Thursday, October 20, 2011

Are there any questions?

It is pretty normal for the job interviewer to ask at the end of your interview if there are some questions you would like to ask.

This is not where you breathe a sigh of relief and say: "No. No. I think you covered it all." Or, "No I don't have any questions right now."

You need to show you have some interest in the job ... and this is a place where you can demonstrate that you've done your homework.

I like to suggest that you have a little folder with you -- and one of the things in that folder is a list of possible questions you'd like to ask the interviewer. (At the end of this article, I will provide you with a list of questions you could ask -- and you can pick several that you think would be appropriate.)

I also think you should do some research on the company you will be interviewing with -- and come up with some company-specific questions you would like to ask.

Again, a few questions should do.

Remember our previous discussion about Being Prepared -- and you will do just fine.

Now, here are some possible questions you could ask.

·       Can you describe a typical day for someone in this position?
·       What is the top priority of the person who accepts this job?
·       What are the day-to-day expectations and responsibilities of this job?
·       How will my leadership responsibilities and performance be measured?  And by whom?  How often?
·       Can you describe the company's management style?
·       Can you discuss your view of the company's corporate culture?
·       What are the company's values?
·       How would you characterize the management philosophy of this organization or of your department?
·       What is the organization's policy on transfers to other divisions or other offices?
·       Does the organization support ongoing training and education for employees to stay current in their fields?
·       What do you think is the greatest opportunity facing the organization in the near future?
·       Why did you come to work here?  What keeps you here?
·       How is this department perceived within the organization?
·       What are the traits and skills of people who are the most successful within the organization?
Avoid these questions:

Interviewers should NOT ask questions about your race, religion, ethnic background, age, marital status, etc.  After you are hired, these topics are generally okay to talk about.  If your interviewer does ask one of these questions, don’t feel like you need to answer.  Do guide them to a different topic.

Also, you should not ask your interviewer questions about those topics either.  The natural reaction is for them to follow up by asking you the same questions.  It’s what we do socially, but not how we should engage in conversation in an interview.

Don’t ask questions about how you might move up in the company or how you might be able to transfer to a better job.  You may want to do that, but many interviewers will feel threatened by someone who appears too aggressive or too eager to move up in the organization.

Tomorrow -- I'll cover what needs to be in your job interview packet. Until then, Good Hunting!

:)  Dana

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