March 6, 2003
Want to impress? Ask these questions at your interview
Special to NWjobs
At some point in every interview the employer will ask, "Do you have any questions?"
A top manager shared this insight: "I judge candidates by the questions they ask. That's what's most revealing to me. I want someone focused on succeeding in the job and not just centered [on] how much money I will pay them."
Unprepared candidates appear dumb to the interviewer and miss a golden opportunity. This will not happen to you. Take time before the interview to draft good questions, and stick to asking about job duties and organizational questions only.
Your questions can determine whether this job, company and boss are a good fit for you. You may have preconceived ideas about what it is actually like to work there. Often these ideas prove to be inaccurate once you get into the interview and begin to ask your questions. Better to learn now that you don't want this job, than three weeks after you've started. A few weeks ago a man approached me at a seminar and said he wished he had asked more questions. Instead he impulsively took a job. Two weeks later he knew it was a huge mistake. Don't let that happen to you.
Create 10 to 15 questions and write them down. Consider asking:
- "Could you describe to me your typical management style and the type of employee that works well with you?"
- "What are your major concerns that need to be immediately addressed in this job?"
- "What is your company's policy on providing seminars, workshops, and training so employees can develop their skills?"
- "Are there any restraints or cutbacks planned that would decrease the budget here?"
- "What particular computer equipment and software do you use here? When was your last upgrade?"
- "How will my performance be measured? By whom?"
- "Are there any weaknesses in the department that you are working on improving?"
- "What types of people seem to excel here?"
- "Can you give me an idea of the typical workload and extra hours or special needs it demands?"
- "Describe the atmosphere of the office."
Robin Ryan has appeared on Oprah, NBC Nightly News with Tom Brokaw, CNN, CNBC and is considered America's top career coach. She is the best-selling author of: 60 Seconds & You're Hired!; Winning Resumes; Winning Cover Letters, and What to Do with the Rest of Your Life. She's the creator of the highly acclaimed audio training program Interview Advantage and The DreamMaker. Robin's passion is helping people find better jobs which she successfully does through her career counseling practice where she offers individual career coaching and resume writing services. A popular national speaker, Robin has spoken to over a thousand audiences on improving their lives and obtaining greater success. To purchase products or contact Robin visit her Web site at www.robinryan.com.
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