Asking questions shows you are serious

Dear Working Wise:

Dear Working Wise: </b.I’ve gone to a few job interviews lately and I have not been sure what to say when the interviewers ask me if I have any questions.

Should I have any questions? Do you have any suggestions? — Unsure

Dear Unsure: Many interviewers will ask you toward the end of the interview if you have any questions about the position or organization. If you say no, you are missing an opportunity to:

• Make a positive impression on the employer;

• Decide if this job is a good fit for you; and

• Increase your chances of getting the job by finding out what is most important to the interviewer.

Research the company and the position before the interview and write a list of two or three questions.

Coming to the interview with questions shows the employer that you are serious about the position and confident enough to ask questions.

Questions you might want to ask, include things like:

What are the organization’s biggest challenges?

• How would the person in this position be involved in meeting these challenges?

• What are the company’s long-range plans?

• How would you describe the ideal candidate?

• What immediate projects or tasks would I be working on?

• What skills do you think are most critical to success in this role?

• What do employees enjoy most about working here?

• What key values or attitudes does the organization look for in the people it hires?

• How is success measured in this company?

• How would you describe the culture of this organization?

These types of questions demonstrate your interest in the position and the answers will help tell you which of your strengths you should mention at the closing of the interview.

Bring a pen and pad of paper to the interview as well and take notes on anything you want to ask about later in the interview.

When the employer invites you to ask questions, quickly review your list and ask questions that haven’t already been answered.

Ask your most important questions first and pay attention to the interviewer’s non-verbal cues after each question to ensure they are comfortable being asked another question.

Don’t ask about salary or benefits unless the employer mentions it first. You want the employer to know that you are most interested in how you can benefit the organization.

It’s best to wait until you’re offered the job before asking detailed questions about the salary and benefits package.

Listen carefully to what the interviewer has to say and take notes. Use what you have learned during the interview to create a short summary of your most relevant skills and qualifications.

At the end of your interview, be sure to restate that you are interested in the position and use your summary of key skills to show why you would be a great fit. This will help you create a clear picture of how hiring you would benefit the organization.

For more tips on job interviews, visit the Alberta Learning Information Service (ALIS) website at www.alis.alberta.ca.

Good luck in your next interview!

Working Wise is compiled by Charles Strachey of Alberta Employment and Immigration (charles.strachey@gov.ab.ca) for general information.