The interviewer has a list of questions they ask to learn about you, but you also need to learn about them! What questions will you ask during the interview?
The interview has to be an exchange of information.
Let me also say that many interviewers have had no formal training in interviewing and it is often the least favorite part of their job (unless they are a recruiter or in HR and then it IS part of their job).
The Scope and Tone of Your Questions
Have you prepared appropriate and thoughtful questions you would like answered during the interview? This shows your interest in the job, professionalism, maturity and self-confidence.
I interviewed a candidate many years ago, for an entry-level job who had very little work experience. My role at the time was in human resources as the screener, The young candidate began by asking “where do you see your company going in 5 years?” I felt this was outside the scope of what he should be asking so early in the interview and I told him so.
If he had asked other questions that had to do with his role and expectations of him in the job first, I may have been more willing to consider answering his ‘out of scope’ questions. I can understand why he asked this textbook question, but I didn’t feel I was the right person to answer them nor was I trained enough to know how to respond. The candidate should have considered these things:
- Show interest in the job by asking questions about the job.
- Understand your audience and ask questions they are qualified to answer.
- Share why the questions being asked are important to you.
- Use an inquisitive tone of voice to suggest you are truly seeking information, not judging.
Leveling the Playing Field
If you are a seasoned candidate, interviewing with a seasoned interviewer, I think you want to use the right mix of questions so you come across confident and curious.
Asking questions during a job interview also makes it feel more conversational. For more explanation and logic about these questions, please go read: Interviewing is a fact-finding mission, not an interrogation.
Questions You Can Ask
Keeping in mind where you are in the interview process and who you are interviewing with is key to deciding which questions to ask (and when).
Check out this list of questions you can ask during your job interview.
Hannah Morgan speaks and writes about job search and career strategies. She founded CareerSherpa.net to educate professionals on how to maneuver through today’s job search process. Hannah was nominated as a LinkedIn Top Voice in Job Search and Careers and is a regular contributor to US News & World Report. She has been quoted by media outlets, including Forbes, USA Today, Money Magazine, Huffington Post, as well as many other publications. She is also author of The Infographic Resume and co-author of Social Networking for Business Success.