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The Most Important Questions

So many questions, so little time

➔ On more than a couple of occasions, we stated the importance of preparing the right questions for a job interview. We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again, developing questions for a job interview is some of the most critical preparations a candidate can pursue. Study the company. Study the job. But, don’t walk through that door without your questions.

Just Google “job interview questions” (as we recently did) and you should get something in the neighborhood of 61 million responses. A cursory review suggested that the vast majority of those hits had to do with advice on how to answer interview questions. No doubt, that is important, but what are your questions?

As a job seeker, there are numerous questions that you can or should be asking interviewers. Questions about the job; about the company; about your supervisor; about compensation; about benefits; etc.

And now it gets important

As important as those may be, there is another body of questions of even greater importance. Questions that must be addressed even before your job search begins. These are questions that are directed inward. Questions that you have to answer about yourself.

Just how important are these questions? Well, we can tell you that if you’re not 100 percent honest in your answers, you’ll add weeks, if not months to your job search. And that’s not to mention the frustration associated with all that.

These are the most basic job seeker questions. What are my strengths? What are my weaknesses? Can I get along with fellow workers? Where do I want to work – not just companies, but in what industry? Do I want a career change or am I satisfied with what I’ve been doing?

Do I want to start my own business? Would I be willing to work as a temp? Do you think it’s time to “give something back” and work for a non-profit organization?

Why should an employer hire you (as opposed to someone else)? Note: “Because I need the money.” “Because I need a job.” Neither are the right answer.

What value do you bring to the company that the 30-year old doesn't or can't? Or any competing candidate of any age or stripe for that matter.

Your answers to these questions will shape your job search, make it more effective and, ultimately, make it more successful.


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