Asking: A key job hunting tool

Job applicants can hold back from asking questions that will help them prepare both the application and for the interview.

Here are four points at which to ask:

1. Researching the job

Asking the contact officer
Most applicants don’t call the contact officer and therefore miss out on vital information. Questions you could ask the contact officer:

Asking the recruitment officer
If you have questions about working conditions or the recruitment process call the recruitment officer and ask.

2. Called to interview

When you receive a call inviting you to attend an interview, be prepared to ask questions if all the information you need is not given. Questions you could ask are:

  • What are the security arrangements for accessing the building?
  • Where is the nearest parking?
  • How long will the interview be?
  • Who will be on the panel?
  • What are their roles and relationship to the job vacancy?
  • Will any other selection processes be used at the same time? (e.g. work test)
  • Is there anything you should bring with you?
3. Ask the panel

If questions are obscure in meaning ask the panel for clarification.

When given the opportunity to ask questions, have some questions prepared. Panels can interpret your questions to mean you have researched the job, thought about it, come prepared.

4. Ask for feedback

Once you know the outcome of the process ask for feedback. This can take two forms:

Obtaining a copy of the section of the selection report that relates to you.

Talking to the panel chair and asking for further comments.

Dr Ann Villiers, career coach, writer and author, is Australia’s only Mental Nutritionist specialising in mind and language practices that help people build flexible thinking, confident speaking and quality connections with people.