Monday, August 15, 2005

Questions to ask in an interview

Bright sunny Monday morning. Start of the week. It’s a good time to think about success stories from past summers.

Like last summer. A grad of about two years had, like many other Michigan residents, lost her job. So she would use the computers in our resource area daily. Everyday I’d see Kelsey—working tirelessly on her job search.  We’d often talk and, at one point, spent some time in prayer asking the Lord for a job.

 

Not long afterward, Kelsey did indeed land an interview, so she got smart in the preparation process. She not only researched the company but she also drew up a list of questions to ask the interviewers, leaving them so impressed that they later remarked on the high degree of insight she exhibited in her choice of questions.

If you come up short when it comes to thinking of questions to ask, check out 101 Smart Questions to Ask on Your Interview by Ron Fry (2003 Career Press).  Of special note are the chapters on questions to ask a pre-interviewer, followed by ones directed towards your prospective boss. For example, he suggests asking the following questions if you’re interesed in learning about the boss’ style and corporate culture:
   
:question: What particular traits do you value most in your subordinates?
:question: What kinds of people seem to succeed in this company? In this department?
:question: Tell me about the last time one of your subordinates made a major mistake. What
            did he or she do? What did you do? How did that work out? What’s your philosophy
            about “mistakes”?

What prompted this story? The thank you note on my desk Kelsey sent after her first day on the job.

Posted by Bonnie Speyers on 08/15 at 10:09 AM
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