On Fridays, I'm posting a job search question from one of our readers. This was a question posted in response to my posting on Linkedin Answers “Candidates - What's your most difficult job search question?”
J.B. shared that his toughest job search question was:
"Do you have any other questions?"Read more ...
This is not because I haven't done my research. It is because I did my research, developed a lot of relevant questions, and worked them in throughout the interview when they seemed most relevant. By the end of the interview, when that question is typically asked, I'm out of real questions.
- Should I just make up a question so I don't leave this one blank?
- Should I save a question that would have been more appropriate earlier, just so I can be ready for this?
- Should I just conclude that I've already asked them all?
As a candidate, you should never be in a situation where you've run out of questions, because it make you look unprepared, bored, or that you don't want the job.
Most candidates only look at a portion of the power of questions - the information they can gain from them. A well-thought out set of questions will not only allow you to gain information, but also give information to the interviewer.
I like to coach candidates to ask questions they already know 1/2 of the answer to already. These questions can lead to discussions that allow you do subtly demonstrate how well you've researched the company.
Use questions to sell yourself. Asking questions demonstrates your listening, sales, consulting, problem solving, and leadership skills.
Use questions to uncover problems the company, division, or hiring manager has.
Other questions that can have high value are questions that you've already asked to others. Asking the same question you've asked to others in the process, allows you to compare answers. This can give you some indications of who is telling you the truth.
Finally, I'd prepare a set of standard questions, that you can customize on the fly, to use as backups - in case you're out of questions.
You don't have to ask dozens of questions at the end of an interview, but it's difficult to demonstrate interest if you don't ask a few.
I list even more questions and a broader discussion in a past article called, interestingly enough "Do You Have Any Questions?" at http://recareered.blogspot.com/2008/03/this-question-is-asked-at-end-of-most.html.
So here's some questions for the audience ... what types of questions have you found to help you at the end of an interview?
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