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Mind Your Business: 3 Must-Ask Job Interview Questions

Mind Your Business: 3 Must-Ask Job Interview Questions Credit: Photo Credit: Karl Tate

If you're like most job-hunters I know, there are really only three things you want to ask on a job interview: "What are the hours?", "can I wear jeans?" and "how many paid holidays are there?"

Assuming you're smart enough to keep these burning questions to yourself, at least until you've been offered the job, it's still important to go into your interview armed with a few clever questions. In fact, the questions you ask in your job interview could even be more important than the answers you give.

Here are three questions every job candidate should ask during a job interview.

How can I make your job easier?– Let's face it, that's what everyone wants in an employee, right? Someone to make their own job a little easier. By asking this question, you're doing two things. First, you're leveraging the power of suggestion by giving the interviewer the idea that you are there to solve their problems. Secondly, their answer is going to give you the insights you need to offer information about yourself.

It might seem like cheating, but it's not. If you know what they'll need you to do on the job, you'll have an easier time explaining how you're going to do it.

What qualities do you value in an employee?– Seems like a no-brainer, right? But you'd be surprised how few people just come right out and ask what you're looking for in an employee. Instead, they let the interviewee guide the interview and try to guess at exactly what they value in an employee. Don't do that. Simply come out and ask. When you get the answer, you can tell the interviewer how you possess each of these qualities.

Why do you like working here? – Everyone likes to talk about themselves – especially bosses. Asking an interviewer what aspects of the job or company they like will give you insight into what they value in a work environment and therefore, what they want you to value, too. More importantly, it will set the interviewer at ease and give you some time to gather your thoughts while they wax eloquently about their career. This strategy can buy you at least five minutes of strategy time. Use it to think up a few more relevant questions of your own.

Jeanette Mulvey
Jeanette Mulvey

Jeanette has been writing about business for more than 20 years. She has written about every kind of entrepreneur from hardware store owners to fashion designers. Previously she was a manager of internal communications for Home Depot. Her journalism career began in local newspapers. She has a degree in American Studies from Rutgers University. Follow her on Twitter @jeanettebnd.