Chances are that
you consider an interview as the time for you to answer questions, and
yes, you will be answering them. But what will distinguish you in the
interview are the questions you ask. How do you ask great questions?
Prepare well-researched, open-ended questions for the interviewer.
Use your research to provide content for your questions. Start a question
by asking, Since your company has sold its ABC division, what
direction do you see the company moving in the next 1-2 years?
You know the division was sold because you did your homework researching
the ABC company. Whatever you learn in the research phase of your job
search you can put to good use in the interview. Good questions will
set you apart from the other candidates.
Some ideas for effective, open-ended questions to ask include
Where do you see the industry moving in the near future?
do you see your company headed in the next few years?
this department/this job?
the business priorities?
the critical responsibility of this position?
this organization different from its competition?
the challenges facing someone in this position? How would you like
to see them managed?
success in this organization?
the most important things you look for in a member of your team?
this job available now?
If the interviewer seems annoyed with any of these questions, use your
good sense to stop asking them.
Be prepared for the interviewers questions, too. A good interviewer
will ask situational questions. Situational questions tend to get an
honest answer far more often than direct questions. For example, if
youre asked whether you work well with other team members, the
answer will always be OF COURSE. A much better question is: "Tell
me a time about a difficult team situation and how did you handled it.
Be careful with situational questions - answer honestly, but not with
too much detail that might show you in a bad light.
The more you prepare ahead of time, the better your interview will be.
Do this by thinking of questions that you want the answers to, of course.
But also think (and even write down) your major accomplishments so that
youll be ready to tell some stories about your achievements when
asked. As in many things, the more prepared you are the better you will
perform. An interview is one of those times to shine because youre