En Route: A Career Blog

You’ve been invited to interview…now the hard part starts

AUTHOR: Darlene Zambruski
CATEGORY: , ,
POSTED: December 18, 2012 at 10:00 am

As job seekers, we often become so focused on securing an interview, that when it does happen, we feel we’ve succeeded. There’s not much else to do.

How wrong it is to assume that.

Many applicants look great on paper, but when they’re face-to-face with a hiring manager or a recruiter, they fizzle out. Some choke up, unable to talk about themselves, especially their achievements. Others behave like a deer in headlights when faced with a question they should have expected, but didn’t. Some make it through the process only to freeze at the end, leaving an awkward silence and missed opportunities.

An article was recently published in Forbes with the provocative headline “4 Essential Questions to Ask at the End of a Job Interview“. This is something every serious job seeker should know.

The first question may be the most obvious, but is certainly the hardest for any of us to ask:

“Is there any reason why you wouldn’t hire me?”

Being brutally honest doesn’t come easily; however, in this instance it may work to your advantage. If the hiring authority does have reservations about your candidacy and is honest enough to tell you why, you’ve succeeded in opening a dialogue in which you can either correct any misconceptions that person has about you or prove your ability to do the job by reiterating information you’ve already stated or bringing up whatever you forgot.

The next question would be:

“As an employee, how could I exceed your expectations?”

In my opinion, that’s an excellent question. As a hiring manager, it proves that the candidate is serious about my company’s success, not focused solely on benefits and a paycheck. It also shows the right attitude. That this individual will make things happen.

And then, you might ask:

“How could I help your company meet its goals?

Again, this indicates an individual who is proactive, a self-starter, someone who is committed to excellence and success. Few, if any, candidates ask a question like this. To go the extra mile, you should research the company thoroughly before the interview, then have an answer to your own question. Perhaps you know about a new product they’ve launched and you have an idea to increase its brand recognition. Already you’re working for the company by doing this, proving you’ll be a good fit.

Finally:

“What excites you about coming to work?”

Here, you’ll learn about the company culture, how it operates. Better to learn now than after you’ve accepted the position and realize their goals are not the same as yours and you’re a poor fit.

It’s best to remember that a job interview is a two way dialogue. You shouldn’t be a passive participant. By asking these questions, which few candidates do, you’ll be putting yourself at the head of the line.

ResumeEdge helps job seekers prepare for interviews through its JobInterviewEdge services. Our coaches have real-life experience in 40+ industries in addition to having served as interview coaches for decades.

Darlene Z.

Darlene Zambruski is a resume writing expert and CPRW (Certified Professional Resume Writer) with more than 13 years of industry experience. She has authored 10,000+ resumes in every industry and at every career level.

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