September 17, 2015
Use these tips to close your next job interview.
Whether you’re a first-timer or an old pro, a job interview can be a nerve-wracking experience. Most of the time, you’re so focused on making a good impression and answering the questions that are put to you accurately and effectively that the idea of posing your own set of questions to the interviewer probably never even crosses your mind.
If you’ve ever said “No” at the end of an interview when the hiring manager asks whether you have any questions, it’s time to rethink your strategy. Contrary to popular belief, asking your own questions in an interview won’t make you come off as nosy or presumptuous. Instead, it’s a great opportunity to show off several of the most important traits that hiring managers are looking for.
Asking the right kind of question.
Here’s the catch: what really counts in an interview is coming up with the right kind of question to ask. For example, asking the hiring manager what her favorite color is won’t exactly highlight your quick thinking and insightful analysis. But by taking the time to devise several pertinent, targeted questions to pose at the end of your interview, you’ll be able to show that not only are you unaffected by the stress of the interview process, but also that you have the kind of mind that can tap into the big picture—even when you’re under duress.
So the next time you’re preparing for an interview, don’t stop at practicing your firm handshake and polishing your answers to perennial questions like, “Tell me about yourself.” Instead, take your time to craft a few smart questions of your own to bring along to the interview. Here are some basic tips and guidelines to help you get started.
Even though many of us have been conditioned to think of interviews as a chance for hiring managers to play a one-sided game of 20 Questions, the best interviews are two-way dialogues that are fueled by input and inquiries from both parties. By interjecting at least a few of your own smart, targeted questions into the process, you’ll be able to demonstrate your analytical skills and your ability to think on your feet. Who knows—the next question you might be answering is, “Can you start next Monday?”
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