The Right (and Wrong) Way to Ask Questions When You're Applying for a Job

It’s one thing to prepare questions to ask at the end of your interview. You want to look thoughtful; you want to show that you’ve listened; and you may have a few burning questions about the way things are done around there.

But it’s a completely different story when you have a question before the interview even begins. For example, what should you do when the hiring manager asks for your availability on Tuesday, and then sends a calendar request for Thursday? Or what if you aren’t sure if a supplemental part of your application was received?

Not to make you (even more) nervous, but this can be a hit-or-miss situation. If you ask the question diplomatically, it will demonstrate that you could handle a tricky professional situation with ease. But if your email seems superfluous, over-eager, or condescending it will—not surprisingly—put a damper on your candidacy.

Read on for the dos and don’ts of asking a question during the application process.



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