Job Interview Articles

The Most Important Questions to Ask on a Job Interview

People have a lot to say when it comes to the questions to ask on a job interview. Some of their advice is worth taking and some not. You'll have to be the judge. But you can be sure of this. You'll want to ask questions in three crucial areas:

  • What the hiring manager is looking for in the person he or she plans to hire.
  • What is required on the job in terms of performance and leadership.
  • How your skills and talents can be used effectively for your advancement.

Therefore, spend your time preparing for all three. That means you'll need to collect real-life examples from your work life that will illustrate your ability to do what is required from the new company. It won't be enough to talk in generalities or theories. Specifics will be the name of the game. Prepare questions that give the hiring manager a chance to provide you with answers that will satisfy you one way or the other about whether you wish to work for this company. By sharing your past job-related experiences, the interviewer can see how you might fit into the organization and in that case he or she will be more interested in responding to your pointed questions.

Focus on Target Areas

When you arrive at your interview you should know something about the company's mission and purpose, which will help you frame your questions in ways that are related to the issues the company executives and employees care about and are committed to.

Also, don't be afraid to ask for what you want. This is the time to get all your questions answered so there are no false expectations on either side. Also keep in mind, however, that the employer has the upper hand in that he or she is the one with the job to fill. So focus on the target areas of utmost importance, namely the goal of the company, its employee policy, training, compensation, and retirement package.

Toot Your Own Horn - Quietly

It's fine to ask questions that help you create a climate for interacting with the hiring manager in a friendly way, where you can let him or her know what you've done on the job that will help the new company in specific areas. In other words, you might ask, "How much authority will I have in a crisis?" As the hiring manager discusses this possibility, you can wait patiently, and then add the fact that you had to overturn a decision made by a 'higher up' when your department was in jeopardy after a piece of equipment failed to perform correctly. You had the presence of mind to do such and such and things worked out. In other words, by stating what steps you took, you are showing the interviewer what kind of individual you are - hopefully one he'd want working in his company.