Interview Questions to Ask Prospective Employers

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When most of us prepare for an interview, we think about the questions we’ll be asked. But remember that an interview is a two-way discussion. You should be asking three to five questions to see if the organization and position are a good fit for you as well.

There are three things you’re trying to achieve with your questions, suggests

  1. Show your interest
  2. Find out if the job and organization are right for you
  3. Make sure the interviewer has no reservations about you

Additionally, asking smart questions can “make an interviewer sit up and take notice,” encourages Try not to ask the same mundane questions every candidate is asking. suggests making a statement in the form of a question.

Question mark heap on table concept for confusion, question or solutionOpen-ended questions are best. But you don’t want them to be so broad as to stump the interviewer—you’re trying to maintain good rapport.

It’s helpful to try to be conversational with your questions. If you have a two-part question, consider saving the second part until you hear the answer to the first, e.g., “Who do you consider to be your biggest competition?” Then “How are they different from your firm?” or “What are some of the things that make you stronger than these competitors?” This helps show your ability to think on your feet, shows you’re listening to the answers and lends a more conversational feel. If you have done some research and already know who some of the competitors are, you could lead into your question with that information.  

Following is a list of several top questions offered by numerous sources:

  • ThinkstockPhotos-57571518What are the most important qualities to help make someone successful in this job? This question, suggested by, helps you find out what the organization views as the key qualities for success.
  • What’s the most important thing I can accomplish in the first 60 days? Or what’s the first problem the person you hire must handle? Suggested by
  • Can you tell me more about the day-to-day responsibilities of this job?
  • What are some of the challenges of this position?
  • Who are your top competitors and why? Suggested by
  • What are the biggest challenges facing your company right now? Suggested by
  • I read x about your company. Can you tell me more?
  • Can you tell me about the people I’ll be working with? Suggested by
  • Do you have any remaining questions or hesitations about me ….?
  • What’s your timeline for making an offer and what are the next steps?

When preparing for your next interview, remember to consider what questions you may have. Jot them down so you don’t forget to ask them when the time is right. Experts recommend asking three to five questions but coming to the interview with more, because some of them might be covered during the interview.

interview job years

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