Interviewers expect candidates to ask questions, and they consider the quality of the questions when evaluating the candidate. Think of what you want to know to determine fit while also showing the interviewer that you’re serious about the position.
- Prepare a list of questions as you’re researching the position and organization prior to the interview.
- Avoid questions that are answered on the organization’s website. In the first interview, avoid questions that focus on what they can do for you (salary, benefits, etc.).
- During the interview, listen carefully to how they describe the position and their needs. Don’t ask anything they’ve answered during the course of the interview. Asking them to elaborate on something is fine.
- In your padfolio or portfolio, have your list of questions handy in case you need to refer to it at the appropriate time. You will likely have time to ask between 2 and 5 questions, but prepare more in the event several are answered during the interview.
- You may interview with multiple people during the day. Each person will notice the questions you ask, so don’t be tempted to stop simply because you’ve gotten responses from others earlier.
Questions You Might Ask
These examples are not listed in priority order.
- What are the most critical factors for success in this role?
- What goals need to be achieved in the first three months?
- What’s the most important contribution I can make in the first 60 to 90 days?
- What do you enjoy most about working here?
- How do you see this role supporting the larger team?
- How will my performance be evaluated?
- How would you describe the organization’s culture?
- How would you describe the management style of the department?
- In your opinion, what is a strength of this organization? A challenge?
- What does a typical day look like?
- Where have high-performers in this role gone after this position?
- I noticed on your website that ___. Can you tell me more about that?
- You mentioned earlier that ____. That sounds interesting – can you elaborate on that?
- I’m very interested in this opportunity and hope we’ll be talking again. Is there a date I might expect to hear from you?
Research questions recommended for the type of interview you’ll have. Some questions fit any type of interview, but some are especially suited for interviews with med schools, professional schools, graduate programs, campus organizations, etc. Ask advice from those who have experienced such interviews. You can also ask your career consultant for suggestions.