How to Prepare for an Interview - Questions You Should Ask

How to Prepare for an Interview

By being well prepared you can demonstrate superior knowledge and interest

When learning How to Prepare for an Interview many job candidates are often surprised by the need to thoughtfully prepare questions to ask the interviewer. By asking the right questions at the right time it is possible for the candidate to control the flow of the interview. If you can accomplish this you will increase your chances of landing the job.

There are two reasons to prepare and ask questions during the interview. First, the interview is a two way communication. You need to learn as much as possible to determine if you want the job if it was offered. Nothing could more disappointing than starting a new job and quickly realizing it is not a good fit for you. Second, the questions you ask convey your knowledge, preparation and interest in the company and the job. You want to ask questions that then let you interject your success stories that highlight your accomplishments and how you can add value to the organization.

If at all possible you want to ask questions throughout the interview to create an atmosphere of conversation rather than interrogation. It is the rare interviewer who will not permit questions throughout the interview. But be prepared for the time that occurs. Your questions will subtly steer the interview in the direction that you want it to take.

It is important to ask questions in the following areas:

1. The company. Ask questions about the company's mission, goals, products and competitors. You want to learn about their strategies, about new products/services and current successes and challenges. You can ask questions you know the answer to to demonstrate your level of preparedness and interest.

2. The Position. You want to learn their description of the ideal candidate so you can match up your strengths and accomplishments. Ask questions to find out if the position is newly created or if you would be replacing someone and why. How will you be measured in the job.

3. When interviewing with the hiring manager. Ask specifically what the goals are for the first 3-6 months and what challenges will needed to be overcome to be successful. You can relate your own success stories that demonstrate how you can meet these goals and challenges.

4. When interviewing with human resources. This is where you can learn about training, career development and advancement.

5. Questions to ask before you end the interview. Depending on you are speaking with you want to ask if they have any concerns about your ability to do the job. You want this information so that you can address concerns right away. Try to learn how you rank versus other candidates and what the next step of the interviewing process will be.

By being able to ask insightful questions you can steer the flow of the interview to discuss how you can add value, reinforce your knowledge about the company and industry, and ultimately be viewed as the best candidate.

What factor will contibute most to a poor interview outcome?

  • Arriving late
  • Not asking questions
  • Not researching the company or position
  • Not articulating specific accomplishments
  • Improper dress
  • Bad mouthing a former employer
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What Questions Do You Ask?

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