In a previous post we looked at the Most Common Job Interview Questions that you can expect a hiring manager to ask you; in this post, we will look at the reverse: what questions should you ask the interviewer? Obviously, the questions that you ask are highly position-dependent and situation-dependent; the list below provides many general ones from which to pick and choose. Be selective: you probably should not be asking the interviewer as many or more questions than they ask you. Also, don’t worry about memorizing any of these; there is nothing wrong with printing out these questions and referring to the print-out during your interview.
- Can you tell me a little bit more about this position?
- Please describe your ideal candidate for this position.
- What did the previous person in the position do successfully, and what were some things you would have preferred he or she do differently?
- What are the most important objectives for the person filling the position? What results are expected of this position?
- What characteristics – personal and technical – must an individual possess to be successful in this position?
- What support is available to help me fulfill my position here? What are the people and financial resources available for this position?
- Will I supervise anyone?
- Are there any projects in motion for which I will inherit responsibility? What are their history and status?
- How is the finance (or accounting, or technology, etc.) function viewed by management? How important a role does it play in the management of the company?
- What are the goals of this company and department? How does this position relate to the rest of the organization, and how important is it to the company’s objectives?
- Could you describe the general corporate policies and goals, or “mission”, and how does this position affect this objective?
- How would you describe your personal management style? Is this consistent with the corporate approach?
- What criteria will be used to evaluate my performance?
- What can you tell me about my peers in this position?
- Why did you come to work here, and why do you stay?
Bear in mind, though, that there are questions you should almost never ask in an interview; for example, questions related to benefits, salary, health care, time off, etc., should be saved for when a formal offer is made because at no other point will you have a stronger hand in negotiating these things.