Can Asking Questions in Interviews Really Help Your Chances?
For some people, the scariest part of an interview is when the interviewer says, “Do you have any questions?” And you’ve been sitting there for an hour hoping that all of your answers about your background, your business administration degree, your experience and your future plans were exactly what she wanted to hear. Now you’re a nervous wreck because you’re not sure how you did, and it’s so easy to say “No, I don’t have any questions.”
And that’s exactly the wrong thing to say. In the first place, an interview is a two-way street: the employer is trying to decide if you’re the right fit for the position. At the same time, you’re trying to decide if you’d be good at the jo if you’d be happy, if it’s something that you want to do, and if the company is the right place for you and your accounting degree to go.
But questions are also an incredibly vital part of acing the interview in the interviewer’s eyes. Your chance to ask questions of the interviewer is an enormous opportunity for you, and something you must take advantage of when you’re interviewing for a job. What can the right questions do for you?
They help you stand out from the competition.
The questions at the end of the interview are the most important chance you’ve got to set yourself apart from all other candidates. Interview candidates can start to blend together—unless you have sharp, interesting, unique things to say and can demonstrate that you are focused, invested, and smart.
They help you demonstrate your knowledge.
Employers want candidates to do their homework. They want to hire people who can ask well-informed questions and make intelligent conversation about the company, its goals, its philosophy, and its place in the market. You want to demonstrate that you’re smart enough, not only to research the company and position that you’re applying for but also that you think critically about the information you have.
They help reinforce your interest and engagement.
An interviewer wants a candidate who is not just interested in getting a paid position anywhere—they want someone who is genuinely interested in their particular company and that specific job. Asking smart, engaged questions shows that you are enthusiastic and committed to the opportunity that’s available.
When you ask questions that refer back to the things your interviewer spoke about during the course of the interview, it shows her that you’re interested, you’re paying attention, and that you are good at thinking critically—all qualities an employer looks for in their employees.
Good questions will set you apart—and help you land the job. Knowing this, what are good questions to ask? Here are a few to consider:
The most important thing to do for an interview is to come prepared—not only dressed well and with copies of your resume, but with smart, engaged questions that set you apart from the competition. For more tips for a successful job interview, check out the Better Life Blog.