Career Booster
Asking Intelligent Questions During a Job Interview Results in Career Help for Interviewee

by Paul A. Freiberger
An interviewer asking most of the questions during a job interview is normal; but there is also an appropriate time for an interviewee to ask questions. Having no questions to avail this chance or fumbling for one, may turn out to the opportunity lost.
Certainly it's the interviewer asking most of the questions during a job interview, but there is also an appropriate time for an interviewee to ask questions. If you want career help, then learn to interview well, which includes asking a few good questions at the appropriate time.

The entire job interview is actually an opportunity for you to express your talent and potential, and that may include responding to subtle clues or signals. If you're lucky, the interview is in the hands of a skilled, practiced, and knowledgeable professional who is keenly aware of your actions and responses. You may think that interviewers are trying to trick you by asking you difficult questions. You may think that they want you to fail. Actually, the interviewers' greatest success is to have a brilliant interviewee who answers questions intelligently, skillfully, and thoughtfully.

To achieve their goal, interviewers may ask you directly if you have any questions you want to ask, or, they may give you a subtle hint so that you will ask the questions naturally. By performing well you will show determination, spontaneity, leadership and independence. Good interview preparation, which may include interview coaching, will help you handle this task.

Job interview questions are designed to identify someone to further the goals of the company. Everything is for the greater good, not for one individual's benefit. Let your questions reflect your genuine interest, concern, and aptitude in order to show that you can make a contribution. Don't ask questions that have already been answered during the interview and avoid asking about salary or benefits. Try to ask questions that won't be answered with a single word.

These 10 questions can help you understand if this is the right company for you - and if you are right for the company.
  1. I understand this company truly appreciates its employees. How does the company demonstrate that?
  2. Was this position created because the company has grown?
  3. What are the kinds of attributes of this company that make it superior to its competition?
  4. If I started today, what would be the priorities for me right off the bat for the first few months?
  5. What is the underlying philosophy of this company in terms of charitable and personal service, from within the company as a group, and individually?
  6. How will my performance be evaluated and measured?
  7. How does this particular position which I am interviewing for fit in terms of present and future growth?
  8. What is the management style of this firm?
  9. How long have you worked here and how do you like it?
  10. How can this job be performed better than it has been done in the past?
If you answer questions well, you'll give yourself a good chance at the job. If you also ask some good questions, you may connect better with the interviewer and get the best kind of career help of all, a new job.
Paul Freiberger is President of Shimmering Resumes, a resume-writing, interview preparation, and career counseling service with offices in Menlo Park and San Mateo, California. Paul is the author of several books and the winner of the Los Angeles Times book award. He offers resume writing services, job interview and job search campaign coaching nationwide. He can be reached at:, or, by phone at 877-796-9737.
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