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How to Ask Questions on a Job Interview

Updated on February 12, 2019
Deborah-Diane profile image

Deborah is a published writer, mother, and grandmother who writes on diverse topics, including financial info, homemaking, gifts, and more.

With a Few Smart Moves - You are More Likely to Have Success on Your Job Interviews

If you want to make a good impression, and have a successful interview, you need to be prepared to ask a couple of questions.
If you want to make a good impression, and have a successful interview, you need to be prepared to ask a couple of questions. | Source

Try to Ask the Interviewer Questions


If you want to make a great impression at your next job interview, you need to do more than simply answer the questions that they ask you. Although it is important to be ready to say a little about yourself, you also need to be prepared to ask the interviewer some questions about the company and the job for which you are applying. Once the interviewer has had a chance to ask you some questions, and chat with you a few minutes about your family and hobbies, at some point they will probably ask if YOU have any questions. Far too many prospective employees simply say, “No.” You will seem much more interested in the job if you take this opportunity to ask the right questions.

Below you will find the types of questions you should, and should not, ask!

Ask the Interviewer to Describe the Job

One of the best ways to make a good impression is to ask the interviewer to tell you more about what your duties would be, if you are hired. You can start by asking, “Could you tell me a bit more about the position?” If they just answer with a phrase or two, ask them more detailed questions. For example, if they tell you that they will train you, be enthusiastic and ask them to describe the training. If they say that the position involves sales, ask them to tell you a little about the products you’ll be selling.

In fact, if you have prepared well for the interview, you should already know what the product is and be prepared to talk a little about it. Ask them if you can see the product or how it has been improved recently. Demonstrate that you are genuinely interested in what you will be selling.


You will make an especially good impression if you make it obvious that you have done a little research on the company, particularly if you emphasize the positive. You could say, "I noticed that the company's stock has been doing well lately, does this mean that an employee could have a lot of future opportunities?" Other related questions could be:

"Do you anticipate the company expanding into new areas ... either locations or products?

Depending on the situation, you might even ask if they would be able to show you around after the interview. This is a wonderful opportunity to extend the interview and build more rapport with the interviewer. Continue asking an occasional question about what you are seeing ... although you don't want to pepper them with so many questions that you become annoying. Asking between two to five questions during your first interview should be adequate to show your interest.

The bottom line is that you need to show you are very interested in this business, this particular company and, if it applies, specifically in working for this specific division or office.

Never Worry Again About Those Tough Questions

Rockstar Your Job Interview: Answers to the Toughest Interview Questions Ever
Rockstar Your Job Interview: Answers to the Toughest Interview Questions Ever

This book is so helpful, that we gave it to our daughters when they were applying for their first jobs after college. It helped them prepare to answer questions they never thought about before. It can also be useful for people who are changing careers and are having trouble explaining their reasons to prospective employers.

 

Ask the Interviewer About Your Duties

Some of the questions you may want to ask the interviewer are “What is a typical workday like?” or “Are there opportunities for advancement?” If they have not already described your duties, this is your chance to ask about them.

You might also want to ask about the technology or computer programs they use. Show that you know a little bit about using these programs, if that is true, and that you are interested in learning more about it. Just mentioning that you are familiar with Excel, you know how to maintain a website, or that you are proficient with other types of software that are common in that business could be very helpful in landing the job.

Even if you have already mentioned some of these skills in your resume, it will benefit you to talk specifically about some of your strengths.


Be a Good Listener at the Job Interview

When you ask questions, you should be polite and listen carefully to the answer. Don’t jump in too quickly. Very few people are good listeners, and people who are good listeners tend to make a good impression.

In fact, I cannot stress too much that you need to listen completely to what the interviewer has to say. If you jump in and interrupt them, you will definitely do yourself much more harm than good.


Be Polite and Honest

Do not work negatives into your interview, unless you are asked. Then, be honest and forthright.

For example, if there will be times when you absolutely will not be able to work, such as for religious reasons or to attend night classes, it is perfectly acceptable to let the employer know in advance. At the same time, you need to give them something in return. Let them know that you are willing to work other holidays, or some evenings, in order to make up for the time you will miss. Be direct and honest, but also show your willingness to be a team player.


