Why Interviewing the Interviewer ?

It can be difficult to predict what an interviewer will ask at interview, but there is one question that can always be anticipated: “So, do you have any questions for me?”

The Business Insider has published an article discussing the importance of making use of this opportunity. According to the website, your answer should be a wholehearted “YES!” Interviewing is a “two-way street”, write career reporters Natalie Walters and Jacquelyn Smith. Elaborating on this, they say: “You should be interviewing the employer just as much as they’re interviewing you because you both need to walk away convinced that the job would be a great fit.”

This is not the only benefit of becoming the interviewer during your interview. It also makes you appear enthusiastic and intelligent. It shows the interviewer that you are interested in the job, and by taking the time to prepare questions, it becomes evident that you are thinking deeply and carefully about the different dimensions and aspects of the role.

Researching the job, company and re-reading the job description and summary should bring up some interesting questions for you to ask. But there is also the danger of looking unprepared, disengaged and lazy if you ask the wrong questions, which is why it is so important that you spend time carefully selecting the points you want to discuss before the interview. If, for example, you ask a question that the interviewer has already answered during the course of the meeting, or one that is answered on their website, you risk coming across as unprepared and ignorant of what it is that you are actually applying for.

To give you a hand, the reporters at the Business Insider have put together 29 questions you might like to ask. Here are just five of them:

- What do you like most about working for this company?
- What are the challenges of this position?
- What type of employee tends to succeed here?
- What qualities are the most important for doing well and advancing at the firm?
- What’s your staff turnover rate?

Some questions that appear on lists you should never ask at interview include those about salary (though some would disagree with this), background checks (you may seem like you have something to hide), and company benefits (you should appear more interested in the job itself than the perks it can provide).

Forbes is another proponent of the interviewee asking clever and pre-prepared questions, arguing that candidates should be strategic by demonstrating four things: their knowledge of the interviewer’s professional background; the office culture; the wider industry and their ability to be innovative. You can read the full article here: http://www.forbes.com/sites/nextavenue/2016/01/12/the-4-questions-you-should-ask-in-a-job-interview/#210f13002c79

Written by

Cambridge University graduate and professional career sector writer.

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