Wednesday, July 10, 2013 Insider - Five Questions To Ask In Job Interviews -Insider - July 10, 2013

Five Questions To Ask In Job Interviews

Can I have three weeks off every three months to pursue my music career?

Do I have to be at work every day?

Can my husband finish this test for me?

These were questions asked by prospective employees during a job interview, according to human resources managers surveyed by the staffing company Robert Half International. The market researchers, research scientists and other researchers who use Research Network's jobs board are smart enough to know that those questions are inappropriate, but do you know the right questions to ask?

In my last blog for Research Network, "The Five Do's And Five Don'ts For Job Interviews," I wrote that you should research the employer and the job's responsibilities. Consequently, many of the questions you ask during an interview should be very specific because they should be based on your research. Only you can write those questions, but with the help of job search experts I can write five questions you should ask and provide you the links to many other useful questions.

The questions include:

1. Can you tell me more about your company's plan to (fill in specific based on your research)?: The plan you ask about should be about something important like a new product, service, manufacturing plant, office, etc., rather than something that pertains to you. This question indicates that you have researched the company. Prospective employers are more apt to hire someone who shows (not tells) an interest in the company.

2. Can you tell me the biggest benefit of your training programs?: You should ask this question after talking about the programs -- and showing your interest in the company again. A good answer could give you an insight into your possible career path in the company. If you didn't learn anything about training programs during your research, asking a general question about them before a job offer is better than asking about salary, benefits and vacation, according to a CareerBuilder article.

3. What is the job's most important priority?: You should ask this question after making it clear that you know what previous researchers with your prospective job title did for the company. You will again be showing your interest in the employer and says it could help you "be on the same page" as your boss.

4. How would you define "success" for this position?: I got this question directly from a Forbes magazine article. A good answer by the interviewer could give you a good insight into the employer and gives you a chance to explain how your skills will make you a successful employee.

5. What's the next step?: This is your most important question. You should ask it after you express your enthusiasm for the job as the interview is ending. The question gives you an opportunity to ascertain whether the employer is considering a second interview with you and whether you should keep in contact with the company via phone or e-mail. Monster recommends asking for the best time to phone. And, as I mentioned in my "Do's and Don'ts" blog, don't forget to send Thank You notes.


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