Why don't I ask questions very often

Interview: You should ask these 4 questions to HR staff

“The key to a successful interview isn't just getting the right answers. You also have to ask the right questions. "

This is the conviction of Atta Tarki, founder and head of the personnel consultancy ECA Partners. In his ten years of professional experience as the head of a recruiting company, he noticed a common weakness in most of the applicants' interviews: They don't dare to ask riskier questions out of fear of appearing stupid or insecure.

"From a hiring manager's point of view, it seems more negative if you don't say anything," he writes in a guest post for CNBC. “But you cannot ask any arbitrary question. It is always the courageous - and often unpleasant - questions that impress me the most. "

Tarki would like to hear these four questions more often from applicants.

“Can you give me examples of people who have previously filled this role and who were poor choices? And why?"

The answer to this question can be very enlightening to you. If the recruiter describes someone who sounds a lot like you and the way you work, you should definitely think again about whether you are the right person for the job.

However, if the HR manager speaks badly about a former employee without giving specific reasons, this could be a sign of a bad boss. According to Tarki, such warning signals can be responses such as “He seemed very lazy” or “I just never knew what he was doing during his working hours”.

"How many hours per week do you expect a person in this job position to work?"

You may be afraid to ask this question because you don't want to appear lazy or like someone shirking overtime. "But if a company expects you to work 80-hour weeks, depending on your lifestyle, that may not be feasible," writes Tarki.

If you have children and need flexibility, he recommends an answer that sounds something like this: “I know that I can do a great job in this job, but it is also important to me that I pick up my children from school in the afternoons can. Is that something you would be fine with? "

According to Tarki, hiring managers appreciate it when applicants are honest from the start and make it clear what their priorities are - it not only saves them time and energy, but also saves you.

"How often does the company allow its employees to raise salaries?"

Money is a sensitive topic that is often avoided in job interviews. It is not uncommon for applicants to only reveal their salary expectations when the HR manager makes an offer. "That's why I'm always impressed when people aren't afraid of it and mention it at the beginning of the application process."

“I once interviewed an applicant who was brave enough to say, 'I'm looking for a job that offers financial return. How often can employees request a raise and based on what factors? '"

If you're a suitable candidate for the job and the hiring manager really wants you on their team, they may even step in with a competitive salary. It may even offer a bonus - for example a promising salary increase after the first year of service.

"What professional training opportunities do you offer?"

“When someone asks me about professional development opportunities, it tells me through them that they want to exceed expectations. So don't be afraid to ask about the training benefits, ”advises Tarki.

Most employers will be happy if you show initiative and prove that you want to grow and develop your skills in order to increase the success of the company.

There are many more questions that you can ask recruiters during an interview. Not only do they emphasize your interest in the position, but they can also make sure that you are remembered. At the same time, of course, they will also help you decide whether the position and the company really suit you.


This article was published by Business Insider in February 2020. It has now been reviewed and updated.