A friend called me the other day, excited and nervous because she had gotten an interview for a job she had recently applied for.
"What do I ask them", she asked me.
"What do you want to know" I said.
"How much do they pay, what are their benefits like, what is their vacation policy" she answered questioningly.
"NO!" I screamed into the phone.
"You want to decide if you want this job! What are the most important things they'd like to see you accomplish within the first 90 days or so, what is the culture of the company, why is the person leaving this position...these kinds of things."
"Can I really ask these kinds of questions?" she asked me.
Holy cow, of course. And more! The interview is a mix of exploration and sales.
Would you know a good job when you saw one? Make a list of the things that would constitute a good job and don't forget to include the work environment and less tangible things.
Explore what their needs are, who they really are- is there a match! IF the signs are positive, show that you are interested.
A very important part of sales is asking for the sale. Why then is it so difficult for a job seeker to ask for the job during the interview?
Practice asking questions out loud. Write a script and work from it. It may not feel comfortable. It may not even sound like you. That's OK.
There is a fine line between assertive and aggressive. However, in most cases I don't believe we ever really try to figure out where that line is, we just know we don't want to get near it. Try crossing the line once, I dare you. See what happens!