OK to Have List of Questions for the Interviewer Handy at the Interview?

Trish writes:
I have a question regarding the appropriate thing to do in an interview. This is in
relation to Question #17 (Having questions about the job or the company to ask
the interviewer) from the Quintessential Careers Job Interviewing Quiz.
Is it appropriate to have a “written list” with me and pull it out to
ask the questions?

The Career Doctor responds:
Interview preparation is essential and the more any job-seeker can
do to prepare the better the chances for success.
One of the issues we stress is that job-seekers should always have a
few questions to ask the interviewer. Asking questions shows your interest
in the position and in the employer. It’s also critical that you know as
much as possible about the employer and the job so that you can make
a more informed decision if a job offer is made.
So can you have a written list? I would prefer that you didn’t — that you
have a mental list — but I don’t believe most employers would take issue
with having some notes in front of you… and I would have the list out from
the beginning not take it out at the end of the interview when the
employer asks you if you have any questions. Having the list on a small notepad is probably better than something larger.
What might you ask? Here is just a small sample of the types of
questions you can ask:

  • Can you describe a typical day for someone in this position?
  • What is the top priority of the person who accepts this job?
  • What are the day-to-day expectations and responsibilities of this job?
  • How will my leadership responsibilities and performance be measured? And by whom? How often?
  • Can you describe the company’s management style?
  • Can you discuss your take on the company’s corporate culture?
  • What are the company’s values?
  • How would you characterize the management philosophy of this organization? Of your department?

Finally do not ask a question about an issue that has already been thoroughly
discussed in the interview.
Find more questions to ask in this section of Quintessential Careers:
You Can Ask at the Job Interview

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