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Questions to Ask at a Job Interview

Updated on May 8, 2014

Why Should You Ask Questions?

In short, it shows you are interested in the job role and company to which you are interviewing. All too often, candidates just want to run out the door at the end of the interview and breathe a sigh of relief that it’s over but preparing some good quality questions in advance can set you apart from those who haven’t.

Aside from showing your interest, asking questions gives you the opportunity to ascertain whether the company is right for you should you be successful in landing the job and can increase your perceived level of professionalism.

Asking just one or two questions is adequate but always have at least four or five at the ready as some may already have been answered as part of the conversation.

What Questions Should Not be Asked at an Interview?

Avoid asking questions about salary unless the interviewer has specifically raised the subject by inviting you to discuss your requirements. Wait until you have landed the job before talking about money, as it can appear that this is your main motivation. The exception to the rule is if you are interviewing for a sales job where it would be wise to ask questions relating to targets and bonus structures so that the employer can assess your tenacity and drive but only if the subject area has been a hot topic throughout the interview.

Never ask questions such as “What does the company do?” or “What products do you sell?” These will be an absolute deal breaker. Do your research first and find out exactly what your prospective future employer is all about.

Questions about holiday entitlement and flexible working hours are off limits. The interviewer will question why you are concerned with taking time off when you haven’t even started the role yet. It will be detailed in your contract and working terms and conditions so if it’s not favourable then, either negotiate a better deal or decline the job offer.

As a general rule of thumb, you are there to sell how you will be of benefit to the company and not how you could benefit from them.

Avoid asking why the role has become available. Most employers don’t like this as it can put them in an awkward position especially if the last person was fired or left under a cloud. Many interviewers will deem this question as none of your business and let’s face it, the information is not going to make a difference to your interview performance if you find out. If you really do want to know why the vacancy has arisen then change the wording of the question to something along the lines of “Who will be my supervisor?” as this could be a clue as to whether the job is vacant due to a promotion. As with all questions, if you are not sure if you should ask them or if you think there may be negative connotations, keep your lips sealed and choose something else. If in doubt, leave it out.

Top tip

Take a notebook with you to the interview with your questions written in it. That way, if you are nervous or your mind goes blank, you have the notes to remind you.

It is perfectly acceptable to take notes while in an interview so if a question pops into your head as a result of the conversation, write it down to ask later.

Questions about the working environment

Good questions that show you are interested in the role and are starting to visualise how you will fit in are ones that surround the current team. “How many people are in the team and how is it structured?” This shows that you are considering teamwork and can encourage a descriptive answer from your interviewer.

“What do you like most about working here?” A great question where you can turn the tables and see if there is genuine enthusiasm coming back at you.

“Can you describe to me a typical day in the job?” I hope that they can! This allows you to learn more detail than in the job description and can be used to add any golden nuggets of experience related to the day to day tasks that you may have left out of the interview that are relative to the role. Keep promoting how great you are right to the end of the interview.

Visualising yourself in the role

In addition to asking questions about the working environment, you can go one step further by probing how your performance will be measured what your key priorities will be in the first few months of the job. Other great questions are “What would you say is the most challenging aspect of the role?” or “How would you describe the responsibilities of the position?”

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Questions about the company

From your research on the company, you should be able to come up with questions that show you have fully prepared but still want to know more. One of the classic interview questions that you may be asked is “Where do you see yourself in 5 years’ time?” so fire this back at them with “Where do you see the company in 5 years’ time?” or “What are the long term goals of the company?” This will allow you to gain a valuable insight into where the company is heading and if you can see a realistic future with them.

Training and development

Show you are serious and exude ambition and loyalty by asking questions about what training and development opportunities the company offers. How can you climb the career ladder? Find out by asking, “What does the promotional scale look like?” or “If I am successful in this role, what would be a typical career path?” If you are interviewing for a position in a large corporation, you could ask questions about different job roles.

The finishing line

Ok, it’s nearly the end of the interview and you have asked some great quality questions so there are a couple of other questions to help you reach the finishing line. Don’t leave the interview room without ensuring that you have given the interviewer all the positive information they need to view you as a serious contender for the role. Don’t hold them hostage though! That would be just plain wrong!

“Do you have any concerns that we can discuss in more detail in order for me to be the top candidate?” A fully loaded question but a great one if it means saving the day.

“When can I expect to hear from you?” This will allow you to work to a deadline of expectation and give you a time frame in which to send a thank you letter or email and follow up if you haven’t heard any news.

So, make sure you fully prepare questions to ask the interviewer that shows you are enthusiastic, interested and professional. Many candidates don’t bother to put the effort in so if you do, you are already one step ahead on the road to success.


