In the past decade or so, there’s been a significant shift in job interview conventions. Earlier, the nature of these interviews was largely one-sided, wherein the interviewer would take the lead, and the candidates had little to no role in guiding the conversation. But that aspect has been changing quickly.
Interviewers now expect applicants to be active participants during the interview, asking questions, being forthright, and displaying strong communication skills.
However, a lot of interviewees believe that going with the flow during these interviews may be the best way forward. But in your attempt to tread carefully, you may just miss out on gaining essential information.
Asking questions is never disagreeable, especially when you are applying for jobs and trying to make the most of the screening interview. You shouldn’t be afraid to put yourself out there or pose questions relevant to your potential employment.
A quote by W. Edwards Deming highlights the importance of asking questions in the right manner – “If you do not know how to ask the right question, you discover nothing.” And you most certainly want to be cognizant of the right information when you are in the process of finding a job.
So, here are a few different types of questions you could ask during a screening interview.
The hiring manager will most probably try to assess your personality to understand whether you’d be a good fit at the company. Similarly, you too should have a complete understanding of what working at the organization looks like.
It’ll give you insight into how work hours are utilized, what steps employees use to go about accomplishing daily tasks, and how you’d be expected to bear the responsibilities of being part of the team.
Ask questions about work processes, policies, and approaches that affect employees.
Some of these questions could be “What does a day at work look like for some of the team members?”, “Who would I be reporting to daily?”, or “How are performance reviews conducted?”
Displaying some knowledge of the company is highly recommended. Don’t walk into a screening interview oblivious of how the company was established or who the founder is.
That said, you may have stumbled across information that has piqued your interest or something that is not readily available online. You could bring it up at the end of the screening interview as a way to get to know the company better.
Make sure that your doubts or questions are about what concerns you and is not confidential. Because at this point, you are not an employee. So there may be certain boundaries regarding what you can and cannot ask.
A few examples are – “How many employees are there?”, “Do you work with agencies to outsource any functions?”, and “Could you tell me a bit about the growth of the company?”
The interviewer possesses a wealth of information that can be extremely valuable to any candidate. So don’t hesitate to ask questions about their experience at the company or the duration of their employment so far.
It’s one way for you to know what an employee thinks about the organization. Moreover, you can understand from their behaviour how they truly feel about working there.
If you feel like talking about career growth is getting way ahead of yourself, it isn’t. Rather, it indicates that you are committed to pursuing the opportunity.
Answers to these questions will help you understand how the organization assists employees in advancing in their professional lives.
You could either inquire about the training programs offered or the system of appraisal they may have. These are just a couple of basic topics to address during the screening interview. But it’s likely that once you show interest in knowing about it, the interviewer may volunteer further information about the same.
To make an informed decision, you need to have all the necessary information about working at the company.
More often than not, the hiring managers expect interviewees to have some questions about the job. They may ask you at the end or even during the interview.
So, prepare some questions in advance or pick up on something the interviewer has said. This goes to show that you are curious and genuinely interested in working at the company.
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