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Interview Your Interviewer

At the end of every job interview is the same question, “Do you have any questions for me?” We all know the answer should be, “yes,” but many job seekers don’t know what those questions should be. Here are a few ideas to get the conversation flowing.

  1. “What made others successful/unsuccessful in this position?” These questions give you insight into what the employer values in an employee—and what can get you fired.
  2. “Tell me about a typical workday in this position.” You’re looking for two things: whether the tasks involved are appealing to you and whether the list is so long that you’ll have to be at your desk until 8 p.m. every night.
  3. “What are the top priorities for the person in this position over the next year?” Again, this lets you evaluate whether you’re able to complete the projects/tasks involved and/or whether the position is evolving into something that isn’t as attractive.
  4. “What are some of the obstacles the company is facing right now?” This is a sneaky way of finding out if the company is about to go under—taking your new job with it. The truth is that every company faces challenges; it’s normal and to be expected. So if the interviewer can’t or won’t come up with anything specific, she’s probably hiding something. That could be a bigger problem than anything else she might say.

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