The interview has a two-fold purpose. It first provides the opportunity to positively present yourself to a potential employer and secondly, the chance to gather information about the area and the person for whom you may be working.
The following questions provide a guide for areas you might want to explore. Rarely would you ask all the questions. The questions are not listed in any particular order; however, some questions are more appropriate when mutual interest has been expressed. Which questions you ask depends upon the particular situation (i.e., appropriateness of the question in the context of the interview, the style of the interviewer, what type of interview it is – personnel or line).
- Can you tell me more about the responsibilities of the job?
- I know that x, y, z skills are needed for this job – which of these would you feel is most critical?
- Is there a current organization chart available for this area?
- Has someone held this position before? If so, did this person stay within the organization?
- What kinds of people are most successful in this area?
- What is the department known for? Respected for?
- What do you see as the department’s strengths and weaknesses?
- What are the key responsibilities of the job?
- What is the most important part of this job?
- What is the first problem that needs the attention of the person you hire?
- What other problems need attention now? Over the next 6 months?
- How has this job been performed in the past? What made the predecessor successful?
- Why is it now vacant?
- What is your background?
- What do you find most satisfying about working here? Most frustrating?
- How would you describe your management style?
- Can I meet the other people that work in the area>
- How is one’s performance evaluated? By whom? How often?
- What skills are in short supply here?