The job interview is a delicate time for both the HR manager and the candidate.
The candidate must show himself to be at ease, but not too relaxed; determined, but not arrogant; and, of course, must be prepared. On the other hand, the interviewer must understand in a few minutes whether the person in front of him is the most suitable to fill the vacant job position.
Contrary to popular belief, however, the job interview is not an interrogation, in which the interviewer submits the candidate to a barrage of questions, but a dialogue, in which the candidate may also find out about the role he or she would take on in the event of a successful completion of the interview.
Usually, the HR manager gives the candidate the opportunity to ask questions at the end of the interview, but there is one who recommends that the candidates ask questions from the beginning: this is Lynn Taylor, English, workplace expert and author of Tame your terrible Office Tyrant: How to Manage Childish Boss Behavior and Thrive in Your Job.
Business Insider magazine has dedicated an article to the four questions that, according to Taylor, a candidate may ask the interviewer from the start. Let’s find out about them.
“How has this job position evolved over time?”
According Lynn Taylor, “This is a question that demonstrates intellectual curiosity without being intrusive and brazen. It enables HR managers to express themselves and, at the same time, enables you to gather information about the history of the position. For example, you can tell whether the role involves turnover or the opportunity to grow professionally. ”
“How can my role help the company achieve its objectives?”
Taylor suggests that you get a picture of the situation right from the beginning of the interview: “This will enable you to answer in the most appropriate manner. It is easier to sell your skills and knowledge if you can relate them to the business strategy. ”
“What do you like most about working for this company?”
This is a “harmless and friendly” question that shows an interest in the interviewer. The risk is that may be taken for flattery, but it is useful to understand more about the job position and the company as a whole.
“Does the interviewer hesitate to mention the company’s staff, its products or services? Does he or she focus on the numbers related to growth and ignore any negative ones? This may give you a small preview on the manager’s prospects and priorities”.
“Can you describe some of the tasks that I will have to carry out, or tell me about a typical working day?”
“This is a good opportunity to demonstrate that you have done your homework,” says Taylor, adding that the question is useful “to understand what to expect from the new job and how it can help the company to achieve its goals.”
These are the four questions that Lynn Taylor suggests asking during the early stages of the interview.
Our opinion? Caution: it is possible that asking these questions right away may not be a good thing: on the contrary, there is the risk of appearing arrogant or opinionated and thus compromise the outcome of the interview.
During the interview, you could still try to ask the interviewer one of these four questions, in an unassuming but determined manner, to understand how to give the right answers at the right time and be successful.