Questions to Ask the Interviewer

Q. When I get ready for interviews I always brainstorm answers to questions I think they will ask. When the interviewer asks if I have any questions for him/her, I’m stumped. I really want to ask what’s the pay? Are you a good manager? Is this a good place to work? However, I know that’s not the best approach. So what can I ask?

A. Almost every interview includes, “Do have any questions?” or “What can I tell you about the company?” so preparing for that question is imperative. If you don’t have any questions, you don’t look interested; if you ask questions that are too basic, it becomes clear that you haven’t done any research about the company.

In order to show that you are prepared, have done your research, and were actually listening to what the interviewer has been saying, you need to have at least 10 questions written in your leather portfolio which you can refer to. Make sure you are asking open ended questions, not yes or no style. Your job is to gather information and have the opportunity to showcase your skills.

You may not ask all 10 questions you prepared; don’t wait until the end of the interview to ask questions. If you can make the interview conversational and your questions fit based on the topic being discussed, ask the question then. This approach to rapport building can get you more information than you would get otherwise.

Here are several questions you can ask. Some are general and you may want to get more specific based on the research you have.

1. What can you tell me about this position that isn’t in the description?

2. Why is this position open? Is it a new position or a replacement? And where did that
person go?

3. What attributes are most important to be successful in this role?

4. What other departments interact most with this position?


5. Tell me about the travel associated with this position?

6. A year from now, when my performance review is being completed, my manger is
thrilled, and wants to give me a large raise because of all I have done. What
contributions have I made?

7. Tell me about the manager of this group. What’s his/her management style?

8. How would you describe the culture of the organization? How does leadership feel
about that?

9. Everything I read about the company says you are experiencing significant growth.
Can you tell me more about how that is coming about, and the challenges it brings?

10. Based on everything you have heard about my experience, is there anything you are
concerned with?

Your last question needs to give you the opportunity to overcome any obstacles the recruiter might see. Ask for feedback, and ask for the job.

-Elaine Varelas, Managing Partner, Keystone Partners

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