If you’re in an interview and your interviewer does most of the talking is that:
a) A good thing?
b) A bad thing?
The answer, you’ll be disappointed to hear, is b) a bad thing. If an employer is doing all the talking he or she is learning nothing about you. You’ll walk away knowing a whole lot about the hiring manager’s views about the company, his/her department, what he/she is looking for in a candidate, what his or her hopes are for the position, etc., but because you didn’t speak, the hiring manager has no idea if you’re the right candidate.
So talk up. Ask questions. Have a – what a concept! – conversation with your interviewer.
Read below for some of the best questions you can ask and some of the best things you can say during your job interview.
- When it comes to questions to ask here are a few good ones:What are the first things you’ll want this person to do once hired?
o Why is the position open?
o What are your goals for your department/company?
o What are the most pressing short- and long-term issues the person in the position should focus on?
o What would you like to see the person hired for the job do differently from the person who previously held it?
o What is your management style? (If you’re easy going and the hiring manager is not, you could find yourself miserable if you
take the job. Better to know this now than later.)
- You may be asked why you want this particular job. Your answer should delineate how the position fits in with your overall career goals and what you’d like to learn from it.
- If you’re currently employed, you may be asked why you’re leaving your present job. In addition to the reasons you come up with from the above question, other acceptable reasons to leave a job are a shorter commute, more money/promotion, a better chance for training, etc. (Never say you’re leaving a job because your boss is a jerk. He or she very well may be, but that’s never a reason you state in a job interview.)
- Finally (and making a segue back to good questions you should ask), ask this: “Is there anything about my candidacy that concerns you/what weaknesses do you see in my candidacy?” Yes, it takes guts to ask this question, but it shows you have courage and that you welcome feedback. If your interviewer gives some areas of concern, you can address them then and there: “You’re correct, I don’t have experience with this, but I do have considerable experience with this, and this and this, which I believe considerably mitigates what I lack.”