5 Questions to Ask in an Interview

Carly Naaktgeboren
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You’ve stressed all day.  You’ve prepped, practiced, and preened.  You’ve walked in and nailed all the necessary responses. Then, the tables turn and you’re asked that final, dreaded: “do you have any questions for me?”  This portion of a job interview can seem one of the most intimidating. It is very, very highly recommended that you ask questions of your interviewer. It shows a vested interest and helps them to know more about you and what you consider important in the workplace.  But you don’t want to ask questions they’ve already answered in general conversation and you don’t want to ask something that sounds overly preplanned. Have these five go to questions in your back pocket so that you don’t sweat the last hurdle and score yourself a job!


1. What is your history with this company?

They’re some form of management, right?  Why? How long have they been working there? Were they an outside hire or did they rise through the ranks in house? Why have they chosen to stick with this company? This type of question allows you to learn a great deal about the quality of work life at your potential future employment. If the interviewer seems genuinely proud and excited to share why they have this particular job, maybe it’s a sign that it’s a solid place to work at length.  It also informs you of upward mobility in that specific company and suggests to the interviewer that you’re interested in growth and professional development. They most likely want to hire someone long term, who has a desire to work hard enough to be promoted.

2.  What does your company value in an employee?  What are your expectations of an employee, specifically in this role?

Listen to their responses and try to think of examples or situations in which you’ve displayed those values, then tell them about it.  This question can also give you some insight into how things operate within the company, and it can help you see if it’s the right fit for you.

3. What is the work culture like?

Is it a social atmosphere?  Extremely serious? How involved is management and what is the management style?  This can give you a great deal of information about day to day life with this employer, and if you’re there every day, that seems pretty important.  Remember, you’re also there to see if it’s the best option for you and your wellbeing. Sometimes certain work environments don’t work for certain people.  Know that about yourself and what you’re looking for in that regard.

4. Ask them about what the company has been up to.  

This is a time you could even be specific and show you did your due diligence ahead of time.  Ask them about a big project they have coming up, ask them about the new office expansion they’re planning, you can even ask them about something that may have been a loss for them.  This gives them the opportunity to tell you about the growth and potential the company has, so you can see what your future could look like there.

5. What happens next?

Before you go, ask about their follow up procedure.  Will you be receiving a phone call or email? How long will that take? If they make an offer, what happens after that?  This prepares you for what to expect from the employer rather than waiting in the limbo and not knowing.

And of course, ask any questions that may come to mind based on what they’re saying while you’re in the interview. You’re feeling them out as well. Don’t ever forget that it’s your time, too. Then relax, you’ve made it to the end!



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  • Paula F.
    Paula F.

    I have not been in an interview for decades, hopefully, your article will refresh my interviewing skills.


    I always ask, "If you were to hire me, what are the top three things you'd want me to prioritize tomorrow" or "what are the three biggest opportunities that bringing (me) on board will help you take advantage of?"


    I got sick and had to resign due to recovery time was unknown. Worked for independent appraisal companies when my help was needed.

  • Sherry S.
    Sherry S.

    Good advise, progressive.

  • Nancy Anderson
    Nancy Anderson

    @Shelly M. thanks for your comment. If the interviewer asks why you have such a large gap - you can just let him/her know that you had a work-related injury. You don't have to really go into detail. But, since it's been so long, you might want to consider updating your skills, if you can, prior to applying for jobs. 17 years is a long time to be without work and technology used back then is probably no longer being used.

  • Shelly M.
    Shelly M.

    I have been out of the workforce since 2002. The reason is I had a work injury then I was fired. Do I need to legally let a potential employer know? Everything is settled and done with. Thank you

  • Joyce V.
    Joyce V.

    Thank for providing this info. Questions to ask in interview.

  • Muhammed  B.
    Muhammed B.

    Am stressed I need a job

  • Hadie B.
    Hadie B.


  • Nancy Anderson
    Nancy Anderson

    @Stacey L. thanks for your comment. How exciting! Could be that he is still interviewing and just hasn't had the opportunity to send you the emails yet. Give it a few days. If you still don't hear anything, you can always reach back out to him. Good luck!

  • Stacey L.
    Stacey L.

    Yes. These suggested questions are spot on. I interviewed 2 days ago and it went well. I was asked that question and asked what the shifts are and what pay is. I will use your advice in future. He said I'd be getting a few emails regarding forms & paperwork. I havent received any yet now I'm stressing.

  • Marilyn B.
    Marilyn B.

    Should be: "5 Questions to Ask in an Interview". Also, "4. Ask them about what the company has been up to." is not a question. To be consistent, why not list this as "What are the company's near-term accomplishments?" Or, something like that. Love the article!

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