You need to ask questions to elicit information you need about the position and organization; indeed, you want to know if the position is fit for you.

In addition, the interviewer will be making judgments about your interests, qualifications, personality, and competence based on the questions you ask.

You should ask several questions concerning duties, responsibilities, training opportunities, advancement, and outlook. Avoid any questions dealing with salary and benefits.

Try these questions for starters:

  • What duties and responsibilities does the job entail?
  • Where does this position fit into the organization?
  • Is this a new position?
  • What are you looking for in a successful candidate?
  • When was the last person promoted?
  • Is this position vacant now? Why? For how long?
  • What is the best experience and background for this position?
  • What expectations do you have for this position long-term?
  • Whom would I report to? Tell me a little about these people.
  • What are their strengths and weaknesses?
  • What is the most difficult challenge facing this position?
  • May I talk with present and previous employees about this job?
  • What problems might I expect to encounter on this job?
  • What has been done recently in regards to ________ ?
  • Tell me about promotions and advancement with this company.
  • What are your expectations for the person hired for this job?
  • Where do you see this company five years from now? Ten?

Having prepared a written list of questions, many interviewees wonder if it's okay to write them down and take them to the interview. Do so since it also indicates you are interested.


SOURCE: Adapted from Ron Krannich, Ph.D., The Re-Entry Employment and Life Skills Pocket Guide (Manassas Park: Impact Publications), page 41. Copyright 2009. All rights reserved. Copying strictly forbidden.