Questions to Ask - MM

Asking good questions is the easiest and most effective way to convey your interest to an employer.  You no doubt would want to ask what kinds of things you will be doing on a regular basis in this position, and whom you would interact with. 


Hopefully you can get a few good ideas about questions to ask in an interview.


“Are there products not presented on the company web site your company has developed, or is representing?”


“Are there plans for an expansion of product areas or expansion of the physical Headquarters ?


“Who are the main competitors, and how is your company performing lately compared to the competition?”


“What is the future business outlook for your company in the next 2, 5 and 10 years?”



I pulled the following questions from an article I saw quite a while back.  Some of these may overlap from other questions above.  Just as you will be fielding questions from your interviewer, it is best to ask some of your own.  It shows that you may be genuinely interested in working there, and that you have interest in finding out as much as you can so that you can make a well-informed decision if offered this job.  You should steer clear of asking any personal questions or any questions that are not directly job related.

1)  Why is this position available right now?
2)  What should a new person do differently from the last person? 
3)  What would you most like to see done in the next 6 months? 
4)  What are the most difficult problems that this jobs entails? 
5)  How much freedom do I have in the decision making process?
6)  What are my opportunities for advancement? 
7)  How has this company succeeded in the past? 
8)  What changes do you envision in near future for this company?
9)  What do you think constitutes success in this job?

The following is an excerpt from article that was sent my way, and I thought I’d pass it along:


“I recently interviewed an excellent candidate for a position at our growing startup. The woman had an incredible resume, an infectious personality, and, seemingly, a great work ethic. She was dressed for success, with a style fitting our culture. She answered all of my questions well, and seemed like a potential excellent fit for our company. Yet, despite all of this, she didn’t receive another interview, and I absolutely couldn’t seriously consider hiring her.  What went wrong?


When I asked her what questions she had for me, the job candidate replied, “None, really. I’ve been following you guys online for awhile and feel like I know everything already.”


“That was a fatal error, of course. By not asking questions, she told me she wasn’t truly interested in learning more, in creating value, and in our company. I couldn’t hire an otherwise very-well-qualified candidate because, in her lack of questions, she displayed a lack of passion for, interest in, and curiosity about our company and the position.”


Again, an important thing in an interview is to try to ask really good questions, and not questions that you should know the answers to already (“What does the position entail?) or questions that make it all about you (“What is your vacation policy?”)


Here are other questions you can use or make your own on your next job interview.  Obviously they're generic and should be tailored, based on circumstances.

1)  Who would make the ideal candidate for this position?

2)  How will the work I’ll be doing contribute to the organization’s mission?

3)  What were the best things about the last person who held this position?

4)  What are three ways I can contribute to the company beyond the job description?

5)  How can I best contribute to the department’s goals?

6)  How do you see me best contributing to the corporate culture and morale?

7)  What do you see as the biggest challenges of working here and how can I overcome those challenges?

8)  What is your vision for where the company or department will be in one year? In 3-5 years?

9) How can I best help you and the team succeed?


Of course, the more research you do in advance, the more you can ask specific questions about the company’s recent news, blog posts, product launches, plans, etc.  But here’s the bottom line:

Ask questions that demonstrate genuine interest in the organization and how you can fit in to their success. 


Remember, also, job interviewing is a two-way-street!  By asking questions, you can get a much better sense of the organization you’re interviewing with, and the extent to which you’d even want to work there. 


An interview can be just like a date.  A date is a two way street-- where both parties are seeing if this is a right fit. The dater who talks and talks, even if they're a good match, seems disinterested in the other person. It's the same with interviewing.  Show that you are invested and interested in the person, by asking questions.