Job Interviewing Skills: The Many Benefits of Asking Questions?

A job interview in which you only answer questions is bound to end badly. One of your job interview objectives is to determine if the prospective employer and the job would be a good fit for you. Asking the right questions will go a long way in helping you make the right decision when you get the job offer.

Questions you never want to ask in a job interview are things that you can find out easily from other sources. Stay away from salary and benefit questions. One candidate got rejected because they asked questions about the cost of parking and then became indignant when they learned free parking was five blocks for the work place.

Asking questions can help you learn if this employer is right for you. Regardless if this is the first interview or the third always have three or four good questions to ask at the end of the interview. The questions you develop will fall into one of three categories: general business, the job and personal.

Here are some ideas to help you create an effective strategy to ask the right questions in the job interview.

1. Good job interview questions. Business related questions can relate to recent company or industry news. Impact of the soft economy on the business is a good question. Learn how the company is dealing with a new competitor.

Job related questions should be asked to learn what is expected in the job. How is the good performance evaluated? How is success measured in the company? What are the priorities in the job? Who had the job before? Why did they leave? Could you give me an indication of the management style in the department? In the company? What key skills are needed to be successful in the job?

If you exhaust the company and job related questions, you might ask the interviewer some questions related to their personal experience. Questions like: What do you like about working here? What made you decide to work here? What is most challenging about working for this company? What is recognized as the company's strengths? How about any weaknesses?

2. Listen actively to the answers to your questions. Follow-up to their answers as appropriate. You want to end the interview having a conversation with the interviewer.

3. Always ask, "What's next?" Never leave an interview without knowing when to expect to hear from them, and when and who you should follow-up with.

4. Make your closing memorable. Thank them for their time and summarize why you would be a good fit for the position. Be positive about the organization.

Before the interview write out what you might say on the close. Of course it will be adjusted according to new information learned about the job. Make your close natural and genuine.

With this well thought out approach in asking questions in the job interview, you will learn more about the organization, find out what makes the job tick, and establish that you are thoughtful interested job candidate. All of which will help move you to the top of the list.

John Groth has changed careers seven times during his working life. Learn more about changing careers, job interview strategies, resume and cover letter writing and career planning at
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