At most interviews, you will be invited to ask questions of your interviewer. This is an important opportunity for you to learn more about the employer, and for the interviewer to further evaluate you as a job candidate. It requires some advance preparation on your part.
Here are some guidelines for asking questions:
- Prepare five good questions.
Understanding that you may not have time to ask them all. Ask questions concerning the job, the company, and the industry or profession.
Your questions should indicate your interest in these subjects and that you have read and thought about them. For example, you might start, "I read in Business Week that ... I wonder if that factor is going to have an impact on your business."
- Don't ask questions that raise warning flags.
For example, asking, "Would I really have to work weekends?" implies that you are not available for weekend assignments. If you are available, rephrase your question. Also, avoid initiating questions about compensation (pay, vacations, etc.) or tuition reimbursements. You might seem more interested in paychecks or time-off than the actual job.
- Don't ask questions about only one topic.
You may be perceived as one-dimensional and not a good candidate.
It's OK to ask a question to clarify something the interviewer said. Just make sure you are listening. Asking someone to clarify a specific point makes sense. Asking someone re-explain an entire subject gives the impression that you have problems listening or comprehending. For example, you can preface a clarifying question by saying: "You mentioned that at ABC Company does (blank) . . .Can you tell me how that works in practice?"