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Diane Stafford: Asking for a job? Ask good questions

By Diane Stafford, McClatchy Newspapers –

Feel free to ask questions in a job interview. Just make them good ones.

Don’t waste an interviewer’s time by asking what the job pays or how much vacation you’ll get. Save those for after you get an actual offer.

Well-researched questions about the company or the job are entirely appropriate. In fact, they may help you stand out from other applicants.

It’s a given that you should go into a job interview with practiced responses to questions you expect to be asked. But you also should be ready to turn the tables.

Then sit back and listen for sincere, complete responses. If your questions get blown off or the answers are evasive or troubling, you may want to reassess the job’s desirability.

Consider asking:

—Could you describe the corporate culture here?

—What are the lines of communication like?

—Do employees feel empowered to make decisions?

—What is turnover like in this company (or job)?

—What are this organization’s biggest strengths (or weaknesses, or challenges, or opportunities)?

—What personal growth opportunities exist in this position?

—What do you like most about working here?

—What types of personalities tend to thrive here?

—Why would I prefer to work here instead of your competitor XYZ?

—If you’re interviewing two candidates with comparable experience, what would give the edge to one of them?

Be ready, too, to ask about the factors fueling current growth in the industry, business or job. And do they expect the trend to continue?

If it’s not clear, ask who you’d be reporting to. Is it possible to meet that person?

Judging from that response, you might even ask if you could meet your prospective peers who report to that person.

Choose the queries that are most relevant and helpful to you. Don’t sit mum.

Good questions show you’re informed. Their answers will help your decision.

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