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Being inquisitive at an interview

27 October 2020

By Executives Team

Being inquisitive at an interview

Regardless of whether you’ve only been in two interviews or even seven, you’re usually asked the following towards the end of the interview:

‘Is there anything you would like to ask us?’

It’s the question that still makes candidates who are underprepared squirm. While others merely wait for it to be asked, so they can then enquire all about the company and the interviewer.

We have always been encouraged to speak up. From school, all the way up to the world of work. The same goes for the interview.

  • Ask about them, not the company.

  • Ask where you think the company is going in the ever-changing industry.

  • Ask why they decided to work here.

  • Ask what they like about working there.

It’s time to become a journalist; ask the questions that are relevant to you, but also to them as well. Any questions that could spark off a conversation for another ten minutes is a good sign; as it builds on the foundation of rapport that you and your potential employer will hopefully have if you attain the role.

Another question that is asked from an interviewee from time to time, is also:

‘How do you think the interview went today?’

Some don’t ask this, as they think it’s overstepping the boundaries of what constitutes an interview, but it’s also a great way of obtaining feedback on how you came across, good or bad. It helps even if you aren’t successful in the job, so you can build upon the points given, either face-to-face or via e-mail a few days after the interview has taken place.

Another issue to consider is not asking questions at the end of the interview. To some it may give a bad impression and it may show that you’re not showing interest in the job, but on the other hand, it may show that there’s no need, as you’ve already done adequate research. Speaking about this can help justify why you have no need to ask any questions. But asking for the salary and the benefits is never a bad thing; everyone gets paid, and they want to see how much the role will be in black and white.

Remember; the interview isn’t just for them to see if you’re a good fit, it's also to see if they are a good fit for you. You need to be sure that it’s a job that’s not only going to be one that you will enjoy, but also one that can build on the skills you already have, while learning some new ones.

We live in an age where there’s so much choice in our careers, especially with remote working taking hold of many industries. However, without asking the right questions at an interview, it could be the difference between knowing it's the right position for you or something you’d rather not venture into.

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