Asking Questions in a Job Interview

Yolanda writes:
What kind of questions should I ask my prospective employers when they ask me “do I have any questions.”

The Career Doctor responds:
A great question. Employers are truly interested in answering your questions but mainly they ask you because they want to see how much you prepared for the interview — and to try and make a judgment about your interest in the company and the position. If you don’t have any questions the interviewer may assume that you are not really interested in the job or are too lazy to prepare any questions. Thus you need to have some
questions ready! There are numerous questions you could ask in reply to that question:

  • You could ask fact-based questions about the company division branch or product. Example: “How do you determine the value customers are receiving from your products or services?”;
  • You could ask specific job-related questions for the position you are interviewing for. Example: “How much of the current position involves meeting with clients?”;
  • You could ask about future plans of the company division branch or product. Example: What are some of the challenges you see this organization (or division branch brand) facing in the next year?”;
  • You could ask questions about the hiring process. Example: “When can I expect to hear back from you?”;
  • You could ask a question that places you in the job. Example: “What kind of projects/assignments would I be working on first?”;
  • You could ask about anything that you are really interesting in getting an answer to that was not already discussed during the interview.

There are a number of great interviewing Web sites. For a list of the best go to Quintessential Careers: Interviewing Resources.

To see a list of questions job-seekers can ask at the interview go to: Questions You Can Ask at the Interview.

There are also many good books on interviewing. One of my favorites is Killer Interviews by Frederick W. and Barbara B. Ball (McGraw-Hill).

I’ve compiled a complete list of the best job interviewing books.
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