If you’ve been looking for a job for a while, and struggling to get interviews, or struggling to make it to the second round of interviews, it’s easy to feel a bit desperate. Once an interview comes through, your top priority could be to get them to like you. That’s it. You want to make sure they see everything that’s great about you. But that can mean you don’t do much investigating to determine what’s great about them. Interviewing while unemployed can be a bit like grocery shopping when you’re hungry: you’ll take anything and everything without much discretion. It’s only later when you feel a bit sick and sad that you wonder about what you’ve done.
While you want to come off as agreeable and easygoing in a job interview, you should also know the difference between questions that are unreasonable and ones that are actually very fair. In fact, it makes you look good in the eyes of the interviewer when you do your due diligence. They assume you have that attention to detail in all things you do – including the work you may do for them. It also shows that you believe your work is worth something, so you’re selective about where you do it. An interview may be primarily about asking you questions, but you can and should ask questions, too. Here are some you should never feel afraid to raise.
Why did the last person leave?
If it is such a great job, it’s normal to wonder why the last person left. They may have simply realized that this industry wasn’t where their passions were. They may have decided to have a family or focus on the one they already have and stop working. They may have found a higher position at another company. These are all perfectly understandable reasons. But maybe the interviewer can’t or doesn’t want to disclose why the last person left. That’s not a good sign. Maybe she does disclose that the person didn’t feel comfortable with the workplace culture. That’s worth looking into. Perhaps she wasn’t happy with the pay – should you be?