Magazine article Black Enterprise

Go Ahead, Ask! Successful Interviewing Is a Two-Way Strategy

Magazine article Black Enterprise

Go Ahead, Ask! Successful Interviewing Is a Two-Way Strategy

Article excerpt

I wanted to know just as much about them as they wanted to know about me," says Tracy Vinson of her job interview for a social work position with Christian Community Health Center in Chicago, last September. "I wanted to show that I wasn't just a good listener, but also a good communicator." The last thing she wanted to do was simply react to a series of questions fired off at her by an interviewer.

Instead, she raised questions of her own, using the opportunity to turn the interview into a two-way conversation.

"I made sure I asked about all of their current programs. In doing so, they got to know me and they realized how sincere I was about being a social worker." Vinson was offered the job.

Job seekers should in fact use questions to convey an interest in a position, explains Ron Fry, author of 101 Smart Questions to Ask on Your Interview (Career Press; $12.99).

"If an interviewer asks if you have any questions, I don't care if you've been there for seven hours and the interviewer has gone over everything that anyone could possibly imagine," stresses Fry. "You can't say no; it shows disinterest."

It conveys that a job candidate is not bright, offers Deborah Walker, owner of Alpha Advantage, a career coaching company outside Portland, Oregon. Questions can be designed to uncover what Walker calls "hot buttons"--qualities the interviewer deems most important.

"They are going to be questions like 'What do you see as the most critical need for this position? …

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