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We Have Ways of Making You Talk

16th Mar 2016

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Why you should ask questions during an interview and a few examples...

Always prepare questions

Do you sometimes feel a bit short of questions to ask at the end of an interview with your potential employer? Well, for your sake, I hope so. We will never tell you enough, you must prepare questions to ask during an interview and there are good reasons for that. On one hand, it will help you to learn more about your possible next job environment, and on the other hand it will enhance your chances in getting your dream job.

You will get more information to make your decision

With the excitation of the interview process we tend to show how much of a good candidate we are and we easily forget that interviews are also important to learn as much as possible about a job environment before signing a contract. During most hiring processes, the number of interviews and the time you get for them will be limited. There are many channels to learn about a job and its environment: official website, online reviews, personal relationships or networking within the target company, the interview is the perfect environment to learn more. You have privileged time to ask personalized questions to the person who knows it best. 

You will stand out from the crowd

Let’s go back to why it’s easy to forget about asking questions during interviews. We tend to think that the more we talk the more we can present our skills and experience to the interviewer(s). On the contrary, it might not be appreciated. Let’s be honest, as a recruiter, I like candidates to present themselves in a summarized way. I will definitely raise any question when needed.  If your presentation is getting long and repetitive, I will get bored and (hence, lost my interest in listening further). By asking relevant and smart questions, you will differentiate yourself from the competitors - a unique individual that stand out from the other dozens of candidates being interviewed for the same vacancy. It will also show your ability to reflect and analyze and that you project yourself on the job.

Ask the right questions, to the right person, at the right moment

When I say "ask questions" during interviews, I’m not talking about what kind of discount you can get for your bus tickets. Not only would your interviewer may not be the best person to answer it, but you may also appear/come across as picky. Would you join a very toxic work environment instead of an exciting one for just a few pennies difference? I hope not.  Focus on what matters with your potential next boss for the coming years. 

Some examples of good questions

Here are some example questions you may ask to gather information and show your interest towards the job. Try to go with the flow and bounce back on the recruiter’s answers. If you list them like a robot, it won’t leave a positive impression. Practice makes perfect.

  • What is the company vision on the future? Will tell you how much they are ready to invest on you, your career, your trainings, your responsibilities. It also displays your stability and projects yourself on the job. 
  • How will my work contribute to the company’s mission? Don’t you want to have a career / job that is meaningful and aligned with your ambition? In addition it will show your motivation, your goodwill and your involvement in your work.
  • What are the attributes of your best contributors? You will learn what strengths are valued, so you may capitalize on them as well as whom you would likely to work with. It’s a good way to show your motivation to do your best and your team spirit.
  • Why do you like your job? This question is probably the one that will give you more information about the daily life of the company and why you may also love your future job. For the recruiter, it will bring the conversation on a personal level. Remember: people love talking about themselves. 
  • How would you describe the company culture? Similar to the previous one, you may learn how much of the cultural fit can there be between you and the company.
  • What is your management style? You will learn more about the professional relationship with your future boss and if his way of work is compatible with how you enjoy working. Some people love to have a very close support from their manager; some prefer having more freedom to take their own initiatives. It’s another opportunity to show how much you consider the position.
  • What are the next steps of the hiring process? It will release you from the stress of not knowing whether you will get an answer and when. Don’t wait passively for the company to come back to you, show your interest and your involvement in the process. 

In a nutshell, be curious and relevant, you will stand out.  Do you have any question about the role or the company? I will be glad to answer it at maxime.danjoux@xpand.com.hk before our next meeting. Your next step will be to follow us to be kept updated of the latest opportunities!