How serious you are for a job can be best gauged by your level of curiosity for it. This is understandable as when one seriously pursues something, be it a car or a girl, the first step is taken in the direction of knowing everything about it, i.e. the curiosity. For a job it is no different. Almost always, you will come across the question by the employer asking you “Do you have any questions for me?” Answering in the negative will in all probability be taken undesirably and may result in no further communication from the employer. 

So you better be prepared with at least one question to ask the person sitting on the other side of the table. This article will tell you how you can stand out from the other applicants by doing just two things: doing a little bit of research about the company, and preparing some 3-4 well drafted questions for the employer or the hiring manager. These questions need to be open-ended, i.e. questions which need an explanation and not just a simple “yes” or “no”.

Some examples of open-ended questions are
  • How well is the company growing?
  • What kind of future can I expect here?
  • What will be the suitable growth path for me here?
  • What is the purpose of this role? Why do you need a new person for this?
  • I want to know about the management of this organization.

You need to be aware of the company you are going to work for and you need to be doubly aware of the industry. Just 1 hour from your preparation into researching about the company and your role can help you draft some specific and perceptive questions for the employer. And if your interview goes well, a little genuinity while asking these questions can elevate your candidature above the rest.

At the outset, here are some of the facts you need to know about the company you are going to work for. This information coupled with your questions (some of which I list below) will tell the employer that you have sincerely researched on the company and are actually looking forward to the role.

  1. When was the company founded and who are its founders/directors
  2. The company’s geographical locations and strength of employees; its annual profits
  3. Mission and vision of the company; what is the company set out to do
  4. Any news the company featured in recently

Some questions which you can ask, after you have this information then are

  1. I know that the company has been in existence for such years and is growing into new continents; does the company have any plans to go public?
  2. How does my skill set help the company achieve its vision of “creating a…”
  3. The company was in news recently about starting a new development centre at this and this location. Any specific reasons for this particular location? Will I as an individual be able to contribute to this new centre’s expansion?

These are just sample questions. If you research well, you can easily come up with more questions like these for your hiring manager. The point of asking these questions is to get the employer to open up to you, and talk to you freely. This helps you gain control over the conversation and at the same time find out what the company is looking for.

One of the ways of researching about the company is to read its annual report before you go for an interview. An annual report will give you a lot of insights about the organization and at the same time give you some words which the company uses to describe its present set of employees and goals.

This post first appeared on the Blog

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