When you go for an interview, you need to be well-prepared because there are lots of areas you need to address. Being clear and concise about your education and previous work history, for example, are important.
So is being able to articulate a positive feeling about yourself. I won’t go into the others; you probably know what they are. But knowing the Best Questions to Ask an Interviewer can also be important sometimes. I say sometimes because it does not always apply.
And when it does, you could be treading on dangerous ground if you ask the wrong thing.
How Important Are They?
In some cases, if you ask the right questions, it could mean the difference between being hired or not. But there are good interview questions and bad ones. I have seen some suggested questions that would be likely to bring the interview to a very abrupt halt. And not in a positive way.
Let’s start by taking a look at this before we discuss what questions are appropriate in an interview.
You’ve Got To Read The Interview Situation
Gauging what the interviewer wants from you is an important aspect of the interview. You must assume that the interviewer knows what he or she is doing. But there may be some circumstances you have got to appreciate very early on. This will go a long way to help you know if asking questions might not be a good idea.
- Is the interviewer very formal in their communication with you?
- Do they seem in a rush to be somewhere else that may be important?
- Do they seem like they are interested in you as a person or just going through the motions?
These are just a few observations to consider. I have read suggestions where the interviewee should ask what could be considered personal questions of the interviewer. What do they think of the company? Have they received promotions? Are they satisfied with their work experience?
They are what could be described as ‘Titanic’ questions. Lost forever, sunk without a trace. They are there to interview you, not vice versa. Do you know them well enough to start asking questions that ask them to make personal observations? I think not.
It’s not a casual chat…
Of course, they may not even give you the opportunity to ask questions. This isn’t a casual chat over a cup of coffee in a restaurant or coffee shop. Depending on how formal they are, they might want you in and out as quickly as possible.
Questioning them about the company turnover, staff attitudes, or why people leave the company is a surefire way to get an early cup of coffee… on the way home.
Some Questions can be relevant to your application
- The Job and Performance-related issues.
- How many people are in the department, and how it is structured?
Let’s take a look at what might be appropriate for each topic that could be relevant to your application.
1 The Job and Performance-related issues
- What would be my priorities in undertaking the position if offered it?
- Is there a process for performance reviews? Who conducts it?
- Are there plans for the functions of the position to change in the next 6-12 months?
Those are simple questions that demonstrate your interest but are not inquiring or personal in any way. They also don’t demand opinions about the job or the company.
2 How many people are in the department, and how is it structured?
- How does the position fit into the structure of the department?
- Is the department broken down into teams? If so, how many?
- How many people work in the department?
- Do you use technology for inter-departmental communication?
Again showing interest but not becoming informal in your approach.
How Many Do You Ask?
That will depend on the mood of the interview. Maybe you won’t get the chance to ask any. It may be that in a relaxed environment, opportunities will arise. If they do, don’t try to elicit the interviewers’ opinions on the company that pays their salary. Questions are fine as long as they are brief and relevant. But questions are asked in just three circumstances.
- If you are invited by the interviewer, “Is there anything you’d like to know?”
- When they are discussing a particular aspect of the position, and there is something you don’t quite understand.
- If after the interview, they are either escorting you out of the building, or the interview is finished, and you sense a relaxed atmosphere.
In the last example, you must again still not elicit personal opinions. In my own experience of interviewing candidates, I was interested in them. But if any of them asked some of the questions below, the interview would be terminated.
- What do you think of the opposition?
- How would you improve this Company?
- Do you enjoy coming to work every day?
Would you really expect to get an answer? Do you really think that is making a good impression?
Show Respect to the interviewer…
Interviews are often in the main formal. Treat them as such. Show respect for the interviewer and for the company itself. Show respect for the company’s competition and never disparage.
But most importantly, don’t try and be something you are not. Ask questions if you want to know something. Not because you think it’s clever to do so. There are too many of those individuals around. But here is a secret, we can see right through them!
Here are some things you might need. If you’re going to be signing something? A classy pen is a good start; I would recommend the Parker IM Fountain Pen. And a quality case always looks impressive, such as the Tassia Luxury Leather Executive Case Attache Briefcase.
If it is raining, you want to arrive looking like you came prepared, so get yourself a Lilyxin Premium Automatic Compact Umbrella Windproof.
Need More Interview Info And Advice?
No problem! Take a look at the interview questions advice I’ve put together for you, such as the best Behavioral Interview Questions And Answers, the Best Questions To Ask In An Interview, How Would You Describe Yourself or Answering Tell Me About Yourself In Interview. How about Why We Should Hire You, How Do You Handle Stress, What Are Your Career Goals, and Why Do You Want To Work Here in 2023.
Additionally, more personal questions you might have to answer are What Are You Most Proud Of, What Motivates You, What Makes You Unique, and How To Answer What Are You Passionate About.
Or for some online reading, take a look at Land Your Dream Job: Join the 2% Who Make it Past Resumé Screening, the English for Academic CVs, Resumes, and Online Profiles, CVs, Resumes, and LinkedIn: A Guide to Professional English, and the Marketing Yourself in the Age of Digital: CVs, Applications, Interviews, Social Media, LinkedIn books you can purchase.
If you’re looking to create your first Linkedin Profile, you’ll definitely want to check out the Best Linkedin Recommendation Examples and our Best Linkedin Profile Tips.
Feel like shopping; well, we found How to Write a KILLER LinkedIn Profile… And 18 Mistakes to Avoid, LinkedIn For Dummies, LinkedIn Riches: How To Use LinkedIn For Business, Sales and Marketing! and lastly, Ignite Your LinkedIn Profile, or LinkedIn Profile Optimization For Dummies all available online today.
With so many aspects affecting your interview outcome, being prepared is of the utmost importance. When you go to an interview, it is good to make the right impression. And, now that I’ve taken you through all the do’s and don’ts, the rest is up to you.
Also, keep in mind your appearance; it’s not just your questions and answers the interviewer will be observing. So, always make sure you are well presented and appropriately dressed.
All the very best with your Interview!