By Selipha Kihagi
One of the most effective ways of figuring out or knowing more details about something is by asking questions. That is why in most job interviews, there are common questions that interviewers ask and the results of this becomes the determinant on who to hire. In the same way interviewers ask questions, job seekers also need to ask various questions about their careers. But are you asking all the wrong questions?
In an interview, career experts advise on the common questions to avoid asking the interviewer. Why? Because they could be the reason you get passed for a job. The same applies when searching for jobs and even in the application process. There are questions you can ask that might disqualify you before even you make the application or go for the interview.
So what wrong questions are job seekers asking?
1. How can I get a job if all employers are hiring only people they know?
Now, whether you ask this through email or on a HR person’s social media page, this question already gives the person a mindset of who you are as an individual. With this question, you have generalized all employers as unethical and portrayed lack of confidence on your part. However innocent this question might appear to you, it is bound to do a job seeker more harm than good.
If someone had a job you would have qualified for but then ask this question, some HR managers would prefer another hire. So instead of this question, how about, “I keep making applications but no interview invites, what could be the problem?” or “I am currently looking for a job, would you have any tips for me?”
2. I’m sorry, what position did you say I applied for?
When job searching, sometimes you might find that you are applying to so many jobs at the same time and this can cause anyone to lose track. If you are applying many jobs, it is always important to document every application you make so you don’t have to ask recruiters questions like the one above. You will be surprised how many times recruiters call job seekers for an interview only to ask they be reminded what position they applied for.
This already portrays you as a joker and could add to the reasons you do not get the job. Remember a lot of people who are qualified as you will make the interview, but only a few are hired. Try to be among the few by avoiding such scenarios.
3. I graduated last year, where can I get a job?
If you have had the chance to network and interact with people who can help you find a job, then this is the last question you should think of asking. If you have already asked, then you probably have witnessed that not much comes out of this. Recruiters and potential employers want to interact with people who know what they want, smart job seekers if you may. Asking this question portrays that first, you have absolutely no clue about what you want in life and second, you can take any job that comes your way.
These two things will not help your career in any way. Instead, think about what your passion is and what you have always wanted to do, then ask what options you should be looking for in that area. For example, “I have a BCom Degree and would like to work in banking, what options do I have?” This starts off a conversation that any recruiting manager would want to help out in.
4. Where can I get the experience needed for a job if employers won’t hire me?
This is a common question among job seekers in Kenya and one that is not received well by recruiters or even potential employers. As a graduate and job seeker, most people will expect that you have done your research on how to proceed further in getting your first job. For example, you can search on Google on ways to get work experience required and numerous articles will come up giving you a couple of options.
Once you reach out to a potential employer or recruiter for assistance and you ask this, it portrays you negatively. If a job requires experience, there is not much you can do about it. But you can go ahead to apply for those you meet qualifications.
So, before asking recruiters or potential employers’ questions, take time and think about the question carefully. You do not want people passing judgement on you before they even see your CV.
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