Interview questions YOU should ask the employer

Interview Questions YOU should ask the employer Job Search Advice from

Do You Have Any Questions For Me?

Interview questions YOU should ask the employer.

Click here to download a printer friendly PDF.

 Job interviews aren’t meant to be an interrogation — they are supposed to be a dialogue. An interview is as much about making sure the company is a fit for you as it is that you are a fit for the company.

Preparing for the Interview

Before the interview, at a minimum, you should research the company — and the interviewer(s), if you know that information ahead of time.

At a minimum, conduct a Google search. Take a look at the company’s website. Look for the interviewer’s LinkedIn profile. While you’re on LinkedIn, see if the company has a profile on the site. Also check out the LinkedIn profiles of other key employees of the company. How long have they been in their current jobs? How long have they been with the company? What was their background before they joined the company? (Did they come from competitors, or from other industries?)

Your research will not only help you understand the company better, it will help you ask more informed questions in the interview.

And that’s the subject of this report. If you haven’t asked questions as the interview progresses, there will likely come a time in the interview when the person conducting the interview says to you, “So, do you have any questions for me?”

That’s where your research comes into play. Surely, as you were learning more about the job and the company, you were curious about a thing or two. Even if you weren’t, it makes a huge (negative) impression on interviewers when you don’t ask any questions. That can either signal that you’re not interested enough in the job to muster up any questions — or that you didn’t know anything about the company coming into the interview, and you weren’t paying attention enough to latch onto any information shared in the interview. Both scenarios don’t bode well for your employment prospects.

With that in mind, here are more than 80 questions you can ask in a job interview. Choose 4 or 5 of them (at a minimum) and write them down on an index card or sheet of paper you can reference at the appropriate time during the job interview.

Do you have any questions for me?

80+ question ideas to ask in a job interview (choose a few)

Questions You Should Ask

1.    How long has this position been open?

2.    Is this a new position? If so, why was it created? If not, why did the previous person leave the position?

3.    What are the company’s priorities, and what specific results would be expected from me in the first 90 days?

4.    What kind of opportunities for advancement are available?

5.    Why did you (the interviewer) join the company? How long ago was that? What is it about the company that keeps you here?

6.    Did my résumé raise any questions I can clarify?

7.    What do you look for in an employee?

8.    What type of training is required and how long is it? What type of training is available?

9.    What would my first assignment be?

10.  What are the skills and attributes most needed to get ahead here?

11.  How regularly do performance evaluations occur?

12.  Do you have a job description available for this position?

13.  Are there any expansion plans for the company?

14.  What are the opportunities for on-the-job training and further education?

15.  Do you have a tuition assistance or book reimbursement program?


Questions To Ask Headhunters and Recruiters

1.    Are you dealing with the client’s HR people, or do you have direct contact with the hiring manager?

2.    How many candidates have you placed with this client? How long have you worked with this client?

3.    May I have a written job description?

4.    Where is the position located?

5.    To whom does the position report?

6.    Is this a new position? If not, why is the position open?

7.    What happened to the person who previously held this position?

8.    How long have you been working on the assignment?

9.    What does the position pay?

10.  Are here any pay or compensation constraints that I should take into consideration?

11.  What can you tell me about the person who will be interviewing me? What is his or her position, title, management style?

12.  Who will make the final hiring decision?

13.  After you present my résumé, when can I expect to hear from you regarding the status of this position?


Questions To Ask HR

1.    Why do you enjoy working for this company?

2.    What attracted you to this organization?

3.    Can you describe the work environment here?

4.    How do you describe the philosophy of the company or organization?

5.    What do you consider to be the organization’s strengths and weaknesses?

6.    Can you tell me more about my day-to-day responsibilities?

7.    How soon are you looking to fill this position?

8.    How do my skills compare with those of the other candidates you have interviewed?

9.    I have really enjoyed meeting with you and your team, and I am very interested in the opportunity. I feel my skills and experience would be a good match for this position. What is the next step in your interview process?

10.  Before I leave, is there anything else you need to know concerning my ability to do this job?

11.  In your opinion, what is the most important contribution that this company expects from its employees?

12.  What are my prospects for advancement? If I do a good job, what is a logical next step?

13.  Assuming I was hired and performed well, what additional opportunities might this job lead to?

14.  I know that for the position for which I am interviewing, the company decided to recruit from outside the organization. How do you decide between recruiting from within and going outside?

