JSD Consulting

2-Way Dialogue. Questions to ask

Your interviews, should be a two-way conversation, a business discussion between equals. You must ask questions and take an active role in the interview. This demonstrates the importance you place on your work and career. Asking questions gives you a chance to demonstrate your depth of knowledge in the field as well as to establish an easy flow of conversation and relaxed atmosphere between you and the interviewer. Building this kind of rapport is always a plus in an interview.

Remember, you are not just there for the interviewer to determine if you are a right for the position, but your questions can help you determine if this job is right for you. Some of your questions should evolve from research you’ve done on the company in preparing for the interview.

Guidelines for your questions and some examples

Guidelines

  • Don’t cross-examine the employer
  • Ask questions requiring an explanation
    Questions, which can be answered with a “yes” or “no”, are conversation stoppers
  • Don’t interrupt when the employer is answering YOUR question
  • Ask job-relevant questions
    Focus on the role, the company, products, services, and people
  • Prior to the interview, write your list of questions and take them with you
  • Ask about your potential peers, subordinates and superiors
    Take notes
  • Ask the employer how he/she got where they are today

Examples

  • Insight Questions
    • Why do you want someone for this job?
    • Force the interviewer to explain why this job can’t be done by one of his current employees. The answer may give you a valuable job description.
  • Job Satisfaction Questions

    Ask questions that relate to the responsibilities, importance and authority of the position, as well as those investigating the rewards for a job well done and the career opportunities.

  • Past Performance Questions

    Why isn’t this position being filled from within the company?
    You may rapidly discover that nobody in this organisation would accept it or that your future fellow employees are a weak lot.

    How many people have held this job in the last five years?
    Were they promoted or did they leave the company?

    If the turnover has been high, you have a right to suspect that the job may leave something to be desired. Or, it could mean that you can expect to be promoted quickly.

    How did you get started in the company?
    A good way to get to know the interviewer better and gain insight into the promotional path the company follows.

    What are examples of the best results produced by people in this job?
    Here you may discover you are over qualified or in a position to ask for considerably more money.

Further Examples

  • What would my responsibilities and duties entail?
  • What are the most difficult aspects of the position?
  • Describe a typical day on the job.
  • Describe the department’s/company’s growth in the next two years.
  • What is the philosophy on training and development here?
  • Has there been downsizing within the company? How is it handled?
  • How do you think I’d fit into the job and into your organisation?
  • What projects would I be involved in now? In the future?
  • Who would I be working for and with?
  • What is the person doing who used to hold this position?
  • When would you need me to start?
  • May I see my work area?
  • May I meet some of my future co-workers?