Having to come up with questions to ask in a job
interview can be a nerve-wracking part of the job
interview. After all, so much of your effort is spent
trying to answer questions in a way that gives the
impression that you want to give of yourself. The fear
is that you would ask a question which would make the
interviewer doubt your intelligence, knowledge or
suitability for the job. On the other hand, not asking
a question at all isn’t the solution either. You fear
that might convey some sort of lack of curiosity, or a
meekness which the interviewer won’t appreciate
either. If these are your fears, relax. All you need
to do is be aware of some basic guidelines, and you
will confidently ask the kinds of questions which not
only get you the information you want, but also make
the impression you want to make.
A key concept in knowing what questions to ask in a
job interview, is that it’s actually more important to
know what questions NOT to ask. These are a pretty
short and simple list. First, do NOT ask questions
which could be easily determined by doing some basic
research. For a ridiculous example, coming into an
interview and asking what that company does, reveals a
fundamental lack of preparation and seriousness.
Though it’s not necessary to be an expert on the
company or business that you are interviewing with,
you should at least know what they do, how the
department fits into the business, and how the target
business fits into the department. In addition, you
should have a pretty clear idea about what the day to
day requirements of the position are.
More Questions to Ask in a Job Interview
Another no-no set of questions to ask in a job
interview is anything to do with money or salary.
During the initial interview, you should neither ask
or answer any salary questions if you can help it.
Both you and the company want to get the best deal for
yourselves possible. That means that the company will
try to find out what you make now or what you expect,
and use that information to get you to take less. Your
goal should be to find out as much as possible about
the job, make the company want you as much as
possible, then make them pay you as much or more as
the going market rate for that exact position. Asking
salary questions too soon ruins your strategy.
Another forbidden set of questions to ask in a job
interview includes questions which could get the
interviewer to discuss issues or problems with the
existing workforce or employees. No employer wants to
badmouth their current staff to a stranger, and asking
them to do so, like saying “why do you need another
worker so bad? What are your current workers doing
wrong?” puts them in an uncomfortable spot. As long as
you stay away from simple questions, money questions
and current employee questions, you should be able to
ask about anything else that you are curious about.
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