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The Interview - What Questions Can I Ask?

Jul 27, 2008
You may wonder what questions are acceptable to ask at the job interview, as you are not in the position of the interviewer. After presenting a series of answers to questions asked by the interviewer, the interviewer expects that you also will be making some enquiries. Before ending the interview, an interviewer always asks one last question, which is: "Do you have any queries?" Many applicants are in a habit of saying "No", but by saying "No" to this question, you are really giving the impression to the interviewer that you are disinterested in the company or the job. If you have no questions to ask the interviewer, there may be doubts as to whether you would also for clarification whilst on the job.

Prepare a list of suitable questions that you would like to ask before going to any interview. It is not appropriate to ask questions about vacation time, salary, employee benefits etc in the beginning. Instead questions that show your zeal and keenness to work for the company are preferable.

You should ask questions that signify your interest in the job and also those that ensure a good impression of you in the interviewer's mind. As a hypothetical example, you may care to inform the interviewer that you have read an article in a magazine that stated the company is planning expansion of its operations. Your question would follow as akin to "Into which regions is this expansion likely to occur?" It is also acceptable to ask questions about the actual posting for which you are sitting the interview.

Further examples of questions to ask at the job interview can be as such: "Why has this position become available?" "Is this position a new one?" If it is not newly created then you may ask, "For how long has this position been in existence?" and inquire about the number of people that held this same position in the last year. You can also ask questions regarding the identities of those people senior and junior to you in the organization. Questions such as "Who would I be supervising?" or "Who will be my supervisor?" provide information about other members of the company. You can also ask about financial details of the company.

It is also a good idea to make inquiries about the projects on which you will be working. Ask questions associated with the company's culture eg; "Does the company have a culture that is formal and unbend or flexible and relaxed?" You can ask whether the company or your department within the company is experiencing any problems and if this is the case your next question should be concerned with the strategies that are being implemented to defeat the problem. You can also ask about the number of employees that are working in the department. Be sure to inquire about the ethics, philosophy and working environment of the company. Ask about the company's possible weaknesses and its evident strengths, the company's major competitors, its method of measuring the performance of an employee and the short and long-term goals of the company. You can also ask about the best opportunities for new employees and the company's policy regarding promotion of employees. Ask the interviewer what they consider to be the qualities of an ideal employee.

Wind up the interview by emphasizing that you are very much interested in this job.
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