Having an interview go really smooth is every job candidate’s prayer. You just want to accurately answer all the questions thrown at you, shake their hands and faces goodbye; and dash out of the room. Bam! Everybody is happy. Maybe that worked in the 19th century when jobs chased after people but not in this era where recruiters are too busy looking for a few candidates in a stack of perceived qualified candidates.
Job interviews are a rare thing to come by but once you get the opportunity to attend one, anything less than a good impression would send you back to the job market. You may be thinking asking questions in an interview is a no-no for jobseekers but interviewers aren’t there to suck up all the oxygen either.
While the spotlight’s on you, you also want to know some things about the company and the people you’ll be working with. Asking interviewers questions (as appropriate) livens up the interview and makes it more interactive, interviewers don’t feel boring – or bored- and it opens up an avenue to get as much clarity on any gray area.
That said, so what does asking questions do to interviewers?
- It shows you are a thinker. It shows you are smart. It shows you’d rather save your recruiters any further stress if you are not up for the job. This could be in two ways, it could either grow the impression that you belong with them or that you don’t fit in. whichever way that goes, ask questions because you want to be sure you belong with them too.
I was once interviewed for a position, the job description sounded fun to me but I wasn’t so convinced about the role. I asked the interviewer what I’ll be doing in my first few weeks if I got the job; and as he explained, I realized it wasn’t a good fit for me. I could go on to do the job but I won’t be happy doing it. That mattered more to me and I would have been in for a rude awakening if I kept mute on that during the interview.
- Recruiters sense your level of interest. You would buy into a product if you see the manufacturer just doesn’t want to get money out of your wallet but is also interested in your well-being and really thinks his product does the magic. Asking questions in interviews pretty much does the same thing. You don’t give off that ‘I am desperate’ impression and it shows you are willing to give the job your best. A question like “what would be your expectations from me in the first few months on this job’’ can give recruiters a really good time.
- It shows you’ve been listening. Interviewers hate to feel they are boring and when you give a flat ‘no’ in response to ”do you have any questions?” , you may not get them liking you that much. Listening is a highly sought after skill by most recruiters and a good listener is naturally inquisitive. And of course, listening saves you the risk and shame of asking an already answered question.
- It shows you are confident. This is a complete turn-on for interviewers, your confidence shows you know why you are there and you have a high self-esteem. Confidence gives you the freedom to be you and it’s a good way to ace interviews.
- You add the wow effect. To whatever impression they have of you. Like I mentioned earlier, that’s what recruiters look out for. All job candidates can suddenly start looking the same but if you make recruiters stop to stare. That’s a first step to getting that job offer.
Don’t wait until the end of the interview before you ask your questions, that’s very stereotypic, to put it mildly. If you want to leave a lasting impression (which you should), do something most candidates won’t. An average job candidate feels he is at the mercy of the interviewers –however true that might be- and literally begs to be pampered, brown-noses his interviewers and carries a “I really need this job’ look throughout the interview, but a smart candidate – which I believe you are- knows the interview is not about the interviewers alone but also about how well the job suits him, or not. So get your fine self into the interview room drilling your potential employers as they do same, hopefully, you’ll make friends in the end.
Do you like asking questions in interviews? Tell me why and how that has affected your job search.