On the nineteenth installment of Tristan’s Tips, our special guest Tristan Layfield (@LayfieldResume) shares a few good questions to ask and others to avoid when the floor is yours. Remember, impressions are everything throughout the hiring process, and your interview is your first impression. The questions you ask can either help solidify you as a top pick or hurt your chances of getting a call back.
Tristan: What’s going on, Living Corporate fam? It’s Tristan of Layfield Resume Consulting, and I’ve teamed up with Living Corporate to bring you all a weekly career tip. This week, let’s discuss questions to ask during interviews and a few to avoid. I think sometimes as job seekers we tend to forget that interviews are just as much for us as they are for the company we’re interviewing with. Interviews also allow the companies an opportunity to show that they are worthy of having your talents on their team, not to mention one of the best ways of making a lasting impression in an interview is to ask really good questions and avoid a few others until the time is right. So let’s discuss a few good questions to ask and others to avoid when the floor is yours. Some great go-to questions can come out of a few different areas. The first would be to gain clarity. Sometimes these questions take the form of “What does a typical day for someone in this role look like?” or “What would define success for someone in this role?” These questions allow you to get a better understanding of what you could be doing and how you would be measured on it. The next area is to offer assurance. Some of these questions include “Do you have any reservations about my background being a fit for this role?” or “What skills and experience would make an ideal candidate?” Now, be careful with that first question. If you aren’t able to take criticism and spin it, then I would avoid it, but the second question is a great way to see if what they’re saying in the job description and other places is aligning with what you all discuss. The final area I’m gonna cover is asking questions to identify red flags, and they’ll sound like “Can you tell me a bit about the corporate culture?” or “What roles have successful candidates previously in this role advanced to?” These types of questions help you feel out more about the company, the advancement opportunities they provide, and overall if the situation would be a good fit for you. Now, just like there are areas you want to make sure you hit on in your line of questioning, there are definitely some areas you want to avoid. Number one, stay away from questions you can find the answer to on the Internet. It’s a big sign that you haven’t done your research beforehand. Number two, do not ask any questions about salary or benefits in your initial interview unless you are led to that conversation by the employer. By no means am I telling you not to ask, but there’s an appropriate time. While I know the money is the motive, it makes you look like you’re strictly in it for the money, and that’s a turn-off for most companies. Remember, impressions are everything throughout the hiring process, and your interview is your first impression. The questions you ask can either help solidify you as a top pick or hurt your chances of getting a call back. This tip was brought to you by Tristan of Layfield Resume Consulting. Check us out on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook @LayfieldResume, or connect with me, Tristan Layfield, at LinkedIn.