The other side of the coin: Questions for the Interviewer from the Interviewee

In a previous blog, I wrote about questions that are asked of the interviewee. Today we flip the coin, and think about questions that the interviewee asks to the interviewer.

In most interviewing situations, the interviewer gives a quick overview of the job and department and how it fits into the rest of the company. Then they ask you questions. At the end, they ask if you have any questions.

Always, always have questions.

Do NOT ask about salary, benefits or vacation time. Unless they bring it up, keep that for after they make you an offer.

Take notes during the interview to glean information from the interviewer, then ask deeper questions.

  1. How many people are in the department? Do they do the same kind of work as I would be doing? (If not) Is there cross-training between the people of the department?
  2. Would I be doing solely XYZ, or would I also have a chance to do ABC?
  3. Are there times when I would be expected to work longer hours, or weekends? I don’t have a problem with that. (if true!)
  4. It sometimes helps to summarize: “So this is a department of 10 people, all of which would be working on separate parts of the project, and we would be expected to only go to the Team Leader to answer any questions, and not other team partners?”
  5. Can you tell me about the other members of the team?
  6. What is the first problem that needs the attention of the person you hire?   *This is from 301 Best Questions to Ask on Your Interview by John Kador. 

When things seem to be wrapping up, remember to tell him/her that you are very interested in this position. If they have not already stated, ask what are the next steps. When are you looking to make your decision? Would it be okay if I call next week to follow-up?

It’s not “fair” but a reality of life: first impressions count. Dress for business. Don’t show cleavage.  Don’t wear every piercing you own. Cover tattoos.  Like I said, it’s not fair, but it is the way it is.  

Have a firm handshake, not soggy, but not so firm that you hurt the other person. I was surprised how many people actually do that.  
Smile.  You got this.  


2 thoughts on “The other side of the coin: Questions for the Interviewer from the Interviewee

    1. Yes, you’re right, looking them in the eyes is important. I coached Josh for his interview at Burger King many moons ago. First “real” job. Smile/handshake/ eye contact is important. The guy that got interviewed right before him was told, “okay, we’ll see what we can do.” Josh was told, “Be here Friday to start work.” So Josh got to see for himself what worked and what didn’t. The guy before him didn’t smile or talk much.


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