Common advice among job seekers is that when you attend an interview, you need to interview the employer right back. After all, you’re the one who will potentially fill the position. You need to know if it’s going to be a good fit, right?
While salary ranges, benefits and schedule flexibility are important details you deserve answers to, hiring managers don’t appreciate questions like those until at least your second interview (or maybe even after they make you an offer).
During your first interview, the “impress me” dance is still in full swing. When a potential employer asks if you have any questions, she doesn’t want inquiries about parking validation; she wants to see if you’re prepared, educated and inquisitive.
Here are six questions to ask at the end of your interview that will help you master the twisted tango of getting hired:
For job seekers, the interview is an indication of how well you carry yourself.
Preparation is essential, to anticipate some of what will be asked in the interview by an employer or hiring manager.
One fastest ways to wreck an otherwise smooth-running interview is being unnecessarily hung up on a simple question.
This is not to recommend a candidate should appear so rehearsed that answers sound canned, hollow and lack sincerity. It is just that there always should be a reasonably clear response to the most frequently asked interviewer questions.
The single interview question that seems to mix people up is, “Why did you leave (or are looking to leave) your previous employer?”
Interviews can turn out to be a variety of things; from a formal and proper question-and-answer session, to a casual meeting over coffee or lunch.
In fact, some of the best interviews with Human Resources, hiring managers or employers will change pace over the course of the meeting; going from a traditional give and take to a relaxed conversation, taken at a comfortable pace.
Of course, not every interview turns into a bonding session, but many will change tone at one time or another, sometimes wavering back and forth from formal to relaxed.
This desire to learn everything about a potential employee is undeniably a worthy goal, but shifting gears to something more relaxed can prove to be dangerous to the employer. Yes, you truly want to know skills, as well as past accomplishments and successes.
What you don’t need to know are things like race, religion, disability or marital status. The problem arises when, in the moment and particularly if a candidate is close to being right for the job, the wrong question slips out.
That would land you and your business in hot water.
As a reminder of which are off-limits to ask a candidate in an interview, here are some of the biggest illegal questions. Avoid these whenever the opportunity crops up, even if you are comfortable enough with the candidate and feel the urge coming on to ask: