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What Questions to Ask (and Not to Ask) in an Interview

Even if you don’t ask any questions during an interview, many interviewers will ask if you have any questions at the end. How you respond will affect their evaluation of you. So be prepared to ask insightful questions about the organization.

Making a list of any questions you have regarding the company is important and will help you identify if this is the right position for you.

Good topics to touch on in an interview include:

  • The competitive environment in which the organization operates
  • Executive management styles
  • What obstacles the organization anticipates in meeting its goals
  • How the organization’s goals have changed over the past 3 years
  • What obstacles were commonly met in reaching corporate goals
  • What resources are available from the company and what must be found elsewhere to reach position objectives

What not to ask an interviewer about:

  • Compensation or benefits. Questions like this make you seem more interested in what they can do for you and less enthusiastic about the position
  • Personal questions that do not relate to the job and can be seen as unprofessional
  • Overly basic questions that you could have easily found the answers to by doing some research beforehand or speaking to your recruiter

The last question you should always ask before concluding with any interviewer is, “Do you feel I have the qualifications necessary to be successful in this position?” Now listen carefully to how the interviewer responds. If they give you a resounding “yes,” you have done a good job of covering all the issues that are important to them.

If they say something like, “You appear to have all the qualifications we’re looking for, but…,” whatever comes afterward is an area you need to strengthen their view of your background. Try to go over your experiences in that area one more time. It can make all the difference in the world.