Monday, July 12, 2010

Expert Advice : Best questions to ask on your job interview

We blog about everything really, from Singapore jobs to Singapore news, but there's no denying our penchant for career change, training seminars and job interviews. Have you noticed our blogging affair with these topics already? Well, we're declaring it now. =)

Why do we love writing about learning, moving on and interviewing? It's simple: for our market, they're among the most complicated concepts. Career change is never easy what with its many crisscrosses. As for learning, well, many don't know how crucial continuous education is in career development and blogging about the topic often is the best way to tell people this. When it comes to job interviews, we need not say how tricky they can be especially to first timers. There's the concept for body language, for one. And then, there's also the need to dress up appropriately and to answer and ASK questions properly.

Your eyes aren't fooling you. We really put the word "ASK" in that sentence. An ideal interview is when both parties take turns asking and answering questions; asking questions can add points to your personal brand as a job seeker. Can it be done? Yes. Singapore employers now give candidates a chance to ask questions as this will show them a lot of things e.g. initiative and whether or not the candidate is capable of career building.

We're encouraging you to ask questions on your next interview. When is your next interview, by the way? We hope this post isn't too late because you need to research for this to work. Nevertheless, here's what Jonathan Kwan, Principal at Kwantum Leap and a Career Expert, has to say when it comes to asking good interview questions.

What are good questions to ask? Jonathan has three rules:

Only ask questions you genuinely want to know the answer to.
Don't ask open-ended questions; try to be as specific as possible.
Always start your questions with a bit of a preamble.
Rule number one is no-brainer. Asking for the sake of "asking" (if you know what we mean), is going to give a blow to your credibility. The lack of interest will your face. "We can tell almost immediately whether someone told you to ask that question to impress us, or whether you really want to know the answer", warns Jonathan.

What rule number two denotes is simple too: Don't overdo it! Show courtesy to your interviewer. Chances are you're not the only one he's scheduled to interview for the day. Make your questions specific to avoid giving him a hassle. "The last thing we want to do is have to use our brains and think really hard", advises Jonathan.

Rule number three is one and two combined. "Tell us what you have read, what you've heard, your opinion on the matter, or what others have told you, and then ask your question", Jonathan has said it best. This will give you the opportunity to bring up the research you've done. Plus points.

And don't be selfish, adds Jonathan. "If you want to leave a lasting impression, try to ask questions that they will care about." Remember: It's not about you, It's about them.

Easy, right? You can read our full interview with Jonathan @ You might also want to read the following from Career Advice:

The Right Answers to the Most Common Interview Questions
Your Voice can Make or Break Your Job Interview - So Speak Well!
Interview and don't
12 of the Toughest Interview Questions

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