Here is the 4th part in the series from Paul Mullan of Measurability.ie. Measurability offers career coaching to individuals looking to change careers as well as companies looking to train their staff for better things. If you have a question you can either leave it here or send Paul an email at email@example.com. The other articles can be found here at Why most CV’s Fail / Lying in Interviews / Job Hunting Tips.
Who is interviewing who?
Once upon a time jobseekers were happy to get a job, any job with little fuss and most felt that putting challenging questioning to a potential employer could send out the wrong signals and cost them the job. Thus the interview was a recruitment tool were the power lay fully in the hands of the interviewer. Over the last 10 years this perception is changing slowly and jobseekers are beginning to realise that the interview can serve them too in job hunting arena.
It still amazes me though how many jobseekers ask the questions – “Should I ask questions at an interview?” or “What questions should I ask at interview?” Jobseekers put little though into this area when preparing for interview spending all their time focusing on what questions they will be asked rather that the reverse. When the interviewer eventually does ask if the jobseekers has any questions this is often met with a blank expression like a rabbit caught in headlights. This is not a curve ball and all job seekers should expect this to happen at all interviews.
No questions – wrong signals.
An interviewee who asks questions when given the opportunity send out the impression that they are interested in the job but also that they have put a bit of though into the interview and what they want from their next position/career. Lack of questions can give the impression that jobseekers are not interested or even lack confidence.
Of greater importance though, by not asking questions jobseekers are missing an important opportunity to gain valuable information about the company and the role that may not have been provided through you previous research or during interview. After all changing jobs is a big decision and you want to be sure that the position meets your requirements and what you want in a job. I am making the assumption that all jobseekers put though into what it is they want before they go to the job market. So, if you have identified what you want and the interviewer has not addressed all these issues then ask the question.
Final points and potential pitfalls.
When asking questions be careful that the client has not provided the information already during the interview as this can irritate the interviewer or give the impression that you have not been actively listening throughout. One question to handle with care is the big “S” – salary. The million dollar question – when to ask about salary. I normally recommend avoiding this at 1st interview unless you feel that you want this information to help you decide if you will progress with the job application or not.
Article by Paul Mullan of Measurability.ie. Measurability offers Career Coaching to individuals (Career Direction, CV Design & Interview Coaching) and Assessment Solutions for businesses to improve their recruitment decisions. They are also holding a CV & Interview Skills workshop on Saturday September 29th, more details here on Monday, or visit their website.