50 Killer Questions For Job Seekers To Ask On Interviews

by Rich DeMatteo on November 7, 2011 · 41 comments

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From what I’ve seen in my experience, job seekers that ask thought provoking questions raise their chance of making it to the next step of the interview process.  Trust me… it’s science.

It makes sense though, doesn’t it?  When job seekers push the recruiter/interviewer to think hard and respond with a thoughtful answer, respect is the result.

Many of my career coaching clients have recently been asking for advice on this subject.  To make it easier on them, you, and myself, here are 50 Killer Questions for YOU to ask on interviews:

 

Questions About The Company

1.  Is the company financially stable?

2.  On average, how many new employees does the company hire each year?

3.  Can you tell me about the turnover rate at the company?

4.  Has the company received any major awards or recognition recently?

5.  What needs to happen for the company to be successful?

6.  What are the current and long-term goals for the company?

7.  Can you name some of the competing companies?

8.  Can you talk about the current morale at the company?  Why is it good/bad?

9.  What do you think is the future of the industry?

10.  How many people are currently employed by the company?

11.   Are any positions or functions at this company outsourced?

12.  Can you explain a typical successful employee at this company?

 

Questions About The Position

13.  How would you describe the responsibilities of this specific position?

14.  Are there any job tasks for this position that aren’t on the job description?

15.  What would be expected of me in the first 90 days?

16.  What would be expected of me in my first year?

17.  Would I be working with a specific or multiple product(s) that the company produces?

18.  How does this specific position fit into the company’s current and long-term plans?

19.  Who are the major internal and external customers that I would interact with?

20.  How would you describe a typical week/day in this position?

21.  Can you break down the job tasks in percentage of time spent?

22.  How much travel is expected for this position?

23.  How can I be successful in this role?

24.  What is the most important responsibility for this position?

25.  How many hours should I expect to work?  Is overtime expected?

 

Questions About The Manager

26.  Who would be my manager?

27.  Was my manager promoted from within the company or was he/she an external hire?

28.  Can you tell me about my supervisor’s management style?

29.  How long has the manager been in his/her current role?

30.  How many years of experience do they have in management?

31.  What are some characteristics of people that perform well under this manager?

32.  Would my manager work in the same location as I do?

 

Questions About The Department

33.  What are some of the other position titles in the department?

34.  What are some of the current goals for the department?

35.  Where does the department need to improve?

36.  What are some recent successes for the department?

37.  What is the departments morale like?

38.  How is communication between this department and others?

 

Questions About Who You’re Replacing

39.  Is this a new position?  If not, where did the previous employee in this role go?

40.  When people decide to leave this company or position on their own, what is the most reoccurring reason for their departure?

 

Questions About Career Path and Advancing

41.  Have any of the executives at the company worked their way up into their current role from entry level or mid-career positions?

42.  Can you tell me about potential career paths that are available to a successful employee in this role?

43.  What process is used and how often does the company measure performance?

44.  When would the company like the successful candidate to be promoted from this position?

 

Questions About Next Steps

45.  If I’m extended a job offer, when would the company like me to start?

46.  What are the next steps from here?

47.  When can I expect to hear back about the position?

48.  How would you like me to follow up if I don’t hear from you?

49.  Are there any other questions that I can answer for you?

50.  If you find that I’m not a fit for this role, are there other positions here that I may be better suited for?

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23 comments
kelly_smith01
kelly_smith01

Some of these questions should have already been addressed by the research the interviewee conducted prior to the interview. Asking questions for information which is available through s little fundamental research indicated poor preparation and possibly lack of interest to the interviewer.  

sarkari naukri
sarkari naukri

interview questions are polished tools used by the company to select appropriate candidate great list.

peopleproject
peopleproject

Rich you rock! Just shared this list with a few candidates 

Tiffany Kuehl
Tiffany Kuehl

I agree with Evans4life. If an interviewee does not have questions, it makes me wonder how interested they are in the position and/or the company. Great list of questions. I've asked several of them myself as a job seeker and highly recommend to those seeking advice for their own searches. Thanks!

Ron Kerns
Ron Kerns

I am looking through this list (I have an interview tomorrow)... Somewhat puzzled... If you have to ask the interviewer questions like "Can you name some of the competing companies?" or "How many people are currently employed by the company?" then that SHOULD raise a "redflag" that you haven't done your research! The job seeker should find out that kind of information BEFORE going into the interview...

Daniel Proczko
Daniel Proczko

Great questions here. I've asked many of them in past interviews and its strange when you catch the interviewer off fairs and they can't answer a question. I'm always being negative about managers and the past places I've worked. Always felt so disorganized. I will keep this post bookmarked. Great resource.

Teresa
Teresa

Great tool for prep! How can I make it a printable version to have when practicing time comes for interviews? Copy/paste is ugly format.

MEL CONLEY
MEL CONLEY

HI RICK, I AM AN EMPLOYER DEVELOPMENT SPECIALIST WITH AMERICORPS, AND, DO MOCK INTERVIEWS WITH VETS. PLEASE TELL ME HOW I CAN HAVE THIS LIST SENT TO ME THAT I MIGHT SHARE WITH THE HIGH VOLUME OF VETS WITH WHICH I WORK.. THANK YOU IN ADVANCE FOR YOUR HELP ON THIS.

Paul
Paul

This is a great article. Thank you for the information. It is really helpful. I am going to print this out and study it for my job hunt and possibly bring it with me. This is absolutely helpful and may even show that you are interested in showing them you want to learn how to succeed at the company. Thanks again!

Ashlee
Ashlee

These are great questions. Most sites list generic questions that everyone asks during interviews.

Glenn Clegg
Glenn Clegg

Very good article. Thank you Rich. I am glad I found your site. I could use all the help I can get.

Michael Stephens
Michael Stephens

Great post. I'm sure there will be a job seeker somewhere who will get a job this week (in part) due to this list.

lola
lola

brilliant post! thank you so much.

Wanda
Wanda

This is great! Thank you!

James
James

When given a chance, jobseekers (read interviewees) should be well-prepared to ask some of the most intelligent questions. The interviewer can easily gauge a jobseeker's interest by the questions that the latter asks. Thanks for this cool list of questions?

Trish McFarlane
Trish McFarlane

Valuable list. I just shared with three job seekers who were recently laid off. Thanks for sharing.

Erica
Erica

Great post, I'm always trying to brainstorm new questions to ask during interviews! Thanks for sharing :)

Rich DeMatteo
Rich DeMatteo

Hey Ron - thanks for the comment. Sure, it's a red flag, but there might be some situations where it's OK to ask that question. I can't tell you exactly when, but I figured I'd toss them in just incase someone hasn't thought about that yet. Thanks again!

Rich DeMatteo
Rich DeMatteo

Hey Trish! Been a while... how have you been? Thanks for sharing!

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