15.  What advice would you give to someone in my position?

16.  What major problems are we facing right now in this department or position?

17.  Can you give me a formal, written description of the position? I’m interested in reviewing in detail the major activities involved and what results are expected.

18.  Can you please tell me a little bit about the people with whom I’ll be working most closely?


Questions To Ask Hiring Managers

1.    What specific skills from the person you hire would make your life easier?

2.    What are some of the problems that keep you up at night?

3.    What are some of the skills and abilities you see as necessary for someone to succeed in this job?

4.    What would be a surprising but positive thing the new person could do in first 90 days?

5.    What challenges might I encounter if I take on this position?

6.    Will we be expanding or bringing on new products or new services that I should be aware of?

7.    What are your major concerns that need to be immediately addressed in this job?

8.    What do you see as the most important opportunities for improvement in the area I hope to join?

9.    What are the attributes of the job that you’d like to see improved?

10.  What attracted you to working for this organization?

11.  What have you liked most about working here?

12.  Are there any weaknesses in the department that you are particularly looking to improve?

13.  What are the department’s goals, and how do they align with the company’s mission?

14.  What goals or objectives need to be achieved in the next six months?

15.  What areas of the job would you like to see improvement in with regard to the person who was most recently performing these duties?

16.  From all I can see, I’d really like to work here, and I believe I can add considerable value to the company. What’s the next step in the selection process?

17.  What is currently the most pressing business issue or problem for the company or department?

18.  Would you describe for me the actions of a person who previously achieved success in this position?

19.  Would you describe for me the action of a person who previously performed poorly in this position?

20.  What are the most important traits you look for in a subordinate?

21.  Could you describe your typical management style and the type of employee who works well with you?

22.  How would you describe the experience of working here?

23.  If I were to be hired, what one piece of wisdom would you want me to incorporate into my work life?

24.  What have I yet to learn about this company and opportunity that I still need to know?

25.  Can you please tell me about the people who will look to me for supervision?

26.  What happened to the person who previously held this job?

27.  Customers are expecting companies to protect their data. Does the company have a privacy policy for its Web initiatives, and how does the company balance the momentum for ever-increasing personalization with rising concerns for privacy?

28.  What are the success factors that will tell you if the decision to bring me on board was the right one?


Questions That Are Defensive (Designed to protect the employee)

1.    I understand the company has experienced layoffs within the last two years. Can you review the reasons why they were necessary?

2.    Are there formal metrics in place for measuring and rewarding performance over time?

3.    If I were a spectacular success in this position after six months, what would I have accomplished?

4.    How much freedom would I have in determining my objectives and deadlines?

5.    How long has this position existed in the organization? Has its scope changed recently?

6.    Do you foresee this job involving significant amounts of overtime or work on weekends?

7.    Are my tasks limited to my job description, or will I be performing duties outside the described job scope?


Other Probing Questions (Often for high-level assignments)

1.    What are you hoping to accomplish, and what will be my role in those plans?

2.    What initial projects would I be tackling?


Questions Designed to Get Feedback

1.    Do you have any concerns about my ability to do the job and fit in?

2.    How do I compare with the other candidates you have interviewed?

3.    Can you give me any feedback that would make me more attractive to the company in the future or that I could benefit from next time?

4.    Is there anything else you need from me to have a complete picture of my qualifications?


Click here to download a printer friendly PDF.

Need a resume makeover? Transform your job search! Let’s get started.

Jobseeker’s Guide to Preparing for the Job Interview

Job Seeker's Guide to Preparing for the Job Interview: Job Search Advice from resume writing services resume writing professional resume writing resume resume cover letter professional cover letter writing a professional resume executive resume writing resume professional resume writing companies it resumes resume writing service professionally written resume writing a resume resume services professional resume writing service make over resume writing professional professional resume service professional resume writing services professional resume services resume professionals professional resume writing cv writing best resumes writing resumes job resume resumes and cover letters cv writing service professional resume examples it resume help with resume write a resume job resumes resume template résumé free job search resume help good resumes sales professional resume professional resumes professional resume builder resumes best resume writing service executive resume writing service nursing resume resume writing help write resume executive resume resume service reviews resume makeover resume preparation services best resume writing services example resume games for girls best resume services resume services writing girls games work resume it resume examples resume example resume writing examples resume for job resume services online cover letter writing examples of professional resumes resume services nyc free job posting sites virtual hairstyles sample cover letter best resume service resume templates cv template top resume writing services resume editing services professional resume format make over games try on hairstyles resume examples resume building resume services dallas it professional resume resume writing services nyc resume for a job profesional resume resume service executive resume writing services cv samples writing a cv jobsearch experienced professional resume resume writing service reviews federal resume writing services work search cover letters for resumes make overs cover letter writing service resumes services

