Questions to Ask in an Interview

The questions you ask in an interview regarding a prospective position are as indicative of your attitude and competence as the answers you provide in response to the interview questions. By asking the right questions, you can emphasize your desire to understand the organization’s expectations, determine if the work will be challenging, and analyze whether the work is appropriate to your strengths. With proper interview questioning techniques, you may be able to identify major contributions you might make.

  1. Questions Related to the Position:
    a) What are the main responsibilities of the position we are discussing?
    b) Who would be my key associates?
    c) To whom would I report?
    d) Whom would I supervise?
    e) What would be the extent of my authority in carrying out these responsibilities?
    f) Who held the position before, how long did they hold it, and why is the position vacant?
    g) What are the capabilities of the individuals who would report to me?
    h) What are the challenges I would face in this position? (Troublesome or demanding individuals, poor working environment, etc.)
    i) Where can this position lead, and in what time frame?
  2. Questions Related to Employer’s Expectations
    a) What objectives do you have in mind that must be met or surpassed for the person who is hired?
    b) How would I best learn the practices, policies, and corporate expectations that will enable me to function successfully?
    c) Six months from now, how will you know you hired the right person for this job? One year from now? Two years?
    d) Are there any special requirements, such as public speaking, community participation, club memberships, or travel?
    e) How would you describe your company’s culture? What is the management style of the person to whom this position reports?
    f) What are you personally looking for in the successful candidate?
    g) What capabilities do you feel have the most importance?
  3. Final Questions to Ask The Interviewer
    a) Am I telling you those things that are of greatest help in making a decision?
    b) When will you be making a decision regarding this position
    c) May I call you by __ (date) _if I have not heard from you?

The right questions asked in an interview will provide you with information you need to evaluate the position and will improve your negotiating situation once an offer has been made.

Avoid asking about salary and benefits until you get an offer. Let the employer bring up the subject first. Focus on the job responsibilities, who will train you and what they consider a typical day.

Also, be careful not to make an employer feel like you are the one conducting the interview. Prepare interview questions, but do not start out with them.