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You are Here: Home > Articles > Questions to Ask in Interviews
Know What to Say on a Job Interview

Questions to Ask in Interviews

About Preparing Interview Questions to Ask

Ever draw a blank when an interviewer asked, "Any questions?" If so and you didn't land the job, it might have been because your interviewer expected you to ask interview questions, but you didn't.

Preparing interview questions to ask shows that you've done your homework and are interested in the job; not preparing can indicate one more among indifference, disorganization and lack of professionalism.

In fact, interviewers might be more impressed with your questions than your answers. Still, it's a professional courtesy to withhold the bulk of your questions until your interviewer asks if you have any. Interviewers typically will ask toward the end of an interview or near the conclusion of each phase.

Of course, it's okay to ask a few questions to clarify matters, steer topics and such, as your interview progresses; for example, a question such as, "What does the ideal candidate bring to this job?" would be appropriate early in your interview. But wait until it's "your turn" before you fire off a barrage.

On the other hand, if your interviewer seems to be reaching for questions to ask you, it might be your opportunity to take control of your interview, by tactfully placing the interviewer in the position of answering your questions instead of the other way around. If your interviewer had plenty of questions, but your interview seems to be drawing to a close before the interviewer asks if you have questions, then ask if it's okay to ask.

Regardless, avoid asking interview questions just to impress your interviewer or asking frivolous questions just to have some "interview questions to ask". If you don't have any of significance to ask, instead of stating only that you don't have any, also thank your interviewer for doing such a thorough job of anticipating your questions.

Also avoid asking interview questions that might reveal more about you than the job. For example, if you ask the interview question "What happens if I fail to meet a project deadline?" it has underlying implications, such as "I've often irresponsibly missed project deadlines."

Unless your interviewer mentions the topics first, it's not a good idea to ask interview questions about salary or wages, vacation, sick days, lunch breaks and so on, right off the bat. Granted, they're part of the whole employment picture. But from an interviewer's point of view, asking such questions too early in the interview game might indicate that your priorities are in the wrong order.

First, tell your interviewer what you can do for the company by answering his or her questions, then ask interview questions about what the company can do for you; better yet, wait until you're reasonably sure that you have the job offer in your pocket.

It's okay to create a "crib sheet" of interview questions to ask beforehand and then refer to them during interviews. In this case, it's not cheating; rather it'll show that you're organized and interested enough in the job, to have prepared in advance.

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