career

Three questions to ask in an interview if you genuinely want the job.

Anyone who’s ever looked for a job knows a lot goes into executing the humble job interview.

From choosing a job interview outfit, writing a cover letter, reading a million job interview tips and controlling your nerves, it’s hard to put your best foot forward while trying not to sweat through your carefully selected white shirt.

But one way to make things easier for yourself is to prepare questions to ask in an interview, says Paulette Kolarz, the Managing Director of BespokeHR and 2008’s South Australian Telstra Business Women of the Year.

“When employers ask candidates if they have any questions, what they ask normally indicates what’s important to them,” Kolarz tells Mamamia.

“If you’re asking about work hours, breaks and the workload upfront, that would normally be a point of concern.”

To ensure you only ask the right interview questions, here are some job interview questions to keep in your back pocket for your next job interview.

Questions to ask…

“For you to feel like the appointment of this role has been successful, what are the key achievements/factors that you would like to see in the first 12 months?”

According to Kolarz, focusing on the employer’s performance expectations for the role is a great way to show an interest in what they’re looking for.

“The main things you are trying to ascertain is whether you have covered all the key areas the employer has identified,” she says.

“Think about what key things you could offer that might make their life easier and assist in achieving their goals/results. If you haven’t demonstrated your ability in these areas in the interview, asking provides you with an opportunity to do so.”

P.S. Power buns are a great hairstyle option for job interviews. Check out how to pull one off in the gallery below…

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“What is the vision for the company (or division) for the next three years?”

“Knowing if the company is a great fit for you is just as important as whether you have the skills to assume the role competently,” says Kolarz.

This question will help you identify whether the future direction, opportunities, and challenges at the company will suit your career goals and aspirations.

“What would you see the biggest challenges of this position are?”

“While traditionally these challenges may be consistent with the type of position you are applying for, it may also identify any internal blockers or issues that you need to be aware of in order to ensure success,” says Kolarz.

Identifying the challenges of the role you’re applying for is a great way to set your expectations of the role, and determine or demonstrate your ability to overcome them should they hire you.

LISTEN: Mamamia Out Loud discuss the question no employer should ask potential candidates in interviews (post continues after audio…)

And ones to avoid…

In Kolarz’s experience, the biggest mistake candidates make when asking questions in interviews is asking for information that’s already available online.

“Asking about publicly accessible information that could have been easily researched beforehand with a Google search or may have been provided in the advertisement or position description shows you haven’t done your research,” she says.

Nitty gritty questions about salary, hours, flexibility, autonomy in the role and professional development without hearing about the position and role requirements first also isn’t a good look.

“These things are of course important but can be asked about once you determine if the position is a fit or not. Otherwise, these questions may be asked through the recruiter or in the second or third interview when you’re further along in the hiring process,” she recommends.

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