But once nerves take over, it's easy to forget your role. After all, you're meeting on the employer's schedule in an unfamiliar office. After listening to the interviewer's monologue about the company and role, you're asked a barrage of questions about your background and future plans " all the while praying that you're delivering the "right" answers.
By the time the employer asks if you have any questions, it's easy to be so drained and nervous you can only stammer out, "Nope."
Not asking questions, however, is passing up a chance to stand out from the competition.
"This is a great opportunity to set you apart in a positive way from other people being considered for the job," says Eddie Payne, division manager of professional staffing for recruiting firm FGP International. "Employers say they are interested in candidates who ask quality questions and make intelligent conversation based on what they know about the organization."
Before the interview, prepare a list of questions that demonstrate your knowledge of the company and interest in the position. Some good topics to cover include:
Dave Stanford, executive vice president of client services for contingency and contract staffing firm Winter, Wyman Companies suggests asking:
The position's history
Asking about why the position is vacant can provide insight into the company and the potential for advancement. According to Annie Stevens and Greg Gostanian, managing partners at executive and career development firm ClearRock, good questions include:
Asking about your department's workers and role in the company can help you understand more about the company's culture and hierarchy. Stanford suggests asking:
The job's responsibilities
To avoid any confusion later on, it pays to gain a solid understanding of the position. FGP International's Eddie Payne recommends inquiring:
To determine how and when you will evaluated, Payne recommend advises asking:
The next steps
At the end of the interview, don't forget to ask:
Interview Questions NOT to Ask ~
• What does this company do? (Do your research ahead of time!)
• If I get the job when can I take time off for vacation? (Wait until you get the offer to mention prior commitments)
• Can I change my schedule if I get the job? (If you need to figure out the logistics of getting to work don't mention it now...)
• Did I get the job? (Don't be impatient. They'll let you know.)Sources: