It’s Your Turn: What
To Ask An Interviewer
interviewer asks you, "Do you have any questions for me?"
You say ... "Yes!"
This is the easiest interview question out there. Always say yes.
Asking questions shows that you're interested in the job. It also
gives you a chance to show how knowledgeable you are about the
position and the industry. Most important, it lets you highlight why
you're the perfect candidate.
You have to choose your questions carefully, though, depending on
who's doing the interviewing. An excellent question for a recruiter
might be inappropriate for an executive. And you don't want to ask
your potential boss something that's best suited for a future
there are certain questions you should never ask early in the
interview process -- no matter whom you're meeting. Don't ask about
salary, vacation, 401(k) or anything else that might make you seem
more interested in the compensation than the company.
article shares questions appropriate for every type of interviewer.
The Recruiter: The 'Big Picture' Person
recruiter's job to identify strong candidates and guide them through
the hiring process. Think of the recruiter as the "big picture"
person. They can give you an overview of the company and the
department as a whole. (Save very specific questions about the job
for the hiring manager.) The recruiter is also the best person to
answer questions about the hiring process.
questions to ask the recruiter:
How would you describe the company culture?
What type of employees tend to excel at this company?
Can you tell me more about the interview process?
The Hiring Manager: Your Future Boss
hiring manager will likely supervise you if you get the job. They're
the most knowledgeable people about the position and its
requirements. You should direct specific questions about the job,
its responsibilities and its challenges to them. You may also want
to ask what kind of candidate they're seeking.
questions to ask the hiring manager:
What are the most important skills for the job?
How would you describe your ideal candidate?
What's a common career path at the company for someone in this
The Executive: The Industry Expert
managers and executives are likely to be most knowledgeable about
the latest happenings in their industry. If you'll be working
closely with an executive, you can ask them some specifics about the
job. But you should focus most of your questions on the future of
the company and the industry. This is your chance to show off your
questions to ask a senior manager or executive:
How do you think this industry will change in the next five
What do you think gives this company an edge over its
What's the company's biggest challenge? How is it planning to
meet that challenge?
The Coworker: The Straight-Talker
interviews will also include a meeting with a potential coworker --
the interviewer most likely to "tell it how it is." A potential
colleague may be most candid about the job, its challenges and the
work environment. However, don't expect inside information -- and
certainly don't ask for it.
questions to ask a potential coworker:
What's a typical day like in the department?
How would you describe the work environment at the company?
What's the most enjoyable part of your job? What's the most