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questions to ask the employer

Questions to Ask a Potential Employer

General Topics

  • What is the financial stability of this company?
  • What future changes do you see for this company?
  • What direction do you see your company going in the future?
  • Who are your competitors?
  • How successful have you been with marketing your company's products?
  • What plans does the company have for becoming more competitive in this industry?
  • What is the biggest negative about your company?
  • What makes your company different from others?

Career Motivation

  • Why did you accept work with this company?
  • How long have you been employed with this company?
  • Why do you continue to work for XYZ organization?
  • What do you like most (or least) about your company?
  • Would you want your son/daughter to work for this company, too?
  • What makes your association with this employer enjoyable?
  • What are you really hiring me to accomplish?
  • Graduating students are really wanting to get past the recruiting jargon to learn what is truly expected of them. Why should I take this job for (or . . . work for your company)?

Anticipated Responsibilities

  • If I were hired by your organization for this position, what duties would I be performing?
  • What will be expected of me in this position?
  • How does my job fit with the mission of the organization, company performance, or profitability?
  • How do you know when to hire additional staff?
  • How much responsibility will I have?
  • Why is this job important to you?
  • What will I be contributing to the organization?
  • What do you wish you knew about the company before you started?
  • What would you change about this position, if you could?

Work Environment

  • What is your corporate culture?
  • How would top management describe the corporate culture, and how does this compare with things in the organization as they really are at the lower levels?
  • What were your personal experiences on this job?
  • Will I be on a team, or in a group?
  • How much freedom am I given to solve problems with my own methods?
  • What help is available to me when my methods fail? Is this a new position?
  • Why did the other person leave?
  • What is your company really like?

Affirmative Action / Equal Employment Opportunities

  • What is the standard of living among minorities in your local community?
  • What minority programs do you have?

Quality of Work

  • What differentiates your company from your competition?
  • Do you get repeat business from your customers?
  • What are the ethical and environmental philosophies of your company?
  • What has been the history of turnover among recent hires in the company?
  • What is this company's philosophy towards their employees?
  • What is the relationship of this organization to the local community?

Personality Factors

  • What can I do with my education and training for your company?
  • What values are sacred to this company?
  • What would cause me to leave the company?
  • How mobile can I be?

Products & Services

  • Has the company thought of going in the direction of xxx?
  • What impact will the clean air legislation (or other current topic) have on the company?
  • What impact did your recent service (or logo, product, market blitz, etc.) change have on your business?
  • What do you see as the biggest areas of needed improvement within the company?

Employment Trends

  • What significant changes has the company experienced in the past year?
  • What are short- and long-term strategic directions of the company?
  • What have been the successes (or failures) of the company?
  • What is the company doing to change for success in this changing global economy?
  • What are the company's goals for the future?
  • What is the greatest challenge, from your perspective, that the organization faces during the next year?

Measures of Work Performance

  • How would you describe the most successful employees in your company?
  • Can I expect opportunities for advancement with the company, if I work hard to prove myself?
  • If I do well, what will I be doing in five years?
  • How will I be evaluated in my job?
  • How often will I be evaluated?
  • Who supervises this positions?
  • What is the chain of command for this position?
  • Where would my career progress from my first assignment?
  • How does your company encourage their new hires to keep pace with advancing technologies?
  • What characteristics do you possess that have made you so successful?
  • What can I do within my first five years to help ensure my success within the company?
  • What was your career path within the company?
  • What feedback has been given to your company by recent new hires?

Salary & Benefits

  • What is the pay for this position?
  • What are advanced educational opportunities with XYZ organization (MS, MBA, etc.)?
  • May I someday invest in the company?
  • What training would I receive if hired?

Interview Closure

  • How did I do?
  • How soon will I hear from you?
  • What does your company want from successful candidates for this job?
  • What would distinguish one candidate over another for this job?
  • How do I prove myself and my commitment to the company?
  • When would you want me to start in this position?


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