Nabbing That Job: Interview Questions
At your job interview, you might think it’s your potential employer’s responsibility to ask you questions, not the other way around. Well—yes and no. They won’t be able to get a good idea of how you’ll perform if they don’t ask you questions, but finding a job is all about finding a good fit, and that means you should be posing some questions as well.That’s all fine and good, you might think to yourself, but what do I actually ask?
Good question (see—you’re on your way already!). First of all, stay away from asking about salary. I know the first thing on my mind when I go to a job interview is how much I’m going to get paid, but you can always negotiate that with the employer if you’re offered the job. One time when it is okay to ask about salary is if you’re really not sure whether the job or internship you’re interviewing for even pays (yes, sometimes it’s unclear). In that case, ask away.
It’s always a good idea to ask a question that isn’t really a question for the purpose of selling yourself. For example, you could say something like, “I love learning from a wide variety of people and cooperating with lots of different working styles. Is there an opportunity for me to do that here?” Since the answer is yes (duh), the employer will remember that an integral part of the job is really important to you.
Here’s another tip: even if you’re out of school, do your homework. Go online and find some information about the company or organization with which you have an interview. Find out when they were established, what’s working well for them, and what they might need. Then, try formulating that information into questions (example: “I noticed your trade division was established in 1999. How has that impacted the growth of your company?”). The employer will be impressed that you’ve taken time to do the research.
Finally, to get the brainstorming wheels in your own head turning, here’s a short list of a few other questions you might want to ask:
• What’s your favorite part of working at ______?
• How would you say _________ is different from other, similar companies? (i.e. How would you say Google is different from Yahoo and Ask?)
• What does your company value most in its employees?
• How can I help out your company in this position?
When you ask these or any other questions, don’t forget to take notes on the answers. Then write yourself out a little note of congratulations, because you’ll be that much closer to getting your dream job!