The goal of the résumé is to get you a job interview (and then the job.) Once you secure an interview, researching and preparing for the interview is important. Like studying for a test, some of the information you can prepare ahead of time — and some of it is important to review just to be better prepared in general. Believe it or not, many job candidates don’t prepare for job interviews. Spending just 30-60 minutes (at a minimum) can improve your chances of securing a job offer.

Research on the company can be vital information that you can use to your advantage in the interview. It will also shape your ability to answer the interviewer’s questions, and can give you a strategic advantage when it comes to salary negotiation.

Think about a job interview from the employer’s perspective. They are looking for the best fit — skills, experience, education — and, most importantly, fit with the company’s culture. Focusing on the needs and preferences of the company can help you identify which aspects of your work history and background will best serve your future employer.

Like Zig Ziglar said, “You can get everything in life you want if you will just help enough other people get what they want.”

By understanding a company’s needs, you can identify how you can help them in the job you’re seeking — and demonstrate why you’re the best candidate for the position.

If it’s a sales job, you’ll want to show them how you can:

  • Increase sales, revenue, and profits
  • Secure new business while retaining existing customers

If you’re applying for an information technology position, you’ll want to demonstrate your:

  • Ability to solve problems
  • Skill in helping the company save money on their technology needs

In her book “Résumé Magic,” author Susan Britton Whitcomb suggests jobseekers target what she calls “employer buying motivators.” These include the company’s desire to:

  • Make money
  • Save money
  • Save time
  • Make work easier
  • Solve a specific problem
  • Be more competitive
  • Build relationships / an image
  • Expand business
  • Attract new customers
  • Retain existing customers


Keep these in mind as you prepare for the interview.

It also helps to understand that the information an interviewer wants from you falls into a couple of broad categories:

  • Who You Are
  • What Sets You Apart From the Other Candidates
  • Can You Solve a Problem We Have? (Remember, all jobs solve a problem)
  • Why You Might Not Be The Best Fit For the Job
  • Why You’re Looking For a New Job (Unemployed? Underemployed? Seeking a better opportunity — but why?)


Understanding that most interview questions will fall into these broad categories will also help you prepare for the interview.

Before your interview, ask for a list of the people you will be meeting with for the interview. Don’t be shy about this — it’s a completely normal request. Be sure to ask for spelling of the name(s). This will help you conduct your pre-interview research.

Not only will you want to research your interviewer(s) — by Googling them and/or conducting a people search on LinkedIn, Glassdoor, and/or BranchOut — but you’ll also want to find out who you know in common so you can get advance insight into the interviewer and the hiring process.

Your research before the interview can also help you ask better questions in the interview. Remember — a job interview is about “fit” — but the “fit” from your perspective is as important as “fit” from the company’s point of view. The job interview is like a first date — you want to see what you have in common and whether it’s worthwhile to continue to pursue a relationship or whether you should “see other people.”

If you are given a choice of times you would like to interview, consider your personal preferences — such as, are you a morning person, or not — and also the overall interview schedule. Generally it’s best not to be the first person interviewed for a job. As with house hunting, the natural inclination is not to believe that the first candidate is the best one — interviewers generally have a better idea of what they want — and don’t want — after conducting several interviews.

The “Pre-Interview Checklist” is very important. Fill this out for each of your interviews. Don’t skip this step! Knowing this information can give you a competitive advantage over other (unprepared) candidates.

Fill out as much information as you can. The more you know about the company, the interviewer(s), and the job, the more confident you will be.

Download the Pre-Interview Worksheet and Checklist today!

Click to download a printer-friendly Word document or PDF.

