29 April 2008

Interview Question and Answer Series: #4 Questions YOU can ask in the interview

So many people recommend asking questions at an interview. What are some of the questions you can ask? A good interview is one that turns into a conversation, with them asking questions of you, but with you also asking questions of them. It will be more relaxing for both parties and by your questions you will give them a good idea about your expectations and capabilities and how you will fit in.

You can either write some questions down as the interview proceeds and ask them at the end of the interview or you can ask them after you have answered their question.

If you don’t understand a question that is asked of you, don’t be afraid to ask them to clarify it.

You need to play it by ear in the interview. Some questions that they ask you can be turned around into a question for them or can bring up a question in your mind about the position.

Things you can do before the interview

Do some research on the company where you are applying. Do you have any questions about the company or the department? By asking questions you show them you are interested in what they are doing as a company.

If you are called for an interview you should ask for a copy of the job description. You should also look carefully at the job posting. Is there anything in the listing of duties that creates questions in your mind about the job? If there is anything you are not sure about, the interview would be a good place to ask.

If they list a duty that you would like to know what the expectations would be i.e. “some bookkeeping required” you should ask at the interview.

If they ask you if you are a team player, after you give your answer you might want to ask them what kind of a team environment their company promotes.

If they ask you what you would see yourself doing in five years, that would be a good opportunity for you to ask about the company’s career development opportunities.

I would not bring up salary unless you are asked, but if they ask what salary you are looking for, you might turn the question around and ask them what they are offering. You can ask about their pay scale for the position and if there is room to grow.

You want to know if this is the right job for you. It is appropriate for you to ask questions as well as give answers to their questions.

Give Examples

If they ask you a question and you can give an example that would add to your answer, talk about it. For example, if they ask you if you are experienced at organizing conferences, you may want to tell them about some of the successful conferences you have organized.

Pay attention to the questions asked and if they create a question in your mind, or it brings up something you have done, don’t be afraid to talk about it.

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