Where many jobseekers lose their momentum is not during the interview in mid-point answering a situational question, but at the end when there is a strong potential for a gap or silence – which often signals a red flag for several reasons.
“What questions do I ask at the end of the interview?” and “Is it ok to not ask any questions?” is what I often get asked by clients who are actively seeking work. If you don’t ask any questions, you fail to convey genuine interest. Moreover, you will lose the opportunity to leave a lasting impression with the prospective employer in the course of initiating a strategic move.
Further, you may not be valued for your ability to think critically and forge a strong rapport with others. This does not mean that a brief gap needs to be immediately filled with redundant words or be left to chance. Watch for cues from the prospective employer and pay attention to how the interview is progressing.
What if you, like most candidates started the interview on a bit shaky note then regained your confidence towards the second question. Perhaps you started to feel even more confident mid-way through the interview as you drew upon your strengths and articulated your most respected achievements. You may have established a strong rapport with the prospective employer through your thoughtful story-telling. In fact, as you were telling your story, your body language may have altered slightly which enhanced the communication process.
Timing Means Everything in the Job Interview
But the crucial points during the interview are not at the beginning upon meeting the employer with a solid handshake, at the peak of the interview – but at the very end – where almost anything can alter the course for the better or worse.
An employer often judges a jobseeker, not only by their body language and how it aligns with their verbal communication, but by the quality of the questions they ask. The quality of questions asked at just the appropriate time determines the candidate’s level of interest and suitability, even future potential and likelihood of staying within that company.
So when the employer gives you, the candidate, the lead, you want your questions to be effective. Ensure that you conduct thorough research on the role and company interviewed with well in advance of the interview.
Here are some questions to consider asking at the end of the interview.
Why is this position open?
What brought you to this company and why have you stayed here?
What is your proudest moment with this company?
How would you describe the company’s values?
What’s the biggest challenge your company faces at present?
What are the some important traits or qualities that are most critical for an employee of this organization to have?
Asking one or two of these questions will help you to understand more about the organizational culture, the employer, and the state of the organization which will inform you about the future prospects. The particular way the interview ends can offer you insightful clues as to what to expect from the employer, the organization, and your fit relative to the role and the organizational culture.
Just remember to not overload the interviewer with several questions at one time. This may also be a red flag as a result of failing to show respect for their time. Regardless of which course the interview turns, just as much as the interviewer is interviewing you, you are also interviewing the prospective employer for the right fit.
“Every interview is a unique learning experience and a growth-oriented journey that takes you a step closer towards securing the right position within the right company that aligns with your values.”
Pay attention to your body language, your verbal language, and remain calm and positive. Honour your instincts, as they will never deceive you when trying to decide whether the company that you are interviewing with is the right fit for you. Trust your sound judgment that you will know what “the right organizational fit” feels and looks like.
if you leave the interview on a positive, energetic note, feeling as if you were in sync with the interviewer, that’s a good sign. However, if you leave the interview feeling discouraged and uncertain about the prospects, it is time to evaluate your progress and weigh your options. Reaffirm your unique value and continue moving forward.
They irony: the course of an interview can quickly change depending on the rapport and communication established between the prospective employer and candidate.
The other lesson I have learned from interviews is: learn to expect the unexpected.
For more information on strategic interviewing, contact Lori Jazvac, Certified Resume Strategist/Career Consultant at Creative Horizons Communications – Resumes at firstname.lastname@example.org.