Ask, ask, ask
One survey of over 150 recruitment managers found that the most unforgivable behaviour exhibited in job interviews was not having any questions to ask.
If you don’t ask questions in the interview, many recruiters will wonder if you are truly interested in the job. They also need to feel satisfied that the candidate has enough information on which to make a decision in case an offer is made.
Susan Trainer, a senior Information Systems recruiter interviews hundreds of candidates to determine if they represent a good fit for her client companies. “It makes me crazy when I ask a candidate if they have any questions and they say either ‘No, you have answered them already’ or ‘How many days holiday does your client give?’ There are so many things you can screw up in a job interview and not asking thoughtful questions when you have the opportunity is probably the biggest one.”
“This is a real chance for a candidate to shine and set themselves apart from all the other job seekers. The questions you ask, and how you ask them, do as much to differentiate you from the competition as the questions asked by the interviewer.” Trainer insists.
Show off your knowledge
Asking questions is an excellent way to demonstrate your sophistication and qualifications. The questions you choose indicate your depth of knowledge of your field as well as your general level of intelligence. Asking questions also enables you to establish an easy flow of conversation and build rapport.
The more senior the position you are seeking, the more important it is to ask complex and tough questions. Recruitment managers will judge you as much on the inquiries you make as on the responses you provide. If you don’t ask sufficiently detailed questions, it will demonstrate a lack of initiative and leadership qualities that a senior level position demands.
Ten top questions to ask
Here are some examples of good questions to ask:
- What’s the makeup of the team as far as experience?
- What does this company value the most and how do you think my work for you will further these values?
- What kinds of processes are in place to help me work collaboratively?
- What do you think can I bring you to add value?
- What’s the most important thing I can do to help within the first 90 days of my employment?
- Do you have any questions or concerns about my ability to perform this job?
- When key people leave the company, why do they leave and where do they usually go?
- What potential do you see in me?
- What do you think are my strongest assets and possible weaknesses?
- Do you have any concerns that I need to clear up in order to be the top candidate?