Dos & Don'ts when Asking Questions to Recruiter

If you, as a candidate, are enthusiastic during an interview, the chance of getting hired is higher. An interview session is a place where you can figure out whether the job and workplace culture is a fit for you. Therefore, don’t hesitate to ask the questions you prepare beforehand to the interviewer.

See also: 6 Phrases to AVOID When Applying for Job and Interview

Here are the dos and don’ts that will help you get the most out of every question you ask: 

DO

  • Ask your most pressing questions first. These could be about the culture, goals of your future team or how performance will be evaluated.
  • Ask probing questions. Consider asking which personality traits are most common among the most successful employees, or what employees enjoy most about working there. 
  • Ask interviewers about their own career paths. For example, ask them how they decided to go into their field, or what steps they took within the company to attain their current position.
  • Ask about challenges. What will make this job difficult? What will you need to overcome?
  • Ask for their contact information and whether you can connect with them for further information.

DON’T

  • Don’t ask questions to sound smart. For example, interrupting the recruiter before he/she finishes their questions, just because you know the better option or better solution to the question asked. 
  • Don’t ask about something you could find online. This might make the recruiter think that you haven’t done your homework well. Remember that searching and researching information about the company before an interview is vital to your interview success. 
  • Don’t be unprofessional. You should limit yourself when asking questions even when the recruiter says that you can ask anything, NEVER ask about personal life, such as marital status, his/her personal salary, etc. 
  • Don’t push. If the hiring manager won’t answer your question, it’s best to leave it alone.

Read also: How to Discuss a Gap Year in an Interview

How to Discuss a Gap Year in an Interview  

Some graduates who are not ready to start their career journey often choose to take a year off for various reasons such as to do volunteer work, to travel, to self-reflect, or to discover one’s interests. While taking a gap year is beneficial for self-growth, some people might think that having such gap will not look great on CVs and make it hard for them to be employed.

What about you? Are you interested in taking a gap year? If yes, let’s learn employers’ actual response when knowing a “gap-hole” in a candidate’s CV. 

According to Basecamp article, taking a gap year will not make you look bad in recruiter’s eyes. Why? Because what really counts is what you did during that year off. Albeit some employers might not pick candidates that have “year-hole” in their CV, some others really appreciate you for giving yourself time to discover what really matters for you. Likewise, the tight talent gap in the future will also make employers think that a gap year is not really a problem at all. 

See also: How to Get Your Resume Passed by the Robots & Into Recruiter Hands

One thing that you should note is to tell relevant reasons for taking a gap year that will help you land the job. Here’s how you could discuss the gap year in your resume with a prospective employer.    

Tell only the relevant activities 

An interviewer does not really care what you do in a gap year, whether you have just visited the Taj Mahal or the Great Wall. An interviewer does care, however, whether your gap year has helped you stay relevant in your job application or not. What does it mean? It means before telling your holiday story to the interviewer, sort out some that are relevant to your job application. In a year, you must have done more than just travelling. For example, you can share what you have learnt from reading books about finance, teaching English, or coding for your personal web. 

There is at least one meaningful relevant thing you do in the year around that can make you stand out even after one year off. 

Tell your reasons 

Recruiters might be wondering why you choose taking year gap instead of taking certain training or extended courses. You might have many reasons why you do so. But among those many reasons, recruiters expect you to say something beneficial that help you with your career choice. That said, relevant reasons such are gaining skills as an individual, achieving language fluency by travelling, increasing job satisfaction, or creating better life balance and wellbeing might be appreciated more. 

Emphasise yourself as an awe-inspiring individual

At the end of the question, emphasise an astounding event that helps shape yourself as an individual and why that event is helpful in your job. To do this, you need to be able to explain in your job interview what a gap year really is, what you did, and how it benefits the employer. Do tell what skills and characteristics you developed that translate to the job and to you being a superior employee. 

Be confident 

This is the one trait you should have when giving an explanation. But keep in mind to not be over-confident with your answer. Overconfidence can make you give exaggerated answers, leading recruiter to question your credibility. 

Read also: Ask These Questions to Yourself BEFORE Joining the Workforce 

Should You Bring Notes to An Interview? Dos and Don’ts

Feeling anxious about your next interview? Well, it is okay to bring that note with you.

Amanda Augustine, a career advice expert, said that it is totally fine to bring notes in your interview session. If it is your first job interview where the sense of anxiousness can be higher and at the same time, you need to show your professionalism, taking notes with you will demonstrate your readiness.

Moreover, bringing notes will also show the recruiter that you are genuinely interested in getting the job offered. It could be seen as a sign that you have done your homework and are ready to lead a meaningful discussion with a prospective employer.  

See also: STAR Principle to Overcome Interview Anxiety

Nevertheless, there are a few exceptions if you truly want to carry that little book with you, added Amanda. It is good to bring note but this action might turn into a nightmare if you bring notes that contain a key point of your response or how you plan to respond to certain questions. Some of you probably have prepared an answer of behavioural-based interview questions – questions that are asked to describe past behaviour in order to determine your suitable ability for a position. While it is good to prepare beforehand, bringing the “answer” note with you will totally mess up your chance to be accepted.

To such worst case happens, read these dos and don’ts guidelines before bringing notes to a job interview.

Do:

  • Ask permission before you take out your notes
  • Bring note of questions you want to ask regarding the company’s profile, your job description, or responsibility
  • Bring a note about research or work you have done to showcase or defend your answer 
  • Bring notes and pen to jot down any important information your interviewer tells you
  • Write interviewers’ name and email or phone number to send a thank you email to show how appreciative you are

Don’t:

  • Spend too much time looking at your notes. You are talking to the interviewer, not the note.
  • Bring a list of talking points or other snippets you have prepared for the interview
  • Bring too many notes about the company or question list. Remember! It will be more delighted in the eyes of an interviewer if you make preparation and practice rather than reading through pages. 

Read also: Got an Interview? Get Rid of These 9 Behaviours