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Sunday
May082016

08. Preparing for job interviews: How many questions do I ask?

Part of preparing for job interviews includes a serious consideration of the questions you will ask during or at the end of your job interview. Too many people fail to ask impressive questions and some give them very slight attention during their preparation.

Why are the final questions important? For several reasons, but particularly because often the questions you ask form the final impression that you leave the job interviewers with. Leave a significantly positive impression by selecting your questions wisely.

Preparing for job interviews: Do I need to ask questions?

Yes. Always ask questions - especially when invited to - unless there is some very specifc reason not to.

If they say, "Do you have any questions?", do not say "no".

However, there is no need to ask a lot of questions. I recommend to my job interview coaching clients that they ask approximately three questions.

Preparing for job interviews: What kind of questions?

I suggest that the questions need to demonstrate three key features of an applicant's mindset and interest in the organisation. Consider choosing questions that demonstrate that:

  1. You are truly interested in and understand the organisation.
  2. You are keen to bring value to them.
  3. You are interested in their future and helping them to achieve their future vision.

Of course, there are other types of questions that you may ask and plan for when preparing for job interviews. However, what people often fail to do is to consider what impact they want their questions to have. The above list is to help you consider the kind of impression your questions will leave.

Do not make your questions all about yourself.

Preparing for job interviews: How to ask the questions?

How you ask a question that will show you are keen to bring value to them, will depend upon te role you are being interviewed for.

For example:

If you are applying for a senior management role in resource management, you might ask, "What kind of problems are you presently experiencing with your stakeholder groups that you would like me to solve as soon as I can?"

Alternatively, if you are applying for an executive HR position, you might ask:

What kind of problems are you presently experiencing with staff turnover and recruitment that you would like me to solve as soon as possible?"

Alternatively, if you are applying for the role of school principal, you might ask:

What kind of problems are you presently experiencing with community relationships, or with the Naplan results, that you would like me to improve as soon as I start?"

These types of questions put you in the position of being a problem solver, of having initiative and of wanting to help them in the future. This can be a good start!

Of course, the specific questions you ask will depend upon what level of job you are applying for, what type of job, and what information they have already shared with you in the interview. The questions would be different if you were reapplying for your own job.

Make sure you always include excellent questions when preparing for job interviews.