Questions You Can Ask During an Interview

It is important that you ask questions during interviews.  Firstly, interviewing is a two-way street and you need to determine if the position and company are a good fit for you.  Secondly, asking questions shows your interest and enthusiasm in the position.

  • Select between five and ten questions to write down.
  • Bring them with you to the interview in a clipboard or folder.
  • If you wish, it is appropriate to take notes on the interviewer’s responses.

The Company

What are the major challenges and objectives faced by the company at this time?

How many employees does the company currently have?

What are the major ways you see employees contributing to the company at this time?

The Job

Why is the position open?

Is it a new position or was there a prior incumbent?

     a.    If newly created position:

Why was position created?

What factors led to this decision?

     b.    If prior incumbent:

Where did past incumbent go?

If promoted, where and when?

If transferred, where and when?

If resigned, why?

If fired, why?  In what ways did performance fall short?

Why isn't this position being filled from within the company?

To whom does this position report?

Are any changes in reporting relationship anticipated?  If so, why?

What are the names and titles of those individuals reporting directly to this position?

What positions report to this job indirectly (through others)?

What are the functions/responsibilities of this position?

What are the key ongoing responsibilities of this position?

Are there any changes expected in these responsibilities?  If so, what, why, and when?

Other than these ongoing responsibilities, is this position responsible for meeting any special objectives?  If so, what are they?  What is the status of each?

What improvement would you like to see in this position?

What key problems or barriers have prevented progress in these areas in the past?

Performance Evaluation

Is there a formal performance evaluation system?

What is the basis for measuring employee performance?  What criteria are used?

How does the performance evaluation system work?

How frequently are performance evaluations done?

Is there input into this system by persons other than the immediate supervisor?  If so, by whom?

What opportunity is there for employee input?

What form does this performance evaluation take?


Does the company have formal salary ranges for given jobs?

How are these salary ranges determined?

What is the salary range of this position?

Benefits – upon job offer

It is important that you not take up valuable interview time discussing benefits.  Usually, the employer will have a written summary of the company's benefits which can be made available to you for the asking.  If the following questions are not answered by reading this summary, and there is reason to believe that the employer has strong interest in your employment candidacy, you should ask to speak to someone in the human resources department to secure answers to your remaining questions.

What insurance benefits are provided by the company?

     a.    Life insurance?

     b.    Hospitalization?

     c.    Surgical?

     d.    Major medical?

     e.    Disability?

     f.     Dental?

     g.    Other?

What is the extent of the coverage?

What will be your cost for carrying the coverage?

Which of these policies provide for dependant coverage?

What is the cost for such coverage?  Are they paid by the company, the employee, or both?

Is there a retirement plan?  If so:

     a.    Is it contributory or non-contributory?

     b.    What is the employee's contribution amount?

     c.    What is the retirement benefit amount?

Is there a profit sharing program?  If so, how does it work and what has the payout history been like?

Is there a savings and investment plan?  If so, how does it work?

Is there paid sick leave?  If so, how does it work?

Are there company paid holidays?  What are they?

What is your vacation policy?  How does it work?

What other benefits does the organization provide?  Describe.

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