December 5, 2008, Newsletter Issue #11: Interview Blunder: Not Asking Questions

Tip of the Week

While you may wind up answering many questions during the course of an interview, you should also ask a few. People who don't can come across as uninterested and apathetic to an interviewer. It can be tough to strike the perfect balance between inquiring about a few things and talking too much, but well-timed questions can help show you are both sharp and enthusiastic.

Timing is everything when it comes to asking questions. You won't want to blurt them out whenever they come to mind. Instead, wait for a good opportunity when it seems appropriate to switch gears or delve a little deeper into a particular topic.

Factual clarifications are simple, but should be done sparingly. For example, if you aren't sure of the exact job responsibilities, you might say something like, "How exactly does the creative director job fit into the structure of your company?" Questions that are probing in nature might be better asked toward the end of your time together, when you have established more of a rapport with the person who is interviewing you.

Try to strike a good balance of questions without going overboard. If the answer can wait, you may want to save it for the second interview if there is one. Some questions can be postponed until you are hired and going through training or an introductory period.

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