When you go to job interviews do you stride into the employer’s office confidently, or do you go into the meeting like a beaten dog prepared for the worst? Some nervousness going into a job interview is very normal , but anything approaching fear can be crippling and even ruin your chances for landing the job.
Most times when were fearful of a job interview it is because we are afraid of the questions that we are going to be asked. Questions are a normal part of job interviews, but it is easy to be overly concerned that you might be asked one for which you do not have strong answer.
There is a way around that. You can control the job interview by asking all the questions. Yes, it sounds like the exact opposite of what happens in most interviews. Consider that job interviews are really nothing more than an intense question/answer session. But who is doing the questioning, and who is providing the answers, can actually go either way. If you position your self as the interviewer – rather than the interviewee – you will be more confident and come off looking stronger.
Here is what asking all the questions in a job interview can do for you.
Gaining the upper hand
It is no secret that the person asking all the questions is in a stronger position in a job interview. This is precisely why most job hunters seem to be at such a disadvantage. But if you can ask most of the questions, you can take control of the interview. By taking control, you will decide which questions get asked and which ones do not.
Avoiding uncomfortable questions
The biggest fear most job hunters have in job interviews is that they will be asked a tough question. But if you take control and ask most or all the questions, that situation is highly unlikely to come up. By asking the questions, you will prevent the interviewer from asking some or all the questions that they would like answers to.
In theory, an interview is supposed to be an exchange between equal parties. In reality, one party will usually take the upper hand. By default, that is usually the employer. But it does not have to be! There is nothing in holy writ that says that you can not take upper hand in your own job interview. And if you do, you will be facing far fewer uncomfortable questions. That will make you look as if you are an even stronger candidate for the job.
Eliminating awkward periods of silence
Probably the second biggest fear that job seekers have are those awkward periods of silence. It could be brought on because you do not have an answer to a question that’s been asked – that’s very awkward. Or it could be the interviewer playing mind games with you, knowing that the period of silence will trip you up.
But if you have a list of questions to ask, you can keep the interview going, and there won’t be any periods of silence. And the longer the interview lasts, the more likely it is that the employer will make you an offer.
Demonstrating your knowledge through intelligent questions
When I say that you should prepare to do the questioning, that means asking intelligent questions. You should have a list of at least 10, and probably 15 or 20 questions that you plan to ask the interviewer. They should be meaty questions that show that you understand the job and the challenges that you would be taking on.
Very often, the questions that you ask demonstrate your knowledge and understanding. There will be no need for the interviewer to ask you follow-up questions, because the questions that you asked make it clear that you know what you are talking about. Make sure they are questions relating to the job, to the company, and to the industry. You never want to ask superficial questions, such as those that relate benefits and paid time off. Your questions should indicate that you are a serious candidate, and someone worthy of moving to the next stage in the process.
Deciding if you even want the job
A job interview is an interview just like any other. It really doesn’t matter who’s asking the questions and who is answering them. In a perfect world scenario, the employer is interviewing you to determine if they want to hire you, but at the same time you should be interviewing the employer to see if you even want to work for them.
Take the second part of that equation to heart, and go into to the interview prepared to do the grilling. The interview isn’t just about you proving to the employer that you deserve to be hired, it’s also very much about the employer proving to you that it someplace that you want to work at.
Putting the interviewer at ease (why would you even want to do that???)
Though you may think that most interviewers relish the thought of conducting yet another question/answer session with someone that they don’t know, the reality is often something very different. The interviewer is often just as nervous as you are – after all, they’re meeting you for the first time in hopes of filling a job that needs a qualified candidate.
By asking most or all the questions in the interview, you will make in the interviewer’s job easier. That will put the interviewer at ease in your presence. The interviewer may not even remember that you did not actually answer any questions , they will just remember that the interview went well, and they will think very highly of you for it. Most likely, you’ll either be referred for another interview, or they will make you an offer.
Can you think of other ways to turn a job interview in your favor?