Interview Questions: Why is this Position Open

So you’ve done it. You made it past those pesky applications and screening questions and earned the interview. Now you’re probably wondering how to ace your interview. An important thing to consider is good questions to ask during an interview.

A lot of candidates focus on answering tough questions the right way. Ex: What is Your Greatest Weakness? However, there is a lot to be said by asking the right questions as well! We’re starting a new series to help you ask the right questions and ace your interview!

Today we’ll focus on when and how to ask, “Why is this Position Open?” and what information you can gather from the answer you receive. After all, an interview is a two-way street. An employer might be deciding on whether or not to proceed. In addition, you are also deciding whether or not to move forward with an opportunity as well.

When to Ask the Question

Good Questions to Ask During an Interview

Your interviewer, or even the job description, may have cited the reason for the opening. If you still don’t know, however, a great time to ask is when your interviewer asks if you have any questions. Interviewers love candidates who are prepared. If you aren’t provided with an opportunity to ask questions, don’t be afraid to simply let your interviewer know you have a couple of questions before you leave.

Your ability to follow up on items that are important to you show tenacity and someone who is forward-thinking.

Variation of the Question

Interview questions can be tricky whether you’re the one asking or the one answering. There are a few different ways to ask about an opening, below is a list of ways you might consider phrasing the question:

  • Is this position open due to turnover or because of company growth?
    • Asking this question shows that you understand that business needs may change, life happens but also that you have a focus on understanding those needs.
  • Can you share with me a bit about why this position is or will be vacant?
    • Asking this question, in this way, shows that you’re sensitive to private searches, interviewing with discretion but still value the importance of being informed.
  • May I ask why this position is or will be open?
    • This is the polite version of “Why is this position open?”. There may be factors the interviewer cannot share with you. By asking the question this way, however, you encourage your interviewer to speak to what they can at least.

Follow Up Questions

Depending on the employer’s answers, you may have a few follow up questions. Here are a  few to consider:

  • When it seems that the previous employee wasn’t a good fit or perhaps left: Between the past employee and looking to the future, where would you say the greatest area of impact might be to a new employee taking this role? What defines success in this position?
  • When the role is open due to growth or job creation: Do you foresee a growth track for this position in the future? How will new goals or responsibilities be outlined between myself and my leadership?

Takeaway

Our candidates always want to know how to ace an interview. Really, the most important thing is to be prepared and present. One of the greatest ways to show you’re prepared is to know which questions are good questions to ask during an interview. And a great way to show your ability to be present is to actively listen to their first answer and follow up thoughtfully.

Asking any variation of why is this position open is a great way to connect with your interviewer and leave a lasting impression. Looking for more tips on answering tough questions, resume formatting and more, be sure to subscribe to our mailer here! LeadingEdge Personnel strives to provide some of the best jobs in Austin and San Antonio. To see our current openings, click here!

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