Questions To Ask The
Your interview isn’t supposed to be a one-way street where
only the employer has the opportunity to ask questions. You need
to ask a few of your own to determine how suitable this
The first thing to determine is how stable this position
is and what prospects for advancement there are. Is this a
static position that has little opportunity for growth or is it
a position that offers the ability to interact with other
departments, learn new skills and be challenged in the future?
Why are they looking?
What happened to the person who was in this position?
A general question to find out why the person left and
what the attitudes are towards the incumbent. It will also
provide information on where the person has moved on within the
company. This lets you know what the promotional possibilities
How long have you been looking?
Find out if they are in a panic or if they are taking a
more measured approach to this hiring. Also, if they have been
looking for a long time, maybe your negotiating position will be
strengthened if you have the skills they need.
How has the position become available?
Did the incumbent quit suddenly or was there a promotion
internally, or are they unhappy with the person that they have?
How often do you look to fill this job?
Informs you whether or not it is a position that has a
high turnover, a position that is vacant only rarely or if it
has been newly created.
After you establish why they are looking, you need to
understand what they are looking for. Not every position has a
growth curve. Do you have what they require and will you be
happy with the scope of the responsibilities in the long run?
What are they looking for?
What is the most challenging part of this job?
This gives you a sense of whether or not the interviewer
understands the demands of the job and the expectations placed
on the successful candidate.
What role will I play in the department?
This will indicate how important your job is in the
organizational scheme of things. It gives you a sense of the
level of responsibility involved and how visible the position is
for future promotions.
What kind of person has been successful in this job (in
Understand the personality traits they are looking for.
Different jobs demand different levels of aggression, patience,
interpersonal skills, ability to work with or without support
and the ability to withstand pressure and stress. Make sure that
the demands of the job reflect your basic style and personal
How will you measure my performance?
It is important that you know what the expectations of
performance are and what factors they will review to assess your
progress. Are the standards and benchmarks realistic and
achieveable? As recruiters we often see people who are attracted
by the higher income and greater reponsibilities of a career
move, only to find out in the fullness of time that the
expectations are either unrealistic or not suitable to their
level of skill or knowledge.
What does the future hold?
If you are going to assume the risk of making a career
move, you want to ensure that there are prospects for long term
job satisfaction. Where will you progress to in the company? The
best promotional opportunities occur in positions of higher
risk. What can they offer you in the way of growth and in what
Where will I go within the company in the future?
This will tell you what you can look forward to. If there
is a clear path of succession mapped out within the department,
then you are more likely to be happier in the long-term. If this
position is a good entry point into the firm, you may have more
options for growth in different departments. If the interviewer
or hiring manager is vague or non-committal about your
prospects, there may be limited scope in the future.
These are a few of the questions that you can consider
when assessing the suitability of an employer. You owe it to
yourself to have a clear understanding of their expectations to
avoid making a move for short term gain but long-term