You should view the interview as a courtship time between you and the company. They ask you questions to learn more about your abilities and accomplishments. You also have the opportunity to impress the employer by the questions YOU ask plus learn more about what it’s really like to work there. Here are 25 questions we recommend that you could ask. Notice how each one is designed to gather details about doing the job and to learn more about the organization’s work culture and environment. Be sure to pose the appropriate question to the correct person. Technical questions and job specifics are unlikely to be answered by the HR person, whose responsibility is to screen and validate your true experience, but who possesses only a general idea of the job duties. Other questions are ideal for the hiring manager.
Review this list and have at least 8-10 questions to ask written down and bring them to the interview.
Ideally, you need to stay focused on the job—the duties and/or the promotional opportunities. Remember, a key strategy is to not ask questions about salary, benefits, or perks. The best time to cover those issues is after you’ve been offered the job.
1. “Could you describe to me your typical management style and the type of employee that works well with you?”
2. “How would you describe the corporate culture here?
3. “What are the day-to-day responsibilities I’ll have in this job?”
4. “Whom will I be supervising?”
5. “Will your company be expanding, bringing on any new products or new services that I should be aware of?”
6. “What are some of the skills and abilities you see as necessary for someone to succeed in this job?”
7. “What challenges might I encounter if I take on this position?”
8. “What are your major concerns that need to be immediately addressed in this job?”
9. “What are the areas in the job that you’d like to see improved upon?”
10. “What is your company’s policy on providing seminars, workshops, and training so the employees can keep up on their skills or acquire new skills?”
11. “What is the budget this department operates with? Has it be changed in the last year, and if yes, how?
12. “Are there any restraints or cutbacks planned that would decrease that budget?”
13. “What particular computer equipment and software do you use here? When was your last upgrade?”
14. “Will I be working as part of a team or alone?”
15. “How will my leadership responsibilities and performance be measured? By whom?”
16. “Are there any weaknesses in the department that you are working to improve?”
17. “What new endeavors is the company currently undertaking?”
18. “What goals or objectives need to be achieved in the next six months? Next year?”
19. “What areas of the job would you like to see improvement in with regard to how the person who most recently performed these duties?”
20. “Describe the atmosphere of the office.” (With this question, you are looking for clues on political turf wars, pressure and stress level.)
21. “What types of people seem to excel here?”
22. “Is the company quick or slow to adopt new technology?”
23. “How would you describe the politics of this organization?”
24. “Where is the person who previously held this job?” (If fired, ask why; if promoted, where he or she went; if it is a newly created job, get a better idea of why it was added.)
25. “How does the company promote personal and professional growth?”
by Robin Ryan, Bestselling Author of 60 Seconds & You’re Hired