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You Should Interview the Interviewer, Too

I know what you are thinking. You're thinking, "Wait a minute. Wouldn't that be somewhat presumptuous if I were to ask the interviewer questions?" No. The truth of the matter is they want to see that you have enough intelligence and business sense to ask questions requiring informative answers. Most human resource professionals and hiring managers believe having an applicant ask questions is one of the most important aspects of the interview. They are able to tell more about you by the questions you ask than the answers you give in response to their questions.

Most everybody expects to have an opportunity to ask questions. However, many assume the interviewer is expecting questions that consist of compensation matters and they don't want to appear to be focused on self centered issues. Invariably, they pass up the opportunity to delve further for more information about the job.

What they don't realize is they should be asking questions regarding what will be expected of the employee and opportunities for growth in order to learn more about the job offered. Finding the right job and finding the right applicant is a two way street. The employer is looking for somebody that can and will meet their needs. You, on the other hand, are looking for a job that will fulfill your career aspirations.

The interviewer will obviously get to question you and your abilities so they can decide if you will be a good fit for them. You need to ask the questions to determine if the position is the right fit for you and this stage of your career. They want to know that you are coming into the employer/employee relationship with them with a good understanding of the expectations on both sides. Posing your own questions also demonstrates your communication skills in addition to showing your ability to accurately assess matters at hand.

Here is a list of five questions to ask that will show them you are someone they can count on to dig deeper for more answers, especially in high pressure situations.

1. What are the top priorities of the position?
2. What are the major challenges facing the company in the next few years and how does this position contribute to overcoming them?
3. What do you believe my weaknesses to be and how do you think they will affect my performance?
4. What do you see as my strengths and how beneficial do you believe they will be for the company?
5. Does this company value employee growth and, therefore, provide opportunities to further one's training or education and career advancement?

This is another chance for you to show your willingness and desire to be prepared for the job. If asking intelligent questions of the person conducting the interview seems to put them off, it could be a clue to you that this isn't the right job for you. If you see them sit up, take notice, and answer your questions readily, it's a clue that your input as an employee will be valued and respected.

Go ahead. Now that you understand the importance of interviewing the interviewer go prepare your own list of questions. When it's your turn to pose your questions, pay as much attention to body language as you do the verbal answers. By the time you leave the meeting you will probably have a good idea whether or not the position is a good fit for you if you are offered the job.

Compelling, targeted resumes that will open doors to interviews developed by Angela Betts. For more career and job search tips sign up for our free newsletter at Contact Angela at 501-467-8768 or to request a free resume critique or resume development services.

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