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Least Favorite Job Search Phase
A Quarry of Questions Print
Written by Abby Kohut   

Last week I gave you my two cents about the "Informational Interview". I mentioned that no matter what stage of career development you are at, asking for an opportunity to meet with an expert inside the walls of a company that you might want to work for someday is a tool in your toolbox worth dusting off. I also mentioned that you can have an informal informational interview when you meet someone at a networking event who works in an industry or profession that appeals to you. I thought that this week I would offer you some intelligent questions to ask your interviewer which you may want to drop into your toolbox.

While drafting your questions, organize them in the order of which answers are the most critical for expanding your knowledge. Based on how much time you have, ask questions about the interviewer's specific job and industry experience. You may not get to ask more than a few questions because you may think of new questions as you ask the ones you prepared or you might just run out of time. The key is to respect the interviewer's time and end when the time is up regardless of how many questions were asked. Here are 10 questions you might want to ask:

  1. What is a typical day at your job like? What are your main responsibilities?

  2. What challenges do you face in your job? What parts do you enjoy most?

  3. What kinds of decisions do you make?

  4. Why did you choose this field? This job? How did you get started?

  5. What were the most important steps you took that led you to this job?

  6. What experience would I need to be in your job one day? How would I get it if I don't already have it?

  7. What do you think about your industry? Do you like it more or less than others you have been working in?

  8. What other jobs can you get with the same background?

  9. What other kinds of people are hired in this company/industry?

  10. Why did you decide to work for this company? What do you like most? Least?

I could keep going but I think by now you get the idea. The basic gist is that the questions should be personal and career related rather than questions that you would ask if you were applying for a specific job.

Absolutely Abby’s Advice:
People absolutely love to talk about themselves and their career so they are typically very willing to provide a wealth of information. The time will zip by and you'll both probably wish that you could keep talking forever but alas, the time will come to say goodbye. At the end of conversation, ask the interviewer if he or she can think of anyone else that you can network with. If you play your cards well, that next person may very well be your new boss.
  • Tired of all the rejection? If you're interested in learning the Absolute truth about why you're struggling, sign up for a one hour "Capture a Recruiter" phone session today. Reach out to me today with any questions and for an absolutely amazing discount coupon!

Drawn from my 18 years of experience and research in recruiting and Human Resources, my blog posts are intended to provide insight into what corporate recruiters and Human Resource professionals look for when they are evaluating your qualifications. Simply reading these blogs will not guarantee you success. However, consistently applying the strategies mentioned, as well as developing your own personal interview style, will greatly enhance your chances of victory amidst the competition. I wish you the best of luck with your search as you begin to take charge of your career!