While we all know that resumes and applications--and anything else we submit on paper--take priority for getting our foot in the door with a new employer, there's one thing that ultimately determines whether or not we get the job: the interview. How do we nail it? Read on to find the one question you should definitely be asking--and why it works so well.

Interviews are crucial for employers to put a face to a name, as well as see whether or not they think the person would be a good fit for the company. That said, it's of the utmost importance not only to put your best foot forward but also to show that you can add something to their team. When interviews fail, they leave many applicants wondering what they did wrong. The trick to circumventing this problem, however, is actually easier than it seems.

Sometimes, the solution is simply to ask.

According to Francois Jobin, co-founder and chief people and operations officer of local job search site Wirkn, the one question to ask is this:

"Have I said anything in this interview or given you any other reason to doubt that I am a good fit for the role?"

This question clearly demonstrates your confidence to the interviewer, and your true intent on getting the job (which may be exactly what the interviewer is looking for in you, and may itself lead to a job offer).

In addition, by asking directly for critical feedback, you accomplish three important things--even if you aren't offered the job. First, you are able to discover how the interview affected your chances of being hired. Second, it can allow you to clarify issues that may have struck the interviewers as pitfalls during the interview process but that you didn't even notice. Finally, it's a great way to get personalized tips in order to better prepare for your next interview, should it be necessary. After all, the only thing worse than making a mistake is not learning from it--and making the same mistake over and over again.

Although this question may seem overly bold and daring, it is one that's absolutely necessary to know how you're doing professionally. Who knows, by taking this small, short-term risk, you may just reap some very rewarding, long-term effects--such as landing that job.

Published on: May 19, 2016
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