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Questions to Ask in a Job Interview

Questions to Ask in a Job Interview

by Kevin Brennfleck, NCCC and Kay Marie Brennfleck, NCCC
Career & Life Calling CoachesSM


Job seekers tend to view a job interview as a chance to make a good impression and answer questions well. One area that most job candidates neglect during an interview, however, is taking the opportunity to ask questions of the interviewer. The questions that a candidate asks can make them stand out from other applicants as well as give them a way of gathering important information to determine if the job and organization are a good fit.

During an interview, look for opportunities to ask the interviewer some key questions. Prepare at least three or four questions ahead of time. Asking questions during the early part of an interview gives you helpful information about what is important to the employer. For example, after responding to a question such as "Can you tell me about yourself?" you can ask, "Can you tell me what qualifications are most important to you in the person you hire for this position?" Once the employer has answered this question, you can then tailor your subsequent responses so that you show the employer how your qualifications fit with what he or she wants. 

Toward the end of the interview is another strategic time to ask questions. Three helpful questions to ask as the interview is coming to an end are:

(1) "Do you have any concerns related to me being the right candidate for the job?  If so, I would love to have a chance to address those before we finish today." 

(2) "When do you hope to be making a decision about this job?

(3) "Would it be all right if I follow up with you at that time?" 

These questions give you the opportunity to address the employer's concerns and to be proactive in following up with the employer after the interview.

The questions below are offered to stimulate your thinking about additional questions that you may want to ask. Note, that there are no questions about salary.  Typically, you do not want to ask questions about salary or benefits until you have been offered the position, as these questions convey to the employer that you are more interested in what they can do for you than what you can do for them.  The exception to this would be interviews where the employer initiates a discussion about salary and benefits. Other possible questions to use during an interview include:

When can I expect to hear regarding this position? (Always ask this question if the interviewer hasn't given you this information before the end of your time together.)

How is "success" evaluated in this position?

What problems would you like to see the person in this position address or solve within the next year?

How do you see my skills and experience fitting with this position?

Can you tell me what a typical day would be like? 

What are the major responsibilities of this position?

What is the typical career path of someone entering in this position?

Can I progress at my own speed or is the work structured?

How frequently do you relocate professional employees?

Does this firm recommend taking evening classes during the first year?

What is the firm's policy with regard to paying for educational tuition and fees?

How often are performance reviews given?

Is it possible to transfer from one division to another?

Does this firm promote from within the ranks?

How much exposure and contact with management is there?

What is the average age of middle management, top management?

What is the percentage of women (minority) managers?

What are the commonly experienced satisfactions and frustrations of this job?

Is it possible to move through the training program faster than average?

How much freedom is given new employees?


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© Article copyright by Kevin and Kay Marie Brennfleck, National Certified Career Counselors, and  All rights reserved. The above information is intended for personal use only. No commercial use of this information is authorized without written permission.