Avoid Asking the Interviewer about Vacations and Leave

There are, of course, certain questions that you should probably avoid asking at your interview. For example, this is not the time to ask what holidays you’ll have, how much vacation time you’ll get, or other questions that may lead them to believe that you’re just looking for an easy paycheck. In addition, if you are going to be working for a restaurant or store that is open on weekends, do not immediately ask if you can take off on Saturday night, or some other busy time. Do not ask about the consequences of tardiness, or what happens if you take off because your children are sick. You will make it sound as though you could be unreliable. Although situations will inevitably come up from time to time, it is better to wait until you have actually been hired and started working before you mention these issues. This will give you a chance to first prove that you are reliable and a hard worker.

If you are concerned about sensitive issues, such as vacation time, sick leave or raises, you can ask the interviewer if they have an employee handbook you can look over. This will show your interest, and the handbook will probably answer most of your questions.

Here's Is a Highly Rated Book to Help You Ace that Interview!

When Can You Start? 2014: ACE the Job Interview and GET HIRED
When Can You Start? 2014: ACE the Job Interview and GET HIRED

This is another book which our daughters found helpful when looking for jobs. They found that preparing well for the interview process made them much more comfortable.

 

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2011 Deborah-Diane

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    • Deborah-Diane profile imageAUTHOR

      Deborah-Diane 

      4 years ago from Orange County, California

      You are so right that asking questions is the best way to find out if the job will be a good fit for you and well as for the employer.

    • ezzly profile image

      ezzly 

      4 years ago

      This is brilliant, especially for helping to be assertive in an interview after all it's as much about finding the right fit for you as it is about the employer finding the right fit for them!

    • Deborah-Diane profile imageAUTHOR

      Deborah-Diane 

      4 years ago from Orange County, California

      You made some excellent points about the fact that people who didn't have a problem finding jobs in the past may find it more challenging today. Everyone needs to make sure they don't mess up their job prospects because of poor interview techniques.

    • Chuck profile image

      Chuck Nugent 

      4 years ago from Tucson, Arizona

      Very good information. I manage a vocational office training program and part of my job is training people in the skills needed to conduct a successful job search.

      Unfortunately, many people out of work today began their careers during the boom years that preceded the current recession. During those years, low unemployment and the growing economy made it relatively easy to find a job as, in many cases, there was little competition from other job seekers when applying for work.

      Today is different and there are usually dozens if not hundreds of applicants for each advertised position. So things like researching a prospective employer and asking good questions during an interview are not things that many job seekers are aware of let alone prepared for.

      This is a great Hub that will hopefully reach and help a lot of people seeking work.

    • old albion profile image

      Graham Lee 

      4 years ago from Lancashire. England.

      Absolutely spot on hub. Excellent advice all round. Graham.

    • Author Cheryl profile image

      Cheryl A Whitsett 

      4 years ago from Jacksonville, Fl

      I like this also. Our hospital has the worse scripted interview questions such as "Name a time you ever had a negative attitude". Although you want to say never you have to answer. Voted up.

    • sujaya venkatesh profile image

      sujaya venkatesh 

      4 years ago

      an interview guide

    • Au fait profile image

      C E Clark 

      4 years ago from North Texas

      I really like this article because it gives such good advice. So often job interviewees do not ask any questions because they don't know what to ask for starters. They fear they will jeopardize their chances if they ask questions or ask the wrong questions and this article can be so very helpful in helping then to formulate some helpful questions before their interview.

      Sharing this important article. 'Interview season' is upon us again.

    • vandynegl profile image

      vandynegl 

      5 years ago from Ohio Valley

      Good advice!! I'm often curious as to why the position is vacant. Sometimes it is obvious, such as they are expanding or the current employee is moving to a different position, etc. Once I asked this question and the person became very offended. I later learned that the person giving the interview was the cause of the other person leaving. There were already red flags about this person as I was getting interviewed anyway, so I wasn't too heartbroken!

      Thanks for sharing!

    • Au fait profile image

      C E Clark 

      5 years ago from North Texas

      Interview season is nearly here again. Lots of high schoolers looking for summer jobs and college grads looking for their first real job. This article has great advice for them when they get an interview, and for anyone who is hoping to get a better job. Sharing with my followers again as this is such an important subject especially with jobs still scarce and not so easy to come by.

