Questions to ask at an Interview

Questions you SHOULD ask at a job interview

After 30 minutes or more of the grinding you with questions, the interviewer will inevitably give the stage to you – to let you ask some questions that are important to you. This is where you can really demonstrate that you are genuinely interested in the job and that you are different from other applicants. But here is where most people stumble – they say ‘umm’, ‘ahh’, or worse of all ‘no’. This is like choking the golden egg laying duck with your own hands. Do not choke your opportunity – ask bright questions that set you apart from the crowd. Here are some that you can ask:

  1. How long have you been with this firm? What in your opinion sets this place from other companies?
  2. What is the one thing that makes you stick with this firm?
  3. I saw on your website about the Employee Support program – can you tell me more about it? Have you ever made use of it? What has been your experience with it?
  4. How would you describe your typical day at work?
  5. How are the prospects for growth at this company for someone willing to work hard?
  6. What are the two critical things that you are looking for in an applicant for this position?
  7. What factors contributed to your success at this company?
  8. I have noticed that there is a positive trend in the stocks of the company for the last 2 years, what changes made this possible?

Question #1 How long have you been with this firm? What in your opinion sets this place from other companies?

Follow up/probing:  Listen intensely and ask follow up questions.  You should pick something interviewer is excited about and ask a question about it, for example, ‘You said you like the Employee Encouragement Program – can you tell me more about it?’

Critical:  It is critical that you paraphrase some part of what the interviewer says and ask probing question(s) around that.


Question #2 What is the one thing that makes you stick with this firm?

Follow up/probing: In responding to this question, Interviewer is most likely to be passionate about something about the work place – it is VERY important that you dig more into it, at the minimum, ask one question about the thing that interviewer is excited about, for instance ‘you mentioned that the company has the best training program, how is it different from the training programs offered in other companies?’

Critical: It is very critical that you do not skip over the topics that are dear and near to the interviewer.  Spend more time on the topics that interviewer sounds excited about.


Question #3 I saw on your website about the Employee Support program – can you tell me more about it? Have you ever made use of it? What has been your experience with it?

Follow up/probing: ‘You mentioned that no other company offers such a program – what benefit does the company see in particular in investing in this program?’

Critical: Always stick to the topic of conversation – do not jump into other topics that are not in discussion at the moment.


Question #4 How would you describe your typical day at work?

Follow up/probing: Pick one or two things that peak your interest and ask a question about it.  Remember this should feel like a conversation and not a ‘pre-conceived’ mock.

Critical: Never sound artificial or disconnected – always be involved in the conversation and ask the right follow up questions that naturally occur to you.


Question #5 How are the prospects for growth at this company for someone willing to work hard?

Follow up/probing:  Always seek more information about time-line.  ‘What is the typical time period for someone to get promoted from a Senior to a Manager?’

Critical: Ask the questions that show that you have long term plans for the career with company.


Question #6 What are the two critical things that you are looking for in an applicant for this position?

Follow up/explanation: Relate some of the responsibilities that you had held with the things that are highlighted by the interviewer in response to the above question.


Question #7 What factors contributed to your success at this company?

Follow up/probing: Listen closely.  These are the things that your interviewer wants you to do.  Make a note of these – consciously or unconsciously – as these are things that will help you succeed should you get the offer.

Critical: Pay attention to the key words – such as ‘hard-work’, ‘team work’, ‘creativity’, ‘challenge’ etc., and ask probing questions – such as ‘how many members are there in the current team?’.


Question #8 I have noticed that there is a positive trend in the stocks of the company for the last 2 years, what changes made this possible?

Follow up/probing: In case of positive trend you can probe more like if they have plans in place to increase this trend etc.,

Critical: If the trend is negative, and if you have already asked enough questions, you may skip this question, however, if the trend is positive – then you can ask this toward the end.