Taking Charge During An Interview!

Perhaps you've found yourself in the position of seeking a new position due to a layoff, cutback or downsizing and are now facing the interviewing process. As scary as that may seem, one of the most critical points to remember is that just because you're sitting in the seat opposite the potential employer doesn't mean you have no control. There are a number of ways for making the interview a more equal experience and the first starts with knowing you have the right to ask questions.

Come Prepared!

Although it's not a good idea to monopolize the interview, asking questions shows your interest in the position therefore it's a good idea to prepare a few questions beforehand. By doing some research about the company you show the interviewer that you're really a knowledgeable and serious applicant.

What You Shouldn't Say During and Interview!

If you've not had a chance to ask your own specific questions during the interview simply wait until near the end of the meeting and suggest that you have a few questions. But use caution by keeping the conversation strictly professional. The interviewer is forming an opinion about you so make sure you don't say anything that could be misinterpreted. For example, never share personal information that is unnecessary and steer clear of negative details regarding past employment. Hold off on asking questions that deal with vacation, sick days, benefits, salary and such. They're important to know, but they shouldn't be your top priority. First interviews are mostly about finding out whether you're a good fit for the job.

Important Questions to Ask During the Interview!

Question #1. What responsibilities will I be covering initially? Once I become established in my position, will my responsibilities change? Very often an individual's responsibility is not clearly laid out and leaves the potential applicant uncertain as to his or her responsibilities. Make sure they are clear prior to accepting a position.

Question #2. Do staff members know what my responsibilities will entail and have they been given a brief overview as to what I will be handling? Find out whom you will be reporting to and if others are to report to you. If others are to report to you, make sure they have already been informed of that decision. And if you're being hired for a management position, ask whether existing staff have been informed of your responsibilities. If it's left for you to define, you could be starting off on the wrong foot.

Question #3. What would you say are the best and most difficult things about working in this environment? Don't be afraid to ask the interviewer to explain what he or she believes are the best and most challenging aspects about the job. Of course you may not perceive the same things as difficult but it's still good to know his or her perception at the onset.

Question #4. Based upon my responses during this interview and by my past experience do you believe I can handle the responsibilities of this position? Basically what you're trying to find out is whether or not you are an ideal candidate for the position. Asking that question can give you an idea as to where you stand. That way you won't have to spend days pondering whether or not you have a chance of filling the position.

Question#5. Was the person in this position previously let go or promoted or is this a newly created position? If someone was let go, how will I know whether or not I'm performing effectively? In other words, find out if you will be provided with feedback immediately or would you have to wait for performance reviews?

Question#6. Have I provided enough information about myself for you to make an informed decision? If not, what can I do to alleviate any of your concerns about my capabilities?

The way you present yourself during an interview clearly demonstrates your strengths and weaknesses so never hesitate to present yourself in a way that shows off your strengths. Don't be afraid to do a bit of boasting about yourself during the interview, particularly if it's true. You are competing against a number of other individuals who want the same job therefore you shouldn't hesitate to stand apart from the crowd.

Copyright 2005

Charlene Rashkow brings 15 years of experience as a Writer and Author to her creative efforts as a freelance writer. She has successfully helped countless numbers of companies and individuals reach their objectives by preparing personal and professional copywriting. Her portfolio includes exceptional website content writing, press releases, bios, articles of interest, business plans, resumes and all other forms of marketing material. You may contact Charlene Rashkow at http://www.allyourwritingneeds.com

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