Career Tips

Impressive Questions to Ask an Interviewer

Date Posted: 01/22/2015

After the interview, ask yourself two questions:

1) Is this the job you really want?
2) How do you think the interview went?

If you think you really want this job abroad, and the interview went well, it is your moment to make that extra impact by appearing different so as to make a positive impression that will make them think “this candidate could be called back”. However, wait for, or politely seek, permission to ask questions to show that you have a genuine interest to know more about them. Avoid appearing “over-smart’, or else they may think that you’re not suitable.

You will not have time for too many questions, so judge the appropriateness of the questions before you ask it.  Depending on how the earlier part of the interview went and what you were asked, make sure your own questions are appropriate and answer any unraised or unanswered questions in your own mind. Rise above the basic common issues of the job that you are being interviewed for and phrase your questions suitably so that you impress with your intelligence and confidence in your abilities.  Show your thirst for more knowledge of the organization beyond their website.

Don’t ask questions that can be answered with just a “yes” or “no”.  Try to ask ‘open’ questions starting with ‘who’, ‘what’, ‘where’ or ‘how’, (never ‘why’), because “why” needs to be answered with some explaining.   Open questions make the person answering the question to think before answering you.  A basic technique of intelligent questioning is:

Avoid questions with obvious answers or answers available in the public domain, website, etc.

Declare what you know confidently.

Pretend confusion, (if required), and state what you did not understand, and seek   information/clarification.

Irrespective of the level of the position, whether in F&B (kitchen/waiting), maintenance, healthcare, transportation or any other segment of service, try to ask some questions that show some depth and ability to think at a higher level instead of the immediate job.

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Sample questions that could help you develop your own:

Is the particular department or business unit performing as per expectation and are there any new plans for expansion?
This will suggest your awareness of profitability and the need for sustained growth for any enterprise to survive.

Is there a system of considering suggestions from my level?
This will suggest that you are creative and brimming with new ideas to share. If the answer is positive, politely seek some instances when such a policy was applied.

What is the maximum size of the teams in the unit and is there a method used to decide this?
This will suggest your experience in team-working and the need to optimize team size for best result.

What is the gender mix in the department? (For female candidates).
This will express your awareness of the need for a balanced gender ratio and its effect on work output, and may prompt the interviewer to assert fair gender distribution.

Is this an existing role or a new position?
This shows that you are asking if the company has a growth plan and you are seeking growth in the long-term.

Are there any other responsibilities in this position that I should know about?
This may reveal unstated sub-roles and other expectations for which you need to prepare yourself. Clarify your skills and confirm that you also fit in for such sub-roles. Stretch your experience to make it relevant, stating that you had successfully applied your skills in these areas earlier.

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What will be my reporting structure and how can I support the Departmental/Section Head?
This question will inform you of the hierarchy that will influence your career progress and your unreserved support to the Departmental Head.

How will my performance be reviewed to judge its success/failure?
This question will tell you if your work will be objectively measured or will be based only on supervisor’s subjective evaluation.  Also how much freedom you will have based on the nature of company’s supervision and control methods.

What further professional training can I expect, and is there any scope for exposure to other related jobs?
This question will answer how serious the company is about its service commitment, and how much it invests to help staff perform better.

Most importantly, remember that with questions you are merely calling for attention upon yourself by raising questions expected only from well above your proposed level. Therefore you should guard for any counter-productive consequences and always be very sensitive to the interviewers’ mood at all times.

These articles might be of help too:

How to Sell Yourself Using an Effective Cover Letter

How to Successfully Submit Your CV

Are You Ready For Your Interview?

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