Job interviews typically follow a standard pattern that looks like this.
Your interviewer asks you a series of ho-hum questions. You answer them. As the clock ticks on to the appointed end time, you get a few minutes to ask your own questions.
Did I hear a yawn?
Some career experts advise asking questions at the beginning of an interview, not at the end.
This seems to follow the logic of what’s commonly called, “Take charge of the interview.” Essentially, when the interviewer says, “Tell me about yourself,” you can say, “Before I do, can you tell me about the job? Then I can tailor my response to give you the most useful information.:
Frankly, I’m in favor of anything that turns the interview into a conversation instead of an interrogation. Do whatever helps you feel relaxed.
But there’s a caveat. This strategy works when you meet with your future boss who really wants the best person for the job. It probably won’t work with the boss’s colleagues who are going through the motions. I suspect it won’t work well with the Human Resource people.
This strategy also assumes:
the interviewer is secure and confident. If she’s hanging on to a page of questions or he’s even more nervous than you are, forget it.
you can listen and think on your feet. Can you come up with specifics to address the points made?
you have a repertoire of “for example” success stories. Let’s say the new job calls for you to add new clients. You would share a story about adding new clients in a tough market.
you come across as helpful and professional, not bossy.
the interview is about a real job with a real vacancy. Lots of interviews are fake: the job has already been assigned to an insider but HR wants the company to show they interviewed other candidates.
What’s your opinion? Click on “Comments” to reply. And if you’d like some one-on-one job search guidance, check out my Career Consultation here.