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      3 years ago

      Me fui de vacaciones a ntesroe de Espaf1a el pasado verano para divertirse con mi familia. Mientras estuve alled me tomaba el sol y nadar en la piscina. Pense9 que era fante1stico mientras este1bamos alled me habeda divertido tanto que perded la cuenta de tiempo. mientras yo estaba alled, fuimos a algunas tiendas, learn't mi hermanita cf3mo montar a caballo y mi otra hermana se fue a clases de baile. tome9 fotos de ellos a recuperar y el tesoro de nuestras primeras vacaciones. visite9 muchos lugares de intere9s como monumento tiendas y tiendas de ropa. Mientras este1bamos lejos he enviado un montf3n de mensajes de texto a mis amigos conte1ndoles lo que era cada deda por ahed. Se preguntf3 cf3mo era y cada vez que me preguntaron respondif3 diciendo que fue maravilloso. El buen tiempo por alle1, a veces, cualquier otro momento que estaba caliente y tambie9n conoced a muchas personas. Mientras este1bamos lejos, nos quedamos en un hotel de cinco estrellas que habeda camareros que se Ingle9s. Se encuentra junto a una playa frente a la costa, es muy acogedor y servicial con el equipaje. El mobiliario era muy cf3moda y, aparentemente, el hotel era nuevo, por eso es un hotel de cinco estrellas. No es caro en todos los ni fue barato, el hotel teneda un encantador bar, restaurante, cafetereda y una piscina climatizada cubierta. Lo mejor de la fiesta fue que llegue9 a tomar el sol e ir de compras en el centro de la ciudad. Pase9 2 semanas en Espaf1a y llegamos en avif3n , el vuelo durf3 cuatro horas. Afortunadamente cuando llegamos al hotel es muy moderno, y los camareros vestedan uniforme. Algunos clientes se Ingle9s, y los camareros tambie9n Ingle9s. Mientras estuve alled me encontre9 con un montf3n de gente joven, que estaban muy bien y he mejorado mi espaf1ol mientras yo estaba alled. El sol de las 2 semanas, usted podreda hacer todo tipo alled. Mis padres reservado una habitacif3n doble con una cama doble y una habitacif3n individual con una cama individual para med. Mis dos hermanas poco teneda una de las habitaciones en el dormitorio de matrimonio y que compartedan una cama de matrimonio y mis padres tenedan la otra habitacif3n. Estuvimos durante trece noches y catorce dedas, la habitacif3n del hotel habeda un baf1o y un balcf3n para que Estoy muy satisfecho de ello. El costo total incluyendo el servicio de habitaciones, la comida, el desayuno y el te9 era de tres mil euros para el conjunto de dos semanas. Tenemos acceso a internet, y la recepcif3n cierra a las 10pm y se abrif3 a las 6 am. No se admiten animales en los clientes del hotel Funda tenido alergias a los mismos. Espero volver el af1o prf3ximo como en el momento que ya estoy aburrido (y perder mi piel oscura loovely).

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      3 years ago

      I need help with a conclusion pagrpraah?I am typing an essay on Italians, and need help on the conclusion pagrpraah.Here is the essay:ItaliansItalians are warm, welcoming people, who love to relax, celebrate, and socialize with family and friends. Their celebration and relaxation usually takes place around a dinner table at a restaurant or at home, so they can enjoy the traditions of Italian cuisine. Italians have a strong passion for eating, but also enjoy talking.In Italy, conversation is considered an art form. If you were to walk the streets of Italy, or stop at a cafe9, you would notice people of all ages engaged in intense and animated discussions on a wide variety of topics, ranging from family, work, politics, gossip, food, drinks, and sports, especially soccer.From the largest cities, to the most rural of villages, there is one place that will always remain as the central meeting point of Italian culture- the Piazza ( meaning square ). No matter how big or small the Piazza is, you will always see people sitting, strolling, walking, talking, and interacting with one another. Piazzas are also the main focal points for festivals, gatherings, celebrations, and political events.To real Italians, lunch is a 1-2 hour affair with traditionally a two to three course meal, which explains why most places halt for two hours of the day. Stores shut down, banks close, and all of the streets are empty. At around 2 o’clock, people start to emerge from their houses and populate the streets again until around 19:30 when it’s time for dinner. After dinner, the streets come to life again as Italians stroll around the piazza to work off their meal or head off for their evening engagement. Italian food is high in the ranks of most delicious, richest, and most varied of all cooking, with dishes for every occasion. Their food plays a huge role in their life and culture. Every region has their specialty, not only pasta, but all varieties of meat and fish are cooked to old, handed down recipes, mouth watering puddings, and of course, nobody can beat their ice creams. Shopping may not be a national past time, but it is taken very seriously in Italy. The major cities, like Rome, Milan, Florence, are full of the most wonderful shops selling everything from designer clothes to the newest and hippest furniture to be found anywhere in the world. Milan has its furniture fair every year and furniture makers from far and wide will go there to see what is happening at the leading edge of furniture design. Leather is also a good buy in Italy, Italians know their leather and the finest gloves, shoes, jackets, and bags are worn by virtually all Italians. They glory in being chic, and are generally always beautifully turned out. Sports are a very important passion in the lives of many Italians. Football, being their main passion, with hundreds of football clubs with top soccer teams playing for their country. Volleyball is also much enjoyed as is rugby, with the rugby team playing for the European Challenge Cup. Italians place more value on the simple things in life ( family, community, enjoying a Tuscan sunset ) rather than the material things most westerners covet. There are plenty of happy farmers in Italy who want no more than to share a meal with others in their community. The Italian Language is a romance language, spoken as a native language by about 70 million people in Italy, San Marino, and parts of Switzerland, Croatia, Slovenia, and France. Italian is based on the Tuscan dialect, which beforehand was only available to upper class Florentine society. Unlike other romance languages, Italian retains Latin’s contrast between short and long consonants. In particular, among the Romance languages, Italian is the closest to Latin in terms of vocabulary.


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