When you look for a new job, there’s a series of “happy-dance” moments you hope to get to. The response, scheduling the interview, the actual interview, and finally that job offer. Before you get the job offer, you need to impress your interviewers and you do that by asking smart questions in your interviews.
During your job interview, yes, a potential employer is interviewing you, but interviews are really a two-way street. You need to interview them, too. Even if they like you and offer you a job, will you enjoy your work?
Last week, I talked about how you can get back into the swing of things as you get ready for your interview, but part of the preparation process is your research.
1. Familiarize Yourself with the Job Description
While you definitely want to have questions you can ask during your interview, you need to know what to ask. Get familiar with the job description and the company you’re about to work with. If a job plays to a variety of your strengths, be sure to ask how much of the workload will come from each area.
2. Look for opportunities to ask questions about specific aspects of the job
Last week I talked about how I printed out a job description and took notes over it. While I would recommend not taking that description into an interview (it looked like a hot mess), find a nice notebook or a legal pad that you can take to the interview with you. Have those questions prepared and written down. When you’re in the interview, ask them if they come up in the natural aspect of the conversation, but the interviewer should ask at the end if you have any questions.
Those they haven’t answered, you ask and get your answers now.Impress your interviewer with your own set of questions that are thorough and thoughtful! Click To Tweet
3. Do your research on the people interviewing you
You’ve heard of Linkedin, right? Linkedin has this weird thing where it notifies someone if you look at their profile. No sneaky internet stalking on Linkedin. But guess what, you can use this feature to your advantage! After you’ve booked the interview, find your interviewer on Linkedin and get a good idea where he or she has come from.
Be sure to develop questions specific for your interviewer, like what brought them from X company to their current company? Ask about the skills they used for the transition and other things like that. By doing your research, you’re showing that you’re interested in the job and the people you’d be working with. By doing your research, you’re taking the initiative and showing that you care.
If you really want that job, you’ll care.
4. Keep a list of generic questions you can adapt for each interview
While each job interview is going to be different, a lot of the questions you can ask ought to start out as generic questions that are adapted for each interview. One that I always love to ask is actually related to point #3. “What makes you continue to love your job after all this time?”
There’s a two-fold reason to this. It’ll make your interviewer think about what she’s doing with her time at the company and it also shows that you really want to know you’re making a solid choice. As I said before, they may be interviewing you, but you need to make sure this is a good place for you. If someone isn’t enjoying their job, that could be a potential red flag. If you’re being interviewed by multiple people and they fumble a question like this, that is definitely a red flag.
5. The most important question of all – asking for the job!
One of the biggest questions you can ask during your interview is for the job. I talked about this as a bonus tip last week, but please make sure you ask when you can expect to hear from the interviewer and when they expect you to start. Remember, if you do get the job, be sure to calculate the time you’d need to put your two weeks in at your current job.
Asking questions of your interviewer shows you’ve done some research and that you are excited about the potential opportunity. It shows that you’re organized and prepared, as well.
Never, never show up and say you have no questions. Y’all, that’s just lazy.