Ask the right questions during an interview

07.24.2013


Ask the right questions during an interview
Ask the right questions during an interview.

Interviews can be stressful experiences during periods of job searching, but by doing research and reviewing your qualifications, it can be easy to prepare for anything your interviewer asks you. However, when it comes to your own questions, being wary can pay off, as some questions may hurt your chances much more than they'd help.

Avoiding discussing salary or compensation during a first interview is a must, according to the Winston-Salem Journal. Asking about money, unless it's absolutely necessary, could potentially hurt your chances, as it turns the discussion away from how your skills and abilities can help the company.

The later in the interviewing process, the better, for money talk; allowing the employer to bring up the question removes much of the tension from the situation, as the discussion will relate more to your ability to take the job than your salary desires.

Additionally, directly asking about anything outside of usual hours is not recommended. Focusing on overtime, working at home, or extra work needing to be done on your own time before it's necessary could give the appearance that you're not fully invested.

Pay attention
Going into an interview with pre-set questions to ask isn't a bad idea, but asking them naturally is important and paying attention to the conversation is key. Should your question be answered during the interview itself, asking the question at the end of the interview will make it seem like you weren't paying attention.

Don't ask questions with answers you can find on your own time. The company's history, its purpose, and many of its accomplishments should be easy to find on an Internet search. Doing your own research and finding out these answers on your own won't just help you, though; if you build on preset knowledge in a question, it will look like you've done your homework, always a good sign.

Be aware of who you're talking to, as well. If the interviewer is a member of human resources, it may be best to avoid asking them intricate questions about the logistics of the job; if you're being interviewed by one of the company's leaders, sticking to high-level questions is likely the way to go. The tone of an interview should help you determine what to ask, but being careful is always good advice to follow.

After the fact
Should you realize that the interview isn't going well, you shouldn't take it personally, but after its conclusion, don't be direct in asking where you went wrong. Remaining as professional as possible when learning you have been passed over not only saves face but can help you determine where you went wrong.

Should you respectfully and formally ask about specific things you can improve, while it's rare to receive too much information, you may learn valuable advice you can take into your next experience. Additionally, if only one or two fixable mistakes doomed your interview, while it's rare some companies may keep your resume on a shortlist to consider for future job opportunities.

As for questioning yourself, first ask what went well during the interview and learn from it, Forbes advises. Picking up on your strengths and weaknesses and building upon them in the future can make you a much stronger candidate in the future, and preparing yourself to avoid missteps you've taken in the past can save you in future situations.

Job Search