaction.
Another thing to note is how the interviewer speaks of former employees. A true professional won’t speak ill of a former employee without a very good reason to do so.
What are the day-to-day duties of this position?
Chances are the duties were described in the job listing you answered. But you need to ask this question to gauge the interviewer’s idea of what the job entails. Many applicants will spend the interview trying to get the job without exhibiting any curiosity about what comes after they’re hired. You’ll be taken much more seriously if you don’t fall into that trap.
If you have a chance, talk to the supervisor and other people already working in this position. The red flag to watch for is if they mention job duties that are completely different from the job listing you answered. Consistency means they know exactly what your duties will be; there won’t be any unpleasant surprises later.
If you feel unsure about how to be assertive and confident in job interviews, 360training.com has online business skills courses that cover interview techniques, interview skills, listening skills and listening exercises. You’ll learn deep listening skills to make you more productive at work and help you better understand how the workplace functions.