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Faced with one pointed question after the next regarding your career, a job interview can quickly take on the feel of an interrogation.


But employers aren't the only ones who get to poke and pry during the sit-down. By asking thought-provoking questions, you can not only collect valuable information but also distinguish yourself from the pack.


"It means that you're thoughtful about the process and that you're very interested in the position because you took the time to think of questions that would be substantive," says Cheryl Palmer, a career coach and founder of the career coaching firm Call to Career.

“意思是你对整一个过程很有自己的想法,对职位本身很感兴趣。因为你花了时间去想一下实质的问题。” 职业导师Cheryl Palmer如是说。她同时也是Call to Career职业指导公司的创办人。

Here are some questions you can ask and tips for interpreting the responses from your interviewer.


1. How has this position evolved since it was created?

1. 从设立这个职位以来,这个职位发成了怎样的变化?

Getting a brief history on the role should clear up whether the position has expanded over the years or has been a dead end for employees, Palmer says.


Interpreting the response: If the interviewer says the position has expanded beyond its original scope (and is continuing to do so), that signifies an opportunity for growth within the company. If the position has stayed static for years, don't expect to blossom there. Depending on your career ambitions, the latter response isn't necessarily bad, Palmer says.


2. What have past employees done to succeed in this position?

2. 过去的员工是如何采取行动在这个职位当中取得成功的?

Knowing how the organization measures achievements will help you understand what the expectations will be and whether you have the skill set to meet them, Palmer says. But don't undermine your past accomplishments just because your route to success doesn't match up with the one embraced by the company. "You also don't want to be too narrowly defined by what other people have done. Because you're a different person, you may approach things a little differently," she says.


Interpreting the response: You may hear a description that highlights the positive and negative attributes of your predecessor. That could be a good indicator of the company's culture. "Typically, what one person has done to be successful is what the organization tends to do to be successful," Palmer says.


3. What have you enjoyed most about working here?

3. 在这里工作最开心的是什么?

Your prospective boss can relay what he or she values most and what led to his or her personal success with the organization. Then, Palmer says, you can internally ruminate about whether you share the same values and can envision yourself working there.


Interpreting the response: Your interviewer may commend the company for everything from benefits to year-end bonuses. On the other hand, "if they're struggling to come up with something positive about why they like working there, chances are good that you're not going to be able to come up with anything positive after having worked there either," Palmer says.


4. What is the top priority for the person in this position over the next three months?

4. 在未来三个月,对这个岗位上的员工来说,什么事最重要的?

This question is helpful so you know what to focus on if you do get the position, Palmer says. Without a clear expectation, she adds, you won't know what to accomplish or how to make the right impression during your first days on the job.


Interpreting the response: You may be told that you need to complete 15 tasks rather than two or three. "If these are all big initiatives that they want you to handle, probably not that doable," Palmer says.

面试官反应的解读:你有可能听到你要完成不止两个三个的任务,而是15个。Palmer 说,”如果这些任务都是些大条目,那么他们也许并非那么可行。”

5. What are the qualities of successful managers in this company?

5. 在这家公司的成功管理者的素质有哪些?

If you're interviewing for a managerial position, you'll want knowledge of the skills and core competencies the company treasures in a leader, says David Lewis, founder and president of OperationsInc, a Connecticut-based human resources outsourcing and consulting firm. If excellent people skills and multitasking top the list, emphasize how you've demonstrated those traits throughout your career.

David Lewis是OperationsInc公司的创始人兼总裁,这家公司总部在康乃狄克州,主营人力资源外包和咨询。他说,”如果你去面试一个管理岗的职位,你就想知道这家公司看中领导者哪方面的技能。” 如果良好的人际交往能力和多任务处理能力在在最受关注之列,那么就要强调你在你的职业生涯当中你是如何体现出来的。

Interpreting the response: According to Lewis, you may get a response along these lines: "The best managers in our organization are independent thinkers, are good teachers and completely aligned with the direction the company is going in. " If he or she can't name a single star in the managerial stable, that's problematic and speaks to an organization short on progress and promotions, Lewis notes.


6. If offered the position, can you give me examples of ways I would collaborate with my manager?

6. 如果得到了这个职位,你能否举几个例子告诉我如何和我的经理合作?

As an entry-level staffer, you may want to work with management as a means to showcase your skills and move up. But there's a distinction between simply taking orders and actively working with a superior who is grooming you for something better. "[Finding] out how an organization utilizes people at the staff level is key," Lewis says. "Is it a dictatorial environment or a collaborative one? "


Interpreting the response: The employer may be short on examples or dismiss the notion of working with management altogether. Prod further, Lewis says, and find out why that it is. There may be a legitimate reason behind why the company doesn't promote collaboration.


7. What are some challenges that will face the person filling this position?

7. 填补这个职位空缺的人将会面临怎样的挑战?

You owe it to yourself to know what you're up against. "It just gives you a reality check," Palmer says. The drawbacks may differ depending on whether the position is managerial or entry-level. As a manager, you may oversee a department that runs on a shoestring budget. As a lower-level staffer, you may work odd hours or get stuck with assignments that lack substance.


Interpreting the response: The interviewer may point out the least offensive parts of the job. But if he or she denies any downside whatsoever, that should raise doubts about his or her credibility. "Any boss that tells you there are not challenges, they're lying. It's just that simple," Palmer says.

解读面试官的反应:面试官有可能只指出该岗位当中最不伤大雅的部分。但是,如果他否认任何缺点,那么你就该对他的可信度有所怀疑了。Palmer 说,“当任何一个老板告诉你没什么挑战的时候,那么他们就在撒谎。就这么简单。”

8. Do you have any hesitations about my qualifications?

8. 你对我的资历有任何的疑问吗?

Asking a question like this lets the interviewer know that you're secure enough to openly discuss your vulnerabilities. It also signals confidence and the ability to be coached, says John Kador, author of "301 Best Questions to Ask on Your Interview. " "Coachability is a hugely attractive attribute as far as interviewers are concerned," he explains.

问这样的问题可以让面试官知道你是可以放开讨论你的弱势的。这也表明了你自信和可塑性。《面试最佳301问》的作者John Kador如是说。他同时也说:“可塑性对于面试官来说是个非常具有吸引力的方面。”

Interpreting the response: At your urging, the interviewer may voice concerns about a lack of training in certain areas or gaps in employment. Rather than gloss over your shortcomings, address them and put up a respectful and reasonable defense. "You may be able to come up with a satisfactory response, you may not," Kador says. "But at least you have the chance."


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