Tuesday, February 22, 2011

5 Tips for Asking Good Questions in the Interview

There will come a time in the interview that the interviewer will offer you the opportunity to ask questions. Not asking questions makes you look unprepared and disinterested. Next time you are given the opportunity, make sure you are ready with these tips.

Do your research.
Always prepare in advance. Thoroughly research the company – don’t just read their website. What are their future plans, their problems, and their needs? Show you have done your homework and demonstrate your dedication to their company with questions such as “I see that you are expanding your operation and outsourcing your customer support into India. At ABC Communications when we outsourced to India we had to overcome several roadblocks. What are some of the issues you have faced so far?” This question shows you have not only done your research, but that you are experienced at handling the same type of situation they are facing.

Make it all about them.
Never ask questions about benefits, salary, work hours, or anything else that relates to what the company is going to do for you. Your focus in the interview is to highlight the benefits you can bring to the employer.

Ask open-ended questions.
One of the purposes for asking questions at the end of the interview is to create a conversation, form a connection, and bond with the interviewer to get to “yes.” Avoid questions that can be answered with “yes” or “no”. A closed question would be “Is technology important to your company?” Instead, ask “How does technology factor into your company’s current and future success?”

Write your questions down and take them to the interview.
You have a lot to remember in an interview. If you write your questions down, there is one less thing you have to worry about remembering. Also, there may come a time that all your questions are answered in the course of the interview. In that rare case, you may actually want to show the questions you wrote down to the interviewer and say something such as “Thank you so much for such a thorough and detailed interview, you answered all the questions I had prepared.”

Close strong.
Remember the purpose of the interview is to get a “yes.” Once in a while you have to overcome objections to succeed. However, you can’t overcome an unknown objection. Therefore, one of the last questions you should always ask is “Do you see any skills or qualifications that I may be lacking to succeed in this position with your company?” Often, they may bring up an issue that you can overcome on the spot, just by providing additional details.

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