Job interviews — as most people have witnessed — can be harrowing experiences.
No matter how bright or successful you appear to be on a resume, you are vulnerable when you are confronted with a face-to-face interview.
Your talent, character, and intellect will be vetted during an interview, and no matter how sound your background is, job interviewers have the power to make almost anyone squirm.
That’s unless you turn the tables. Ask the questions yourself and you’ll find that the job interview is less threatening and possibly even more productive for both you and the employer.
Here are eight simple questions you ought to be prepared to ask during your next job interview:
Why do you think I am qualified for this job? This is important because the interviewer has to remind themselves why they wanted to interview you in the first place.
How will I fit in with the people I will be working with? This immediately shows that you are a team player and, at the same time, may cause the interviewer to reveal any underlying problems in the department where you will be working.
What are your expectations for me if I get this position? This is a great question for interviewers because it forces them to identify what they want out of a new employee.
What are the biggest hurdles I will find in my job? Again, if there are underlying conflicts or problems in the workplace the interviewer could share them with you.
If someone held this job before what happened to them? If someone was promoted — or fired — this is very valuable information for a new hire. You’ll want to know what it takes to succeed and what causes failure.
How will I be evaluated on my performance and how will I know whether I am making a contribution toward the company’s goals? This two-part question can open a lot of doors. First, the job interviewer is forced to identify again what factors will be considered in evaluating job performance. Second, asking how you can see your contribution toward the company goals shows that you have a commitment to the company that supersedes just receiving a weekly paycheck.
What reservations do you have about hiring me? If there is a hesitancy against hiring you, the job interviewer may share the reason why, which gives you the opportunity to address the company’s concerns from your perspective. This is a great way to dispel concerns that may not be legitimate.
What is the career path for this job? This may sound like you asking how much vacation time you will receive, but it’s really very different. Asking this suggests that you are keenly aware the need to grow and that you are looking for a job that will give you future opportunities if you prove worthy.
The job interview doesn’t have to be intimidating. You can help make it an illuminating process by coming armed with questions that can help you avoid making a bad career choice, or reinforcing your strongest attributes and setting yourself up for a rewarding future.