Interviewing: Bring your own questions to the table
Many people imagine the interview as a barrage of questions coming from only one person – the interviewer. However, your next experience doesn’t have to be like that and, in fact, it shouldn’t! In addition to being prepared to think on your feet while answering the interviewer’s questions, you should also bring your own inquisitiveness to the table.
By asking questions, you can dig deeper for more information about the job and organization. You can have a better idea of the company’s culture and more easily decide if it would be a good fit for you. Above all, it gives you the opportunity to demonstrate your seriousness as a candidate and your general interest in the position, the company, and their vision for the future.
Avoid any questions whose answers could have been looked up on the internet before the interview–this will make you look unprepared instead of thorough and interested. Similarly, try not to ask questions about salary and vacation right off the bat–although you will seem interested, they may think you are interested for the wrong reasons.
Instead, focus your questions on the company’s course for the future, the department’s current challenges, and how your work, if hired, could contribute to their goals and problem-solving efforts. Ask your interviewer if there are any exciting projects underway for the coming quarter, or if there are specific areas that they would like the new employee to develop. As they answer your questions, listen carefully, and ask any follow up questions that come to mind.
While preparing for tomorrow’s interview it may be difficult to think of questions at first, but you will be surprised how curious you can and should be about your potential new job. This is a good way to help ensure that you are developing your career in an environment that is good for you instead of just finding your next nine-to-five. Remember to keep your questions sincere and specific to the company you are interviewing with (research required!).