It’s important to remember you are looking for a job, not begging for one. You want to convey passion for the potential job and company, not desperation. The best way to demonstrate your passion is to prepare to question your interviewer.

Candidates who do not ask any questions represent the number one behavior that causes recruiters and hiring managers to lose confidence. The truth is, you cannot succeed in a job interview without asking a number of well-considered questions. Here is how to do it.

prepare relevant, respectful questions.

  • It’s best not to ask basic questions that showcase a lack of knowledge about the company and its accomplishments. Prepare questions that demonstrate your previous research of the company, insights into the business and industry in which it operates, and that illustrate your experience in your profession - this shows respect for the business and the interviewer.
  • Question within your discipline. Your interviewer must believe that you know what you are talking about to consider a question valid. If you are in finance, stay away from questions about IT initiatives within the company. They are not relevant!
  • Prepare more questions than you think you will need. If your conversation is flowing naturally with your interviewer, it is likely that you will address some questions within the scope of the interview.
  • Prepare questions about the interviewer specifically. Asking about his personal experience with the company showcases your ability to research and builds rapport on an individual level (which is very important - interviewers are just people who tend to hire who they like).

do not ask about these things.

  • Do not ask about money. Questions about salary can be interpreted as pre-emptive or greedy. You have not been offered a job yet! If the interviewer brings it up, prepare a range of offers that you are willing to consider. You may also highlight your research into what other companies are offering. There is no need to commit yourself to anything until after you receive the job offer.
  • Do not ask about vacation time, sick days, etc. Leave this subject for a later date. Furthermore, vacation and sick days are usually dictated by labor law, not individual companies. Rest assured you will have them, regardless of who hires you.
  • Do not ask about other candidates or a second interview. This may also seem a bit arrogant to your interviewer. If the company wants to get in touch with you, then the other candidates will not matter, and the logistics of the second interview will be taken care of then.

deliver your questions in good faith.

  • You have been on job interviews before (if not, look up a few on YouTube). Have you ever felt mentally threatened, put on the spot, or unjustly attacked on an interview? Probably not. However, the questions that your interviewer asks are quite incisive. This is how "good faith delivery" can get you a great deal of information without imposing on the person in front of you. Think about this when you ask questions of your interviewer.
  • Ask your questions as though you are expecting to be hired. This is slightly different from asking about vacation time or sick days. One of the best techniques is the hypothetical: "Suppose I was in the customer service role and I uncovered a more effective way to accomplish something. How open is the company to considering new processes or policies?"

Next step: following up.