Don’t Make This Awkward Job Interview Mistake

Job Interview Mistake

There are a lot of steps you should take on the day of your job interview. From ensuring your physical appearance is polished, to arriving on time, to bringing a copy of your resume – these tips can all ensure you give off a great first impression. But there are some things you need to do before the day-of to ensure you can be successful. Your whole interview could be going great but, to ensure you’re leaving a lasting good impression, make sure you prepare yourself for the dreaded last question (not expecting it could be a huge job interview mistake!)

A common question that interviewers like to ask is if you (the interviewee) have any questions for them. It may seem innocent enough, but saying no could make you seem either unprepared or disinterested. (Yikes!) If you research the company ahead of time, prepare your own questions, and have a back up plan in case your questions are already addressed, you can show a hiring manager that you’re the type of person they really want to add to their team.

Research the Company & Position

Hopefully, you did your research on both the company and the job position before you applied to the job. But, either way, you should always take time to review as much information as possible before you go to your job interview.

Research the Company

Start by reviewing the company’s website and social media accounts. Your goal is to get a clear idea of what the company stands for: their values, their goals, their mission. I recommend clicking through all of the main pages of their company site (from the About Us to the History to the Contact Us). If the information is public and easy to find, you should familiarize yourself with it before you interview.

Research the Position

Before your interview, you should reread the job description as it was posted. Make sure you know exactly what the company is looking for so you can provide specific examples that demonstrate why you are the right fit.

You should also review other similar job postings for the same role. Looking at other posts might give you ideas about other things you should mention that weren’t included in your specific job post.

The goal of doing all of this research ahead of time is to gather as much information as possible. Once you have all of the answers you can find, you can start to think about the remaining questions you may have.

Prepare Your Questions

Now that you’ve brushed up on both the company and the job opening, it’s time to prepare your questions for the job interview. Having questions for the interviewer shows that you did your research and are both invested and detail-oriented enough to be looking for more information. To help, here are some common topics and questions that job interviewees ask.

About the Company

  • What kind of people or personalities thrive at this company?
  • What goal is the company working toward as a whole and how does this role fit into achieving it?
  • Would you describe the work environment as more independent or collaborative?

About the Position

  • Can you describe a typical day or week look like for someone in this role?
  • What other roles or teams does this position interact with regularly?
  • Are there opportunities for growth within the company for someone in this role?

These questions are examples of things you can ask at the end of the interview. But, hopefully, many of these questions will be addressed in your interview and following conversations. So, what should you do if your general questions are all answered before you can ask them? You come up with a backup plan.

Have a Backup Plan

If all of the prepared questions you had were answered in the interview, don’t ask them again. (Doing that can make it seem like you weren’t paying attention). Instead, we recommend preparing a backup plan so you know what to do if you were given the answers you were looking for.

Here are three ways you can ask general questions:

  1. Ask the interviewer to elaborate on something they said. (Example: I heard you mention that this role mostly operates independently. Do you have any examples of times collaboration would be important?)
  2. Ask the interviewer to share a story from their time working with the company. (Example: Can you share a time that the company supported you in your role or career growth?)
  3. If all else fails and you don’t have anything else, ask the interviewer if there’s anything else you can do after the interview. (Do you need me to send any additional information or references to you following this interview?)

There are certain questions you should avoid asking, especially at a first interview. Pushing for details about the interview process (like directly asking how you’re doing compared to other candidates or who the other candidates are) can make you seem disrespectful. Questions about taking time off or changing the role’s work hours can make you seem presumptive. We recommend closing your first job interview on the right foot and saving more detailed conversations for a follow up interview or conversation.

An interview goes two ways. The interviewer is trying to assess the likelihood that you’d be a good fit for their opening and their organization. Meanwhile, you are trying to determine if the company is a place where you could work and grow. It’s a common job interview mistake to just assume you need to just answer, not ask, questions. Instead, go in prepared and you’ll leave the interview feeling confident in the way you just presented yourself.

About the Author: Jesi Bolandrina is the Content Marketing Manager at Jobble. As a former gig worker, she knows how hard it can be to feel like you know what you’re doing in an ever-changing workforce. She’s your go-to for news and information from career development, to health and wellness, to finances and more. She curates Jobble’s blog, articles and is the editor of The Everyday Hustle newsletter. If you have any ideas for topics Jobble should cover, let her know

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