Questions to Ask at Interviews

by Waller Jamison

It is important to bear in mind that from where the employer is standing, the interview is all about finding out what you can do for the company, and not the other way round. So you should design your questions for interview to show that you have a lot to offer, whilst getting some of the information you want as well.

Asking questions both gives you the opportunity to find out more about the company and the job you are applying for and it gives the employer a chance to see how well you understand the position, and enables him to gain further insight into your knowledge of the industry and your enthusiasm.

It can also help both of you to get a greater understanding of your suitability for the post. Don't forget that interviewing is a two way process and although the interviewer will do most of the asking, you should use the discussion as a way of finding out if you really want the job.

Which questions are the best ones to ask? First of all, here are some you should not even think about asking! Questions about money, holidays and sick leave are definitely taboo. Naturally, you'll want some information on these subjects, but you can thrash out the details once you've got the job.

You should also take care to keep away from any negative subjects, for example talking about things you been successful in that you had to do in previous jobs, but didn't like or found boring.

Getting a job is all about what you can do for the company and not what it can do for you; at least from the employer's perspective and so that should be the focus of your questions.

 From your background research before applying, you should know quite a bit about the organization - are there any existing projects or new developments where your specific skills would be invaluable?

Come up with a list of job questions about these areas before the interview and then you can choose the most appropriate one, based on what has already been discussed. If you have only one or two questions for interview prepared, you may find that everything you thought of asking has already been covered.