Interview Questions to Ask
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  • 1. 1. What challenges does the person in this position face?This question shows that you dont have blinders on in the excitement about a new job; you recognize that everyjob has difficult elements and that youre being thoughtful about what it will take to succeed in the position.2. Can you describe a typical day or week in the position?This question shows that youre thinking beyond the interview and that youre visualizing what it will be like to dothe work itself. This is different from many candidates, who appear to be focused solely on getting the job offerwithout thinking about what will come after that.3. What would a successful first year in the position look like?Asking this shows that youre thinking in the same terms that a manager does—about what the position needs tocontribute to the team or company to be worthwhile. Youll also sound like someone who isnt seeking to simply dothe bare minimum, but rather to truly achieve in the role.4. How will the success of the person in this position be measured?This question is similar to the previous one, but it will also give you more insight into what the manager reallyvalues. You may discover that while the job description emphasizes skill A or responsibility B, the manager actuallycares most about skill C or responsibility D.5. How long did the previous person in the role hold the position? What has turnover in the role generally beenlike?If no one has stayed in the position very long, it might be a red flag about a difficult manager, unrealisticexpectations, or some other land mine.6. How would you describe the culture here? What type of people tend to really thrive, and what type dont do aswell?If the culture is very formal and structured and youre happiest in a more relaxed environment, or if its anaggressive, competitive environment and you are more low-key and reserved, this job might not be a comfortablefit for you. Youll spend a large portion of your waking life at your job, so its crucial to make sure you know whatyoure signing up for.7. How would you describe your management style?Your boss will have an enormous impact on your quality of life at work. While you cant always trust managers toaccurately self-assess, youll at least get some insight into their style by what things they choose to emphasize inresponse to this question.8. Thinking back to the person who youve seen do this job best, what made their performance so outstanding?Most managers ears will perk up at this question, because it signals that you care not just about being average oreven good, but truly great. This is the question managers wish all their employees would ask.9. Are there any reservations you have about my fit for the position that I could try to address?This is a great way to give yourself the chance to tackle any doubts the interviewer might have about you, as well asfor you to consider whether those doubts might be reasonable and point to a bad fit.10. What is your time line for getting back to candidates about the next steps?
  • 2. Always wrap up with this question, so that when you go home you know what to expect next. That way, you wontbe sitting around wondering when youll hear something.Additional Interview Questions to Ask the Employer2. How would you describe the responsibilities of the position?3. How would you describe a typical week/day in this position?4. Is this a new position? If not, what did the previous employee go on to do?5. What is the companys management style?6. Who does this position report to? If I am offered the position, can I meet him/her?7. How many people work in this office/department?8. How much travel is expected?9. Is relocation a possibility?10. What is the typical work week? Is overtime expected?11. What are the prospects for growth and advancement?12. How does one advance in the company?13. Are there any examples?14. What do you like about working here?15. What dont you like about working here and what would you change?16. Would you like a list of references?17. If I am extended a job offer, how soon would you like me to start?18. What can I tell you about my qualifications?19. When can I expect to hear from you?20. Are there any other questions I can answer for you?21. What do you see ahead for your company in the next five years?22. How do you see the future for this industry?23. What do you consider to be your firms most important assets?24. What can you tell me about your new product or plans for growth?25. How do you rate your competition?26. What happened to the last person who held this job?
  • 3. 27. What were the major strengths and weaknesses of the last person who held this job?28. What types of skills do you NOT already have onboard that youre looking to fill with a new hire?29. The department Asking about your departments workers and role in the company can help youunderstand more about the companys culture and hierarchy. Stanford suggests asking:30. What is the overall structure of the company and how does your department fit the structure?31. What are the career paths in this department?32. What have been the departments successes in the last couple of years?33. How do you view your group/division/department? The jobs responsibilities To avoid any confusion lateron, it pays to gain a solid understanding of the position. FGP Internationals Eddie Payne recommendsinquiring:34. What would you consider to be the most important aspects of this job?35. What are the skills and attributes you value most for someone being hired for this position?36. Where have successful employees previously in this position progressed to within the company?37. Could you describe a typical day or week in this position? The typical client or customer I would be dealingwith? The expectations To determine how and when you will evaluated, Payne recommend advises asking:38. What are the most immediate challenges of the position that need to be addressed in the first threemonths?39. What are the performance expectations of this position over the first 12 months?40. How will I be evaluated at XYZ company, and how often?41. The next steps At the end of the interview, dont forget to ask:42. What are the next steps in the interview process?43. What do you like best about working here?44. What goals do you expect the person who takes this job to achieve?45. How is performance rewarded and recognized?46. What is the next step in this process?