    • Deborah-Diane profile imageAUTHOR

      Deborah-Diane 

      5 years ago from Orange County, California

      Thank you. There are still far too many people in our country who are unemployed or underemployed. I hope to help more of them get a start!

    • Au fait profile image

      C E Clark 

      5 years ago from North Texas

      Still so many people unemployed and the competition for any job posted is tough. Going to share this informative article again for people who may be looking for a job. Have pinned it previously and it has been repinned several times.

    • brenda12lynette profile image

      brenda12lynette 

      5 years ago from Utah

      This is advice I could definitely use right now as I have a couple big interviews coming up!! I will keep this in mind! Thanks and voted up!!!

    • Au fait profile image

      C E Clark 

      5 years ago from North Texas

      Revisiting this article. Already pinned, but will share it again because it contains important useful information that a lot of people can find helpful. The unemployment rate is still way higher than reported and this hub may be the thing that will help someone land that job.

    • Deborah-Diane profile imageAUTHOR

      Deborah-Diane 

      5 years ago from Orange County, California

      Thank you so much for pinning this article and sharing it. Many people go to an interview expecting to answer questions; they often do not realize that they will be expected to ask questions, too. I hope this helps a few people land a job ... especially at this time of year when so many are graduating from high school and college!

    • Au fait profile image

      C E Clark 

      5 years ago from North Texas

      This really is as excellent guide for people lucky enough to get an interview with the job market being like it is right now. Already pinned it, but will share it again with my followers.

    • Deborah-Diane profile imageAUTHOR

      Deborah-Diane 

      5 years ago from Orange County, California

      Thank you for sharing this information on your "Employment" board. I agree that many people are still having trouble finding jobs and, when they do, the jobs are often low paying.

    • Au fait profile image

      C E Clark 

      5 years ago from North Texas

      This hub contains a lot of useful advice on how to have a successful job interview. I'm going to pin it to my "Employment" board. Will also share it with my followers because despite the rosy forecast on TV, jobs are still hard to get and this may help someone land a job that will turn their life around.

    • Deborah-Diane profile imageAUTHOR

      Deborah-Diane 

      5 years ago from Orange County, California

      Thank you for sharing this article. I agree that there are far more people looking for jobs than they mention in the news. I hope this will assist some of the people who have just about given up ever having a job again.

    • Au fait profile image

      C E Clark 

      5 years ago from North Texas

      Sharing this article this time because it has a lot of useful advice for people looking for work, and there are far more of them than we hear about in the news.

    • Deborah-Diane profile imageAUTHOR

      Deborah-Diane 

      5 years ago from Orange County, California

      Shyness is a big problem in job interviews. I believe that often when an interview doesn't go well, it is primarily because of shyness. With a little practice, however, almost anyone can do better on their interviews.

    • moonlake profile image

      moonlake 

      5 years ago from America

      Very helpful. I only went on one iterview in my life and I didn't get the job. I was so shy it was hard for me to talk to a stranger.

    • Deborah-Diane profile imageAUTHOR

      Deborah-Diane 

      5 years ago from Orange County, California

      I'm glad you found this information to be helpful for people who are interviewing for jobs. We can never be too prepared for our interviews!

    • Au fait profile image

      C E Clark 

      5 years ago from North Texas

      Good advice for people looking for a job and needing to prepare for interviews. Voted up and useful!

    • Deborah-Diane profile imageAUTHOR

      Deborah-Diane 

      7 years ago from Orange County, California

      Thanks for reading and commenting. I have found that asking the right questions in a job interview is as important as answering questions well. I hope this helps a few people build their interview skills, and get back in the job market!

    • Treasuresofheaven profile image

      Sima Ballinger 

      7 years ago from Michigan

      Great interview questions. This is very good and to the point! I like the fact that you instruct readers not to ask certain questions at the interview.

      Nice Work! VOTE UP and USEFUL!!!

      Welcome to HubPages!

      -Sima

    • quester.ltd profile image

      quester.ltd 

      7 years ago

      good job - helpful hints for the job seeker. When we hired people, if someone did not ask some 'good' questions, then we did not ask them back for a second interview.

      thanks,

      q

    • stars439 profile image

      stars439 

      7 years ago from Louisiana, The Magnolia and Pelican State.

      Wonderful very helpful hub. God Bless You Precious Heart.

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