Job Search: Pre-Interview Worksheet and Checklist

Jobseekers Guide Interactive Pre Interview Worksheet and Checklist - Job Search Advice from

Pre-Interview Worksheet and Checklist

Click to download a printer-friendly Word document or PDF

 Read this post first – Jobseeker’s Guide to Preparing for the Job Interview. Remember, research on the company can be vital information that you can use to your advantage in the interview. It will also shape your ability to answer the interviewer’s questions, and can give you a strategic advantage when it comes to salary negotiation.




Job Title You’re Interviewing For                                                                                                       

Date/Time of the Interview                                                                                                               




Company Name                                                                                                                                 


Phone Number                                                                                                                                   


  • Review the company website — in particular, the “About” page, “Media” section (if there is one), and information about their products and services.
  • Check out the source code on the company website to see if there are particular keywords that give insight to the company’s focus. (Go to the company website. In your web browser, go to the “View” menu and choose “View Source.”) Note: Not all companies include this information in their source code (look at the title code and meta tags).
  • Describe the company (Is it a subdivision of another company? How many employees? How many locations? What industry? Structure — public, private, family-owned, nonprofit, etc.)



Facebook business page:                                                                              

  • Look at the content the company posts, but also look at what other people post on the company’s page. Can you identify any potential problems that need solving?


Company Twitter handle:  @                                                                                                                      


Blog URL:                                                                                                                                           

  • Review the blog for greater insight into the company.

YouTube channel:                                                                                            

  • Take a look at the official videos posted by the company.
  • Also do a search for the company on YouTube and see if there are any videos posted by employees, the media, or affiliates.


Notes/thoughts based on online profile research                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         


  1. Do a Google search on the company. Review the first three pages of Google results — anything interesting?



  1. Look at what other job postings are open at the company — these can help you identify growth opportunities in the company.
  2. Do a Google news search on the company (


Any news stories?                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      

Any major announcements in the last 18 months?                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   



Search “Companies” on LinkedIn

  • Does the company have a profile on LinkedIn?         Yes          No
  • How many followers does the company have on its company page?                            


If the company has a profile, does it list:
Company type:  
Company size:   
Year founded:                                                                                                                                    
Headquarters (location):                                                                                                                   
Makeup of employees (location, job title, education):


  • Also look at the “Viewers Also Viewed” list of companies. These are potential competitors for you to research.
  • You will also be able to see if any of your existing connections are affiliated with the company. You can also see “2nd degree” or “3rd degree” contacts. You can click through to those profiles for additional information on the employee’s background.
  • The “Insights” tab (if one is available for the company) will give you information about the company’s employees
  • If the company has provided “Company Updates,” be sure to read those.
  • On the company’s LinkedIn page, click the yellow “Follow” button, and information about the company will be included in your “Updates” feed on the home page of your LinkedIn profile



You can often find this information on LinkedIn, Facebook, or through a Google search.

  • Who Are You Interviewing With?


Job Title                                                                      

  • Google your interviewer’s name.


    • Twitter handle:   @                                                                                                                
    • Approximate Age (and Date of Birth, If Known):                                                                  
    • College/University                                                                                                                 
    • Degree Pursued/Achieved                                                                                                     
    • Year Graduated                                                                                                                     
    • Military Service __ No  __ Yes (if yes, which branch:                                                )
    • Family – Married? Kids?                                                                                                        
    • How Long in Current Job?                                                                                                      
    • Previous Positions with the Company                                                                                    
  • Previous Company                                                                                                           
  • Previous Job Title                                                                                                             
  • Professional or Trade Organization Memberships                                                                                                                                                                                                   
  • Social Clubs / Associations / Affiliations                                                                          
  • Active in Community (Community Service) or Religion (describe)                                                                                                                                                                          
  • Honors/Awards                                                                                                                
  • Hobbies / Recreational Interests*                                                                                   

* Do not bring these up unless confirmed by evidence in interviewer’s office (i.e., trophies, awards)

  • Sports Interests (Teams)                                                                                                  


  • Do a Google Image search to find a photo of the interviewer (
    • Is this individual making the hiring decision?   __ Yes  __ No
    • If no, what is the name/title of the hiring decision-maker?
    • Name                                                                               
    • Job Title
  • Does the interviewer have a profile on LinkedIn?  __ Yes  __ No
    • Who do you know in common? Who do I know who knows this interviewer?
  • What LinkedIn groups is he/she a member of?
  • If the interviewer is a technical manager, have they written any LinkedIn Recommendations for current or previous employees? What skills/attributes did they value?



