Interviewing 101: Questions to Ask the Employer

An interview isn’t just a chance for the employer to get to know you—it’s also a chance for you to get to know the company at which you’re applying. Just as the hiring manager is trying to figure out whether you’d be a good fit for the company, you in turn should make sure that the job, company culture and work environment is a good fit for you!
Coming to the interview with some questions prepared in advance demonstrates to the employer that you’re interested in more than a paycheck—you’re interested in becoming a contributing, integrated member of the team and organization.

Basic Questions to Ask the Interviewer

Use the following list of questions as a starting point when thinking about what to ask the hiring manager:

  • Why is this job open?
  • What are the organization’s most important goals this year?
  • Can you describe a typical day for the person in this job?
  • What types of training are provided?
  • Please describe the advancement opportunities in the company.
  • What is your management style (or that of my prospective supervisor)?
  • What changes do you see in the company’s future
  • When do you expect to make hiring decision?
  • When can I start?

Preparing Your Own Questions for the Interview

Now complete the following exercise, keeping in mind the specific company or agency at which you want to interview.

  • What job are you applying for?
  • What kind of company or agency is it?
  • What questions will you ask in the interview:
    • About the work itself?
    • About the work environment?
    • To show interest in the organization beyond the specific job?
    • To show you are ambitious and want a future career path?
    • About what is important in the organization?
    • About how your work will be evaluated?

Develop at least five questions you could ask in the interview and add them to the list you started above.