Monday, July 6, 2009

What to Ask and Not Ask a Prospective Employer

Candidates need to realize that they are interviewing the prospective employer as well. So when they come to that ultimate question, "Do you have any questions for me?" The answer should always be "YES". This is the time to ask for answers that you need such as:

  • Why is this position available? You really want to know did the person get promoted, did the company grow to need the position, or did the person resigned.
  • What are the most important skills for this job? When they answer that question..counter it with what skills you have.
  • How would you describe the ideal candidate? Let them know that you think you have those characteristics.
  • Is there opportunities for advancement? This question shows them that you are looking for a career and not just a job. They like to hear that.
  • Where do you see the company is five years? You are asking this question to see if they expect growth. They will know the answer. All executives of a company know the plans for the future of their company.

By asking questions, you are showing that you are interested in the company. It also gives you the chance to show how knowledgeable you are about the industry and the position. Most important, it allows you to demonstrate why you are the perfect candidate.

There are things that you should never ask about as well early in the interview process such as:

  • Salary - you have the skills or you wouldn't be interviewing. Let’s negotiate that later on when they really are interested.
  • Sick or Vacation time - No employer wants to think that you are thinking about vacation time before you start working. They will think you won't work hard.
  • Compensation - Never go into 401k, medical policy. You do not want the employer thinking that you are more interested in compensation than the company itself.