© Written By Jimmy Sweeney
President of CareerJimmy and Author of the new,
"Job Interview Secrets"
It would actually be easier to talk about the worst possible questions to ask at a job interview. That's because the good questions are, for the most part, dependent on the topics and tone of the conversation you have with the interviewer, and for that reason hard to predict. BAD questions, however, are bad no matter what. As a general rule, a bad question to ask at the job interview is any that has to do with money. As a matter of fact, if you can avoid it completely, do so, even if you are asked. For most employers, bringing up the money issue is how they find out what you are currently making and try to give you just a little bit more than that, regardless of how much the job might be worth to them.
Other bad questions are any which imply that you are looking to do as little work as possible or to ask for special scheduling and treatment. Do not ask what your duties and responsibilities would be, since that makes it look like you are trying to avoid work. If you have some longstanding commitment which makes you unavailable to work certain times, don't ask during the interview if that is okay. If you have a vacation scheduled for a month from now, don't ask if you can have that time off. In these cases, it's a much better strategy to say and ask whatever it takes to get the offer. Then, when they have already decided they want you, inform them of these special circumstances.
Good questions to ask at a job interview are 1) questions which show that you know what you are talking about in regard to the job and 2) show that you've been paying attention to what the interviewer said. Following up on the statements of the interviewer in an intelligent manner shows your intelligence and attentiveness. Other good question strategies are to use the questions as ways of bringing up techniques or successes from your past. Questions which ask about the expected career path for the position show your ambition and willingness to make a career at the organization. So they also are among the 'good' questions to ask.
As a final suggestion for questions to ask at a job interview, get the interviewer to break down exactly what he or she is looking for. Just ask "What are the most important characteristics, skills and experiences that will make someone successful at this job?" When the interviewer tells you, say "I'm glad to hear that because...." Then launch into a 30-second elevator speech about why you have all those skills, characteristics and experiences. Since you should have done enough company research ahead of time to know the answer to that question, that speech should be easy for you.
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