Northeastern British Columbia




The 4 Ps of Interviews

Types of Interviews

5 Employer Concerns

Dress for the Interview

Interview Questions You May be Asked

Sample Interview Questions to Ask  Sample Interview Questions Not To Ask

Thank You Letters

Informational Interviews

Questions to Ask


A few key principles about asking questions:

  1. Ask only those questions to which you want an answer. This may seem obvious, but many people will ask questions merely to impress the interviewer. Why waste your time and theirs when they are likely to see through your smoke-screen?

  2. Ask questions that reveal the depth of your research and your interest in the job. In other words, don't ask questions that are easily answered on the company Web site or in the job description. (You do have a copy of the job description, don't you?)

  3. Don't ask questions about salary, vacation, or other benefits until you are offered the job. If you do ask, the interviewer will be inclined to think that you are more interested in the money than in the position. (There are exceptions to this rule — for, instance, if you already have experience in this field and need to know if the job falls within your acceptable salary range.) Take a look at Richard Fein's "Rogue's Gallery of 16 Awful Questions."

Some sample questions:

  1. How and when will my performance be evaluated on this job? How is success measured in this department / organization?

  2. I read in your literature that your training program is comprised of three six-month rotations. Does the employee have any input into where he will go at the end of each rotation? How do you evaluate the employee's performance during the training period?

  3. I read in Business Week that a major competitor of yours is increasing its market share in your main market. What plans does your firm have to regain its lost market share?

  4. Can you please tell me how your career has developed at this organization? Would someone entering the firm today have similar opportunities?

  5. What will my typical day be like?

  6. What is an average week in this job really like?

  7. What are the challenging facets of the job?

  8. What is the number one priority of the person who accepts this job?

  9. What do you consider the five most important day-to-day responsibilities of this job?

  10. What are some examples of the best results produced by people in this position?

  11. Does the management encourage the policy of promotion from within the organization?

  12. What are the organization's plans for future growth or change?

  13. What makes your firm, hospital, school system, ad agency, etc., different?

  14. What are the organization's strengths, and what challenges does it face?

  15. How would you describe your organization's personality and management style?

  16. What do your company's managers and supervisors have in common?

  17. What are your expectations for new hires within their first three to six months on the job? The first year?

  18. What might I expect to be doing over the next three to five years?

  19. Describe the work environment.

  20. What is the overall structure of the department where the position is located?

  21. What do you see as the strengths of the department?

  22. What does the department hope to achieve in the next two to three years?

  23. How will that help the organization?

  24. What is the biggest single problem facing the organization now?

  25. What could be done if an employee doesn't feel challenged or satisfied?

  26. Are lateral or rotational job moves available to provide broader experience?

  27. Are they considered valuable?

  28. How are employees able to stay current on changes and trends in their field?

  29. What qualities are you looking for in your new hires?

  30. What happened to the last person who had this job?

  31. Is this a new position?  How long has this position existed?

  32. How many people have held this position in the last two years?

  33. Who would be my supervisor?  To whom would I report?

  34. Whom will I supervise?

  35. With whom will I be working most closely?

  36. What characteristics does a successful person have in your organization?

  37. How often are performance reviews given and how are they conducted?

  38. What are the company's values? What does the company stand for?

  39. How are the company's values reflected in everyday activities?

  40. What's the best thing about working here? the worst thing?

  41. What is unique about the way this company operates?

  42. Why did you come to work here?

  43. What keeps you here?

  44. What skills have helped you the most?

  45. Nursing candidates may wish to ask about orientation, promotions, shift differentials, chain of command, malpractice policies.

  46. Education candidates may wish to ask about in-service training and opportunities for professional development; textbook selection procedures; approaches to curricula; parental involvement in school-related issues or Parent Councils; median age/turnover of faculty; master's degree requirements.

  47. When can I expect to hear from you?

Boston College