Job Interviews: How Many Questions Are Too Many?

June 16th, 2014

While nearly every job candidate prepares to be asked questions during an interview, fewer prepare to ask questions of their own. But an interview is a dialogue: it’s your chance to ask the company your own questions, as well as to answer the company’s questions about your own work.

Asking questions during an interview gives you a better look at the company and the job. It also demonstrates interest and enthusiasm. But not all questions are created equally. Asking too many questions – especially about information you could have learned by researching the company – can make you look unprepared, rather than enthused.

Where should you draw the line? Which questions should you add to your list, and which should you try to answer yourself? Consider these tips:

  • Start by listing all your questions. Sit down and think through every question you’d like to have answered. Start with the basics: What does the company do? What are the essential functions of this job?
  • Look at the job description. Reread the job description carefully. Although it can answer some basic questions about the job’s essential duties, it may also prompt questions: Under what conditions will you be expected to carry out these tasks? How often are you called on to exercise each of the skills listed?
  • Read the company’s literature. Web sites, brochures, and other information can help acquaint you with the company and answer some basic questions, like what the company’s mission is and which recent projects it’s most proud to publicize. This information may also suggest questions you can ask during the interview, especially about particular projects in your line of work. Talk to your recruiter to learn more about the company and its work.
  • Frame your questions to include the information you’ve learned. Prepare your questions so that they build on what you’ve learned. For instance, you might ask about one of the company’s recent accomplishments by saying, “I read on your company’s blog that you recently accomplished [goal]. What role do staff in this position play in such projects?” Framing your questions in this way demonstrates that you’ve done your research, and that you were sufficiently interested in what you learned to want to learn more.
  • Connect with the hiring manager. Ask the hiring manager one or two questions about his or her specific work, like “What do you like most about working here? Why?” These questions help build personal connections and give you a personalized look at the company.

At 1st Staffing, our Oklahoma City recruiters can help you find the job you’re looking for. Contact us today to learn more!

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