Career Talk, Part 5: Tough Interview Questions

The EMS Manager


 
 

David S. Becker | | Wednesday, June 27, 2007


Part of the preparation for your oral interview should include taking the time to prepare questions to ask the interviewers. Why have a list of prepared questions? To further demonstrate your interest in the position you have applied for and to assist you in making an important life decision.

Most officials conducting a hiring interview will give you the opportunity to ask questions sometime during the interview. They ll normally expect you to seek additional information about the organization or position. If you don t ask any questions, it may indirectly indicate to the interviewer that you may not be a strong candidate or may have a communication problem.

Having a written list of questions shows that you thought seriously about the position and you re seeking information that will help you make a decision, if offered the job. When most people apply for a job, they think they ll accept the first job offer, which shouldn t always be the case. You need to find out as much about the job as you can before you accept a position with that organization. Sometimes, newly hired employees find out something later that leads them to regret accepting the job offer and, in some cases, results in their resignation soon after they start.

To avoid this, you should prepare at least four questions and have them written down to bring to the interview. This indicates that you took some time to prepare for the interview. It s perfectly OK to refer to the questions if you re unable to remember them because of all the information exchanged during the interview or if you re just a little stressed out by the interview itself. Before you ask your questions, take a few seconds to collect your thoughts and read over your list to make sure nothing has already been discussed. Don t distract yourself by writing everything down; genuinely listen to what the interviewer is telling you.

In addition to being prepared, the kind of questions you ask at your interview can reveal a couple of your personality traits to the interviewer. Expressing your interest in the position and organization will show your personal appeal and how you ll fit in with the organization. Your questions will also demonstrate that you re confident in your ability to communicate and are able to interact well with other people.

Here are some sample questions for you to ask:

Can you tell me a little bit about some of the people in the group?

Do you have any concerns about my ability to do the job?

Is there any area where I fall short of the job expectation? If so, what necessary skills or abilities could I develop?

What are some of the major issues facing the organization?

What are your plans for growth over the next five years and how would I fit into those plans?

Can you tell me the next step in the hiring process?

When can I expect to hear about your hiring decision?

Is there any additional information I need to send to help in your decision?

Before I leave, is there anything else you would like me to further explain or clarify regarding the answers I gave you today?

When preparing your list of questions, it s a good idea to have more questions than you might ask in the event that some of the ones you prepared have already been answered or just don t seem appropriate to ask.

Your approach to asking questions like these should be to gain as much information about the organization as you can to help you make your decision. You may be able to ask follow-up questions depending on the answers you receive to these questions.

In most cases, questions about salary and benefits should not be asked unless the interviewer initiates the discussion of a job offer and start date. Many organizations will provide you with a printed sheet explaining the benefits of the position within the organization.

Finding a new job takes work, and the amount of time you spend preparing will directly affect your performance during the interview and assessment process. Good Luck!




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