Questions to Ask During an Interview

By Tracy Achen

Do you know that there are certain questions to ask during an interview that can help boost your chances of getting a job? By inquiring about the company and how you will best fit in, you are showing the employer that you are really interested in working for the organization. 

Woman during a job interview asking questions about the job

It's a good idea to do a little research on the company prior to your interview. If it's a large organization, you should be able to get a good amount information off the internet. If it's a local business, visit the location of it's a retail store, check the yellow pages for advertising, and search the newspaper archives for any mention of the business. 

This research will give you an idea of what the business is about and help you discuss your position within the company. 

9 Questions to Ask During a Job Interview

The job interview process is a two-way street. The interviewer asks questions to see if you're a good fit for the company. But it's also your opportunity to find out if this is the company you want to work for. Depending on how the interview goes, you probably won't ask all of the questions below, but they can serve as a launching point for further discussion about the job you are applying for.

1. How long do employees usually stay with your company?

The person interviewing you may not know the answer. But asking such a question makes an impression because it shows you are interested in working for the company long-term.

Generally, it's a good sign when people stay with the same company for at least three years. Some career fields tend to retain their employees for many years, such as the health care industry. And the retention rate for government jobs is very high. 

If the organization you are interested in seems to have a high turnover rate, you might reconsider if this is the best company for you to work for.

2. What skills and abilities should an employee possess for this position? 

This will let you know what the company will be expecting of you if hired and if you have skills it takes to do the job. It also helps to find out if there is any formal training you would go through when you start.

3. Can you describe a typical day or week in the job? 

Really listen to how this question is answered, as it will tell you what you will be actually doing on the job. Also consider asking what shift you'll possibly work and whether overtime is expected.

4. Why is this position open? 

The answer to this question can tell you a lot. If the company is expanding, this may be a new position. Are they looking to fill the position due to a promotion within the company? If so, it shows advancement within the company is possible. If the previous employee retired after years on the job, it can be a sign this is a good company to work for. Or is the position open because the previous employee was laid off?  

5. What type of team will I be working with?  

The answer to this question can give you an insight into the people you will interacting with on a daily basis. Hopefully, the team leader will be present during the interview process so you can detect any personality conflicts.

6. What are some misconceptions people have about the company? 

You might start off by saying "In researching the company, I learned some of the core values your organization holds." This shows you have done your research and are willing to know more about the company. This question might also clear up any misconceptions you might have yourself about the company.

7. What is your favorite thing about working for this company? 

Your interviewer’s answer will probably tell you a lot about working there. It's a good sign if you pick up a sense of enthusiasm. But, if your interviewer is hesitant to answer, it might be worth noting. 

8. How has this position evolved over the years? 

The answer to this question will give you a good idea where the company is headed. Are they in a holding pattern or looking to expand and are you excited about the prospect? You want to find out if there are opportunities for advancement within the company or if it will be a dead-end job.

9. Do you have any questions concerning my ability to do this job?

This will allow your interviewer to bring up any gaps in your employment history or whether you have the necessary skills for the position. Asking such a question shows you have the best interest of the company in mind.

At the end of the interview, it's a good idea to ask what the next step in the process is and when you can expect to hear from them? Also find out if they need any more information about your qualifications, such as copies of certifications or samples of your work. 

These suggestions on which questions to ask during an interview are just part of the equation for getting a good job. For more employment tips, check out the following articles:

Resume Tips 
Cover Letters 
Interview Preparation 
Thank You Letter for Interview 

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