Cindy Stephens,Stephens International Recruiting, Inc.
You made it to the face-to-face interview and everything seems to be going great. Then, the hiring manager asks, “Do you have any questions for me?” All of sudden your mind goes blank. How you respond can make a difference in the hiring decision.
First, it’s important to remember that interviews are an exchange of information. The job interview is not only for the hiring official to determine if you are the perfect person for the job. It is also a critical time for you to gather the right information to make an intelligent decision. You should be prepared with questions that show your sincere interest in the company and the position. This will help determine if the job is a good fit for you.
Prior to the interview, you should research the company and the job requirements. It is important to think ahead. Asking the hiring official questions shows your interest in the job and the company as a whole.
Prepare questions about the specific job duties and responsibilities to clarify the job description you reviewed prior to your interview. Also, ask who will serve as your direct supervisor (Director of Healthcare Technology Management, Shop Supervisor, Regional Manager).
After researching the company, develop well-crafted, probing questions. If you have an opportunity to interview with a peer, ask them “What did you do yesterday?” This may tell you more about that person, the job and the company culture than you will get from the person describing the job to you.
During the interview, consider asking your interviewer to describe the company’s philosophy and values to determine whether you are a good fit with the company’s culture. This is when you show your interviewer how much you truly know about the company.
Inquire about the history of the position. It’s important to understand why the position is now available. You may want to ask the reason the position is open and how long it has been vacant. You might inquire as to why the previous person left the position. If they want to share the answer to your question, you can very quickly tell from their answer if this is a company that advances its people (person was promoted) or if there is an issue with expectations or internal differences. Either way it opens the door for further discussion.
Ask about the biomedical or service department’s strengths and weaknesses. Interviewees rarely ask this question, however, it will allow you to better understand the current dynamics of your potential colleagues. It gives you the opportunity to elaborate on how you can complement their strengths. For example, if one of the BMETs is known for seeing the big-picture, you can complement this with your attention to detail.
Ask about the accomplishments of the previous employee; this may provide you with some insight as to expectations. Ask about the goals of the position and the department.
Determine what the hiring manager wants you to accomplish. If you are really interested in the position, and you want the job, then be sure and ask, “What is it you want me to get accomplished in the first six months – first year – in the position?” That will get their attention very quickly and shows the interviewer that you are an individual that plans for the long term.
Also, ask the interviewer about their professional background. Some interviewers love the opportunity to talk about their career. These questions show you’re interested in the job, as well as the company and the interviewer.
Before the close of the interview, ask the hiring manager to explain the selection process and ask when you can expect to hear back from the company.
Also be prepared to respond to specific questions about your resume including gaps in employment, reasons for leaving, etc. However, be sure to never speak negatively about any prior employer, supervisor or company. Never stretch the truth, either, about possible discrepancies or vagueness in your responsibilities or salary.
Remember that it is up to you to convey enthusiasm, confidence, energy, motivation and technical skills during your interview. The interview is also your opportunity to exhibit excellent communication skills.
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