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Do you ask questions during an interview?

November 28, 2012

What I have always loved about interviewing was the time when I get to ask the questions. There is always a time when the interviewer says “do you have any questions?” and I go for it. I realize that may have gotten me in more trouble that I realized at the time but most of the answers to my questions were met and I was satisfied. I think a good job interview is a give and take…how you pose your questions tells a lot about you as a candidate. Being prepared to ask well thought out questions is critical if you expect an interview to go well. Why is this important? here are a few good reasons:

  • Many job interviewers will spend half of their time listening to you describe your experience. they will reserve the second half of their interview for answering your questions. In a 40 minute interview, this amounts to 20 minutes. That is a significant amount of time.
  • Most job seekers do a good job describing their background, however they fail to ask questions. Doing so helps you stand out.

Things to keep in mind:

  • Remember, as you prepare your questions, the obvious ones will be answered throughout initial conversation and their description of the company and position. Don’t be trapped with the response, “You already answered all of my questions.”
  • Ask good spontaneous questions throughout the interview to show that you are paying attention.

Here are some sample questions to ask the interviewer:

  • Why did you join this company?
  • What do you like best about it?
  • What was your adjustment like upon joining this company?
  • What are the job’s primary responsibilities?
  • What qualities have helped a person be successful in this role?
  • What do you see as being the greatest challenge?
  • What are the professional backgrounds of other members in the group?
  • With whom will I be interacting? To whom will I be reporting?
  • Can you give me examples of new products/services you will be offering to your customers/clients in the near future? What prompted this initiative?
  • What have been some successful initiatives you have worked on in the last year?
  • Most firms trend to be in “a state of change” – How is this firm different today than 5 or 10 years ago, and how do you think it will be different 5 years from now?

Now here are some questions you should not ask:

  • What is your turnover rate?
  • Is this position open because someone has left the firm?
  • Do you work a lot of overtime here?
  • Why do people leave the firm?
  • What don’t you like about the firm?
  • How much vacation time would I get the first year?

No some of the don’t ask questions can be asked if phrased differently.  Looking for a job is tough, especially in this economy. Let Gunwel Associates help you by simply role-playing some of these questions. We are a full service tax & bookkeeping firm that wants to help you in every aspect of your financial life. We know it is tough out there and we are here to help. Give us a call at 615-730-9444 and visit our website at Let’s get the discussion going! See you soon.

One Comment leave one →
  1. January 24, 2013 8:52 am

    It’s very interesting info! Thanks a lot for it.

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