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What’s Most Important in an Interview?

Is it more important to listen or ask questions when I’m being interviewed?

As a job seeker, you want to learn about the company’s expectations and opportunities during an interview.  It is important to ask questions about the organization, the work environment, and measures of success.  It is also important to listen for what it is really like to work for the company:

  • Listen carefully when employment policies and benefits packages are explained.  The details will verify whether or not your work style meshes with the company’s philosophy.
  • Listen for the chance to ask follow-up questions.  Probing questions show you’re mentally engaged and enable you to validate information.
  • Listen for what is not said.  As you ask questions, listen for underlying issues regarding the duties or expectations of the job.

Pay attention to key names.  Make note of information about people, industry challenges, or competitive issues to help you evaluate your acceptance decision.