When it comes to your skills fitting a specific job that you are interviewing for, there are two major considerations: the skills you have and are trying to sell to employers, and the skills the employers need and are trying to buy as they hire their next employee.
Most of us go into a job interview making the mistake of focusing too much on the skills we have and are trying to sell.
Asking questions about what the employer needs will give you an opportunity to ensure you have the necessary skills and you can then share that information with the interviewer.
You should also ask questions that help you know if this is the employer you want to work for.
In a troubled economy, when jobs are more difficult to find, we often find ourselves feeling desperate and willing to take most any job. While that may be a cold, hard fact, it doesn't necessarily mean you can't ask questions in the interview to learn more about this company and whether this will be a temporary job or a more permanent job. In both possibilities, it is wise to ask questions to help you learn more about the company.
Often the mere fact that you are asking such questions puts you in a stronger position in the interview.
We have already covered The Dirty Dozen questions that you may be asked in an interview. Here are what I refer to as The Clean Six questions that can be useful for you to ask in a job interview:
1. What are the greatest challenges the person in this position will face?
This is an important question that can help you ensure you have the skills to do this job.
2. Why did the last person in this position leave?
This helps you understand why the position is open and if there are concerns that you should know about before you accept a potential job offer.
3. What are the company's short term and long range goals?
This question helps you know if the company is heading in a direction that you would like to be part of. Due to the current economy, you may want to ask a more specific and direct question, such as, "What are the company's current plans for expansion or cutbacks?"
4. When do you hope to make a decision about this position?
This answer you get to this question will help you make plans.
5. Do you have any concerns about my qualifications?
This is a great question that will give you an opportunity to address any concerns that they may have. It also gives you valuable feedback about your qualifications as they are perceived by others.
6. If I have additional questions, may I follow up with you in a few days? If yes; What is the best way to contact you and the best time of day?
This obviously opens the door for you to follow up as needed.
Remember, there are two sides to a job interview: the skills you have and are trying to sell to employers and the skills the employers need and are trying to buy as they hire their next employee.
Ron Campbell has worked extensively in the job preparation and job search industry. He can be reached at 801-386-1111 or firstname.lastname@example.org.