Who is the company’s biggest competitor?                                                                                                  



Strengths/Weaknesses/Opportunities/Threats (SWOT) Analysis


STRENGTHS (compared to the competitor, what is the prospective employer’s greatest strengths in the market)                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    






Who does this position report to (name and job title):                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         


Do any employees report to this position (names and job titles):                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        


What are the top three challenges of the job?





Which “employer buying motivators” apply to this position?

__        Make money                                       __        Save money

__        Save time                                            __        Make work easier

__        Solve a specific problem                     __        Be more competitive

__        Build relationships / an image           __        Expand business

__        Attract new customers                       __        Retain existing customers


Based on salary research, I would expect this position to pay between:
$                                    and $                                     .




What is my biggest strength/qualification for this position? What sets me apart from other candidates?





What might keep me from getting the job?





What question do you least want to be asked in this interview?





Context / Challenge / Action / Results Statements (CCAR)

  1. Prepare 2-3 CCAR stories (Context – Challenge – Action – Result) based on your research of the company and the position.

Employers generally formulate their interview questions around the skills they are seeking in a candidate. These skills can be:

  • Job-Specific: Technical skills that are gained through education, training, and/or hands-on experience.
  • Transferable: Skills such as problem-solving, organization, or leadership – that are inherent to you, not specific to any one job.
  • Interpersonal: Skills such as communication and collaboration.


Identify up to five skills that are required for the position you are seeking. These can be skills identified in the job posting or by reviewing job descriptions online, on O*NET —, or the Occupational Outlook Handbook —


By “nicknaming” each of these skills, it will help you remember it more easily in the interview.

  1. SKILL #1 – Nicknamed
    Context (“While working at”)                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            
    Challenge (“I was given the responsibility to”)
    Action (“So I”)
    Result (“As a result of my efforts”)
  2. SKILL #2 – Nicknamed
    Context (“While working at”)                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            
    Challenge (“I was given the responsibility to”)
    Action (“So I”)
    Result (“As a result of my efforts”)
  3. SKILL #3 – Nicknamed
    Context (“While working at”)                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            
    Challenge (“I was given the responsibility to”)
    Action (“So I”)
    Result (“As a result of my efforts”)                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   

Based on your research, what three questions would you want to ask in the interview:




Who are your “ideal” references to use for this position? Contact each of them to ask permission to use them as a reference for this position; let them know you’ll be in touch with them after the interview to let them know how it went and prepare them for any specific issues they may be asked to address.


  • Reference #1                                                                                                                               

Contacted on (date)                                                                                                                     

  • Reference #2                                                                                                                               

Contacted on (date)                                                                                                                     

  • Reference #3                                                                                                                               

Contacted on (date)                                                                                                                     







Take a few moments right after your job interview to write down your thoughts. Read through these questions before the interview so that you’ll have an idea of what kind of information you’ll be recording. Research shows that we forget almost half of what we’ve heard after just four hours, so the sooner you can complete the post-interview worksheet, the better.



Job Title You Interviewed For                                                                                                                        

Date/Time of the Interview                                                                                                                           

Most Important Questions You Were Asked:


“Connections” — What did interviewer like most/best about your skills/education/experience?


“Disconnection” — Did the interviewer raise any concerns about your skills, education, and/or experience?



Does the company offer continuing education/training (describe)?


Opportunities to advance (describe)?



Pay/Benefit Information*

* Do not ask about pay/benefits unless the interviewer brings it up. Consider giving a salary range.



Contact your references and let them know about how the interview went and any specific issues (good/bad) they should be aware of, if contacted by the interviewer.


  • Reference #1
    Contacted on (date)                                                                                                               
  • Reference #2
    Contacted on (date)                                                                                                               
  • Reference #3
    Contacted on (date)                                                                                                               



Follow-up/next step (Will they contact you? More interviews?)


When is hiring decision expected?
If I don’t hear back by this date, I will follow up:                                                                              

  • Send a thank you note to the interviewer (handwritten or via email, within 48 hours of interview).


Additional notes from interview:



Click to download a printer-friendly Word document or PDF

Need a resume makeover? Transform your job search. Let’s get started!