Family Magazine

How to Ask Questions in an Interview

By Michelle Merritt @michellemerritt

How to Ask Questions in an InterviewDid you know that you get to ask questions in an interview, too?

Last week we talked about how to answer the worst interview questions. But as this article on Monster.com points out, job interviews are two-way streets.

In fact, employers will expect you to ask questions in an interview. They want to see that you're engaged, interested and thinking on your feet.

We respectfully disagree with one example in this article, however. Where it suggests following up with a question such as "Are you guys a big SQL shop?" we'd recommend already knowing the answer.

When you ask questions in an interview, they'll ideally demonstrate a basic knowledge of the company. Be sure that you've read the company's website, at a minimum. Run some Google searches on the company to see what others are saying about them. If they send out a newsletter, get on the list. Scope out their social media sites to read the freshest information.

Few things say "I want to work for you, and I'll be good at it" like conversation that tells your interviewer you've researched the company to the best of your ability.

So ask questions in an interview that take the discussion to the next level. If you see that the organization has earned an award, offer congratulations and ask what that will mean for the company. If you read that they're expanding into new markets or adding new products, ask about how the effort is going. Review their mission, then ask about concrete ways in which it's expressed.

See how smart you sound? Who wouldn't want a candidate who's obviously resourceful, interested and thinking about the organization's health and goals?

As the article describes, practice is key to pulling off the balance of questions and answers naturally and gracefully, walking the fine line between confidence and arrogance. We help candidates rehearse beforehand, and we help them draft a thank you letter that reflects the specifics of the conversation afterward.

Don't let nerves prevent you from asking questions in an interview. Informed queries can put you head and shoulders above the rest.

photo by Ambro, freedigitalphotos.net

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