Interviews: Why Asking the Right Questions is Important
We all walk into an interview hoping that we’ll have the right answers for any questions that get thrown our way, but how often do we consider what questions we will be asking?
Not only can insightful questions impress your interviewer, but they can be used to learn valuable information about your potential future employer, too. Asking questions will result in two advantages for you during the interview process:
- Questions provide you with feedback that can be used to answer future questions that may be thrown your way.
- Questions prove your level of interest, intrigue and competence.
Using Questions to develop a Database
It is often believed that interviewers pay closer attention to your answers than they do to your questions. However, questions prove your ability to absorb the information that you are being given throughout the conversation.
Most interview processes involve multiple meetings with people from different departments and at different levels within the company. For example, a candidate for a managerial position might meet with the CEO, CFO, and the VP of a company. By asking questions about company policies and philosophies throughout each step of the interview process, you can gain valuable insight into the operations and current problems faced by the company, as well as what the company values. This will help you answer any questions in future steps of the interview process favourably and effectively.
Questions will also provide valuable background information on the decision makers in the company. Appropriate questions can uncover preferences and attitudes about the position you’re interviewing for.
How Many Questions Is Too Many?
It is important that you learn how and when to ask the right questions in an interview. Whilst it may sound like a simple task, probing for information without alienating your interviewer can be tricky and takes practice.
Be sure to only ask questions for information, and not for the sake of asking questions. This can often be a transparent move that interviewers see straight through.
Applying a focus on interest-driven question, asked in a friendly manner, provides the opportunity for an open-ended response that will allow your interviewer to feel comfortable enough to elaborate on an answer. This can reward you with valuable information about your potential future company, position or employer.
Asking About Benefits
Enquiring about company benefits and policies too early in the interview may raise red flags to your interviewer that your priorities of getting the job are a bit out of order.
Timing is a crucial element to asking questions in an interview. Questions that focus on vacation, sick pay, education benefits, and insurance should be saved for the final stages of the interview process. This helps give your interviewer the perception that you’re serious about the job and the bigger picture, and not too focused on the smaller benefits and work perks that may come with the role.
If you’re preparing for an upcoming interview and are unsure of what questions to ask, how to phrase your questions or when to ask them, consult your recruiter for assistance. By the time you have completed your interview, your potential future employer should have a great understanding of your level of competence and true interest in the position.
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