What to ask at a job interview?


If you don’t ask any questions, you leave an impression that you are the kind of person that doesn’t try. Or that you are not ambitious. You are saying that you haven’t prepared, that you are not very bright or that you are scared …

A typical job interview usually ends with the offer by the interviewer to answer some of your questions. When you find yourself in this situation, use it wisely.

Two of the most common mistakes that job candidates do is that they ask questions regarding salary or they do not ask questions at all.

Question about the salary should be left for the final selection, except if it is being posed by the employer himself! Otherwise, you can come off as a person who is interested only in money, which doesn’t make you look good. Of course, there are exceptions even among employers, so there are those employers who like to know what expenses they can count on at the very beginning.

If you don’t ask a question at the end of the interview, you leave the impression of a person who is not motivated or not ambitious. You are saying that you haven’t prepared for the interview, that you are not interested in the company, that you are scared, and sometimes employers can think that you are not very „sharp“(whatever that means!).

On the other hand, you can gain advantage if you use questions, because the employer is judging you through these questions, but you have to be careful. The questions you have learned by heart and that actually don’t interest you can bring more harm, than good! Because of this it is important to adjust the questions to the context and ask that which is really important and that interests you. Also, it is possible that the examiner counters with a question of his own in which he will ask you to explain why you are interested in the topic of the question, and then you should be ready – because if you ask the question just to leave a good impression, you won’t be able to manage.

There are no rules on the number of questions. Everything depends on what interests you. Maybe you will prepare 15 questions, but won’t have time to ask everything. That’s why you need to set your priorities and ask the most important things considering the context. If you are in the first round of the interviews, ask the basic information and when you are selected for the final circle you will get your chance to ask the rest.

What can happen sometimes is that you get an answer to your question just by talking to the employer. In case that happens, you can list what you wanted to know and how you got the answer. This way you are saying that you are patient and that you listen to what the employer is saying. If you didn’t understand something, kindly ask the interviewer to explain it to you-
It is always better to ask questions that require a longer answer, rather than the yes or no questions (closed-type).Open-type questions usually get a clear and longer answer.

If you don’t know what to ask, here you can read the examples you can use. Questions listed below can be used as guidelines in forming your own questions for the employers. Of course, you have to adjust them to your own situation – the job you do, the position you are applying for and the specific employer.

  • When can I expect you will reach the decision on the employment?
  • If you decide to hire me, when do you expect me to start working?
  • Is it necessary for me to get some sort of training before I start working? If yes, what will this look like??
  • Is there a probation period?
  • What are the work hours? Is it usual to work overtime? Do you work on weekends?
  • What is the possibility of getting to a higher position in your company?
  • Who will I work with the most?
  • Who will be my superior and what is his of her work mode?
  • How many employees do you have and how many people are there in the team in which I would work in if you decide to hire me?
  • What are the advantages and the disadvantages of your company/organization with regard to other companies?
  • What is this company/organization’s plan for the next 5 years and how important is the department in which I would work in and the job position I applied for?
  • What job you did in this organization did you enjoy the most? What don’t you like and what would you change?
  • How would you describe the work atmosphere in your company?
  • How will the reasonability I have and my performance be measured and who will do it? Are there already set evaluation criteria? How often are the employees criticized both formally and informally?
  • What are the day-to-day obligations and responsibilities of this work position?
  • Can you describe the way in which this organization is managed and what kind of employee would fit the organization the best?
  • How would you describe your ideal employee?
  • How would you describe the ideal employee for the work position I am applying for?
  • Will I have to/be in the position to travel a lot if I get the job? Are business trips often a part of the job I am applying for?
  • What is the organization policy regarding moving employees into other cities?
  • What are some of the skills and abilities a person needs in order to be successful in this job position?
  • What is the company policy regarding seminars, workshops and employee training? Do you do additional employee trainings?
  • To what extent can an employee develop his or her personal goals with counseling and help?
  • I read on your webpage that the team from this organization participated in XP seminar/conference/congress. I would like to know is that the usual policy in the job position I am applying to?