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The Art of Effective Questioning in the Job Search, By: Courtney Crites

Oct 16, 2023 03:05 PM
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Finding a job can be a daunting task, especially if you don’t know the right questions to ask. By mastering the art of effective questioning, you can increase your chances of success. 

Let’s take a look at the importance of asking the right questions at each stage of the job search process, from research to interviews. 

The Benefits of Effective Questioning

  • Demonstrates Interest and Engagement: Asking thoughtful questions throughout the job search process shows employers that you are genuinely interested in the role, the company, and its future. This can set you apart from other candidates who may lack curiosity.
  • Enables Informed Decision Making: By asking questions, you gather valuable information that can help you make informed decisions about job offers. Understanding key aspects of a role, company culture, or growth opportunities allows you to assess if a job aligns with your aspirations and career goals.
  • Creates a Positive Impression: Asking intelligent and relevant questions makes you memorable to employers. It shows that you are prepared, proactive, and capable of critical thinking – all of which are qualities of the kind of candidate they are looking for! 

When to Ask What

Research Phase

Asking questions during the research phase helps you gather information about potential employers and job opportunities. Here are some examples of questions you can consider:

  1. Company Culture: What values does the company prioritize? What is their management style like? Have others in this organization had positive experiences?
  2. Job Description: Are there any specific skills or experiences they are looking for in a candidate? 
  3. Opportunities for Growth: What career development programs or advancement opportunities are available? 

Networking and Informational Interviews

Engaging in conversations with professionals in your target industry is an effective way to gather insights and expand your network. When interacting with industry professionals, ask questions such as:

  1. Industry Trends: What upcoming changes or developments are you anticipating in this field? 
  2. Skill Requirements: What specific skills or certifications would make me more competitive?
  3. Company Recommendations: Do you suggest I explore any organizations for potential opportunities?

Application and Interview Stage

Asking relevant questions during job interviews not only demonstrates your interest in the position but also allows you to evaluate if the job aligns with your goals and values. Consider asking:

  1. Role Expectations: What are the day-to-day responsibilities of this position? What would be your best advice to someone starting out in this role? 
  2. Team Dynamics: Can you tell me more about the team I will be working with? What is the most unexpected thing you’ve learned during your time at Company X?
  3. Company Vision: What are the long-term goals and plans of the company? 

Final Thoughts

Mastering the art of effective questioning is a skill every job seeker should develop. By asking the right questions at each stage of the job search process, you can gather valuable information, make informed decisions, and leave a lasting impression on potential employers. So, start today by creating your own list of your favourite questions to ask! Good luck!