What type of questions should you ask an employer in an interview?

One of the more common tips that many people omit is asking questions at the end of the interview. You should ALWAYS ask questions in an interview. The interview should be a dialogue between the two parties. Towards the end of an interview, you will usually be asked if you have any more questions. This is your time to shine.

No matter how well or poorly your interview has gone, asking good questions can turn the tide. If you have thoroughly researched the company and position, you should have some very good, intelligent questions to ask. Asking good questions shows that you are prepared and that you are serious about the position. Have at least five questions to ask the employer. You can also use this opportunity to address any questions they asked you that you think you may have answered poorly or incompletely.

Here are some sample questions you can use, but be sure to create your own based on your research.

About the Organization

  • What do you like best about working here? What project are you most excited about right now?
  • What kind of person is most successful in this environment?
  • What is your ideal employee like? Can you describe the type of employee who works well with you?
  • What are the opportunities for advancement with this organization?
  • What do you see for this company’s growth in the next 5 years?
  • How would you describe the company culture?

About the Job

  • Is this a new position? How long has this position existed?
  • What would be a typical first assignment?
  • What do I need to accomplish in the first 6 months for you to consider me a great hire?
  • How would describe a typical day in this position?
  • How would doing an excellent job be defined in this position?
  • Was the last person in this job promoted? What contributed to his or her advancement?
  • What are the most challenging aspects of this job?
  • What are the priorities in this role?
  • What have been identified as the areas for change and improvement in this role?
  • How often would my performance be reviewed?
  • To whom would I be reporting?

General Questions

  • Is there anything in my background that I can explain further?
  • Would there be anything I could do to prepare for the first day on the job?
  • May I contact you if I think of any other questions?

Illegal Interview Questions

Some employers are not well trained on proper interview questions, and sometimes there is a fine line between an illegal and a legal question. Federal and state laws prohibit prospective employers from asking certain questions that are not related to the job for which they are hiring. Questions should be job‐related and not used to find out personal information. In a nutshell, employers should not be asking about the following:

  1. Race
  2. Gender
  3. Religion
  4. Marital/family status
  5. Age
  6. Disability
  7. Ethnic background
  8. National origin or birthplace
  9. Sexual orientation

If you are asked an illegal question, remember to remain polite and professional.

Last Updated November 22, 2017