So you’ve landed an interview. Congratulations!
Now you need to prepare for it, and prepare well.
If you researched the company some as you were writing your cover letter and resume (you did didn’t you, so that you could reference your knowledge of the company in your cover letter?), you now need to really dig in so that you’ll be able to discuss thoroughly how your specific skills and background will help the business meet its goals and challenges.
Most of your interview will be filled with you answering questions about your qualifications, your experience and skills and your successes.
But eventually, usually near the end of the session, the hiring manager/interviewer will probably utter these five words: “Do you have any questions?”
Here are some questions you should ask:
- What are the major challenges you see the person who gets the job will face?
- What are the skills and background of the perfect candidate? (Really listen to the answer and then talk about how your skills/background fit the bill.)
- What are the first things you want the person who gets the job to do in the first few weeks of being here?
- Why is the position open? (With this question, you’ll learn if the position is a new one. Or, if the person who had it before was promoted, you know that this position is a good stepping stone to more responsibility — and pay.)
- You asked me where I want to be in five years; where would you see the person who gets the this job in five years?
- What do you see me lacking for this position? (You can then talk about how, yes, you don’t have this particular skill, but you do have this one, and this one. In fact, you can be very upfront about a skill you lack: “I don’t have the PowerPoint skills you need, but I have excellent Word, Excel, QuickBooks and Publisher skills and I know I can learn PowerPoint quickly and well.”)
As the interview winds up, you should definitely ask what the next steps are. This will tell you if second interviews will be conducted, and when.
Finally, the most important question you can ask is to ask for the job.
When you get up after the interview is over and you’re ready to say good-bye, take the interviewer’s hand, look her straight in the eye and say something like “I really enjoyed speaking with you. I like the opportunity as you presented it and I feel my skills and background are a great fit. I want to work for you and I hope you’ll choose me as the winning candidate.”
If you work in the construction, engineering, architecture and other technical industries in the Washington DC area, contact RealStreet Staffing. We have terrific opportunities with some of the Washington Metro area’s finest firms. We look forward to hearing from you!