“Have you any questions?” It’s always asked…

Age Discrimination: mature aged worker preparing for an interview

What are the best questions to ask in a job interview? You must know them.

There is no excuse to say “No, not really, you’ve answered most of them”.

Interviewers look forward to asking you for questions – it gives them a break from a process they’ve probably followed 50 times before. If you don’t have questions you’re missing a big opportunity to lead the discussion. And probably peeing them off!

Note there are no “best” questions to ask at a particular interview – no list can cover all the situations you will encounter. However, you must have 3 or 4 good questions to ask, even though you’ll probably modify them as the interview proceeds.

Then, after asking your questions, it’s a good opportunity to sum up why you believe you’re suitable for the role. Here, you might include some positive skills or attributes you didn’t get a chance to raise.

The best questions to ask in a job interview? Here are some to consider…

  • Is this a new position or an existing one?
  • GPO Box 1901 Melbourne VIC 3001 you outline the way work is organised here so I can see where this job fits in?
  • How are the job tasks being handled at present?
  • How will my performance be measured, and by what criteria?
  • Can you describe the colleagues who I’ll be working with? Is it possible to meet them later if I am seriously being considered for this role?
  • What other positions report to you (or the person I’ll be reporting to)?
  • What objectives need to be met and what problems solved?
  • What are some of the career paths potentially available once I have demonstrated success in this position?
  • What assistance could I expect in order to learn the job quickly and well?

Start with questions that show a positive interest in their company and job, rather than with your interests. They should be based on the research you’ve done on their products, employees, finances or other aspects. You are then demonstrating your efforts and interest.

Asking good questions tells you whether this job is the one that’ll put a spring in your step every day. You’re also way more likely to get it.

Your Job Interview Success Checklist…

Many will be important for you and some irrelevant. If you are actively interviewing, print your main ones and stick them on your wall…

  • Handshake firm and positive (men AND women) plus good eye contact.
  • Sit when you are invited to. If placed in an awkward position, ask “Would you mind if I move my chair?” and move it immediately.
  • Be natural, relaxed and enthusiastic. Body language says a lot, so don’t slouch – sit well back in the chair. If you ‘talk with your hands’, don’t overdo it. Make friendly eye contact with them, but avoid intense staring.
  • Don’t be overfamiliar: start by using their surname. Unless you are much younger, most will say ‘call me Sue’. If they don’t (in Australia at least), it might raise a question for you about their culture!
  • Talk frankly and briefly – don’t ramble or be dramatic, stick to what they’ve asked.
  • Listen carefully – observe, analyse and assess. Note that we also advise employers to listen more – as in all meetings, it’s always ‘who listens most wins’).
  • Always be friendly and pleasant but businesslike, however irritable or unpleasant they might be. Remember, interviews are artificial, they could just be nervous.
  • Smile occasionally – but don’t overdo it.
  • Stress your qualifications, experience, strengths and achievements. If you don’t (lightly) sing your praises, no one else is going to. You’re expected to let them know why you/re good for this role, but don’t exaggerate.
  • As they arise, mentally tick off those 5 or 6 key reasons why you should be considered for the job – and later, raise those that have not been touched on.
  • Thank the interviewer, express interest, and ASK about the next step or stage. Failure to do this may leave them doubting whether you wish to proceed. Even if you think the job is probably not for you, keep your options open by being positive – you might change your mind later.
  • Do You Make these Mistakes in Interviews? Stop it!
  • Raising salary at the first interview. JUST DON’T.
  • If they ask you, mention a broad range and say it depends on the role; or say that you are more concerned with the quality of the role – and you are, or should be.
  • Criticising former colleagues or employers; And avoid long stories about why you left previous jobs.
  • Leaving your phone on. If you forget, just say “Sorry” and turn it off without taking a peek. Looking says you think someone not in the room is more important than them. They are not.
  • Taking notes unless it’s clearly necessary – when it is, always ask permission.
  • Smoking, under any circumstances, even if the meeting is outside.
  • Revealing confidential information about your current employer – the interviewer will rightly worry about their confidentiality in the future.
  • Talking about personal matters unless specifically asked, or when they are clearly crucial for this job. Practice polite answers to discriminatory questions such as your age, your race or, god forbid, your sexual preferences. Any of these should raise doubts about working for these neanderthals.
  • Dropping names of people in their company unless you know them well and it’s relevant – or it can backfire.
  • Treating the recruitment agent as unimportant in the process – dumb given that they are the gatekeeper, and can close the gate on you. Hard to do I know as so many don’t deserve respect.
  • Bringing your wife or your Mum or anybody else to the interview. Seriously?

The mission of the Stable and Wise Community…

To unite unprejudiced employers with Mature, stable and motivated employees

“Age is just a number, a number & no more. The experience, maturity, wisdom an older person brings to an organisation is immense & can never be replicated.” Jacqueline Perera, LinkedIn.

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If you personally have not suffered, then perhaps let a friend know about this community – we all know people who have applied for jobs and suffered the deafening silence.