Prepare your questions ahead of time so that you don’t forget them during the interview.
When you prepare for an interview, chances are you will be thinking about answering questions that the interviewer asks you. But remember, job interviews are “two-way streets.” Of course the interviewer wants to learn about you and your qualifications. But don’t forget that you also want to learn about the position and the company, to make sure the job is a good fit for you.
What questions should you ask at a job interview? Below is a list of possible questions that you may want to bring with you. These questions are just suggestions—you will want to tailor this list to your own needs.
Questions to Ask at a Job Interview
- What are the top priorities and key responsibilities of this job position? What would a typical day/week in this job look like?
- What is the reporting structure for this position? Can I meet the person I would be reporting to?
- If shift work is required, how is the scheduling handled? Is overtime required?
- How much training or guidance is offered to new employees?
- Are there opportunities for career development, continuing education, or additional training?
- What have past employees done to succeed in this position?
- In your opinion, what are the strengths of this department, and what are the challenges you are facing?
- How are employees evaluated?
- What changes do you envision for this department in the next five years?
- What do you enjoy most about working here?
With questions like these in hand, you will be ready for the interviewer when he or she asks if you have any questions. Keep in mind that the interview is an opportunity for you to find out if this job is a job that you will want. Take your time, and find out what you need to know in order to make a decision, should you be offered the job.
Questions Not to Ask on an Interview
As you prepare for your interview, remember that there are also some questions that you should not ask. Inappropriate questions can make it sound as though you are only interested in the money or that you haven’t taken the time to learn about the company. Below is a brief list of questions you should not ask.
- Don’t ask: What does your company do? (You should have researched this before the interview)
- Don’t ask: How much will I get paid?
- Don’t ask: What are the benefits?
- Don’t ask: How soon can I take vacation?
- Don’t ask: How soon can I get a promotion?
- Don’t ask: Did I get the job?
Remember, questions about salary and vacation time are not appropriate during the interview stage. Once a job offer is made, you can discuss salary and benefits, but do not discuss them during the interview.
For more tips on job-searching, visit Tips to Help You Find a Job.