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It's Your Turn.....Asking Questions in an Interview


Remember that an interview is a two-way conversation. For you, the interview has two purposes: one, to sell yourself, and two, to evaluate the position. After asking questions, the interviewer usually invites you to ask questions. By asking informed questions, such as the following, you not only gain knowledge about the potential employer, but you also make a good impression:

• What is the size of the division, sales volume, earnings?

• Does the company plan to expand?

• What are the significant trends in the industry?

• Are any acquisitions, divestitures, or proxy fights on the horizon?

• Who is the owner, chief executive, or president?

• What is his or her character and how does this influence the organization?

• How does the organization rank within its field?

• What is the public image of the company?

• What is the reputation of the department to which I am applying?

• What are the greatest problems of this department and company?

• What are the greatest strengths of this department and company?

• What would you expect me to accomplish in this job?

• What responsibilities have the highest priority?
• How much time should be devoted to each area of responsibility?

• How might these responsibilities and priorities change?

• What qualifications are you looking for in the person who fills this job?

• If this position is offered to me, why should I accept it?

• What are the initial projects for which I would be responsible?

• What are some examples of the achievements of others who have been in this position?

• How much travel is involved?
• Why isn't this job being filled from within?

• What is the history of this position?

• How many people have held this job in the last five years? Where are they now?

• How soon do you expect to make a decision?

• If I am offered the position, how soon will you need my response?

When the position involves management of other employees, these questions may be appropriate:

• How much authority will I have in running the department?
• Are there any difficult personalities on the staff?

• What will be the greatest challenge in the job?

• Who would be under my supervision?

• What are those employees' backgrounds?

• How do you feel about their performance?

• How does their pay compare with what they could get elsewhere?

• What is the philosophy of the management team?

• May I see an organizational chart?

• To whom would I report?

• What is your management style?

• What are the company's strengths and weaknesses?

• What should be the relationship between superior and subordinate?