|Martin Yate CPC
NY Times Best-Seller
35 Years in Career Management
Job interviews are usually a one sided examination of skills: the interviewer asks questions and you answer them. By asking questions of your own during the interview, usually tagged onto the end of your response to an interviewer’s question, you can turn a one-way examination of skills into a conversation between two professionals with a common interest.
This gives you a distinct advantage over other candidates because judgments about your candidacy are based partly on your answers to questions and partly on any intelligent questions you ask, since questions demonstrate the depth of your understanding of the job. Asking the right questions demonstrates your professional depth and gives you insight into how you can best answer the interviewer’s subsequent questions:
Questions to Evaluate the Job
· “What do you consider the most important day-to-day responsibilities of this job?”
· “What are the most common day-to-day problems of the job, and how do your best people execute their work to prevent these problems from arising?”
· “What is the hardest part of the job?”
· “Who succeeds in this job and why?”
· “Who fails in this job and why?”
· “Which projects will I be most involved with during the first six months?”
· “What will you want me to have achieved after ninety days?”
· “What will you want me to have achieved after six months?”
· “What are the biggest challenges the department faces this year and what will be my role as a team member in tackling them?”
· “What skills and values do you consider critical to success in this job?”
· Place yourself on the payroll, and ask questions phrased this way, “How will we..?”
Conversation is a two-way street; so asking questions that go to the heart of the job, and that show your genuine understanding of the work will turn a one-side examination of skills into a conversation between professionals with a common interest. The information you gather will also help you make a strong closing argument for your candidacy. When the end of the interview comes, in closing you can
* Review the job’s requirements with the interviewer, matching them point-by-point with your skills and attributes.
* Determine next steps. If there are more interviews in the selection cycle, express your interest, recap why you feel qualified for the job and ask for that next interview, “Is now a good time to schedule our next meeting?” If this is the last interview use this same approach to ask for the job.
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