© Written By Jimmy Sweeney
President of CareerJimmy and Author of the new,
"Job Interview Secrets"
Knowing what questions to ask in a job interview is a subject which pops into many candidates' minds as they sit down in the chair for the interview. After all, they know that at some point in the interview, usually right at the end the interviewer is going to ask, "Do you have any questions for me?" As a job interviewee, you want to have a question at that moment, and more to the point you want that question to be a good one, one that moves you closer to getting the job you want. In the end, there aren't any good questions which you can ask every time you're prompted. As in so many social interactions, the kind of question to ask depends on what interactions have preceded.
There are, however, some general rules that hold in determining questions to ask in a job interview. You want to ask questions which make you appear to be intelligent. You want to ask questions which make you look passionate about the job. You want to ask questions which make it clear that you have paid attention to the interviewer. As a general rule, you could follow up on questions regarding how the procedures and techniques and corporate culture at the target company might differ from the way that other companies do similar business practices. When all else fails, just go ahead and ask whatever question you have been genuinely curious about while you listened to the interviewer speak.
In addition, among all the possible questions to ask in a job interview, there are definitely some you don't want to ask—such as questions about money and salary. You don't want to ask questions which could be interpreted as showing disinterest in the position. You don't want to ask questions which could be interpreted as gauging how much work you would be expected to do. You don't want to ask questions which could be interpreted as requests for special consideration and treatment. For instance, you wouldn't want to ask in the job interview if the company lets people work from home sometimes. Even though all these questions are valid, and worth asking eventually, the job interview is not the time or place. The purpose of the job interview is to get into a position to get the offer. Once you get the offer, then you would be in a position to learn what kind of conditions you can create for yourself.
Safe questions to ask in the job interview get the interviewer talking about himself or herself and the company. Some questions like this might be "What brought you to the company?" or "What do you like about working here?" Other safe questions reveal your ambitions, like "What is the career track for this position?" That shows both a strong career drive and a desire to stay at the company for a while, which impresses interviewers.
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