Find out what questions to ask—and what to avoid!
Have you ever done a mock interview? When you practice for a job interview, you are usually trying to practice your answers. Next you research the employer, you figure out what you will wear, and you review interviewing tips and strategies. All of these steps are a great way to practice. But you may be missing one important item.
In addition to these strategies, you should also come to every interview with a list of questions. Interviewing is a two-way street. Sure, you want the interviewer to find out about your qualifications. But you also want to find out if the job is a good fit for you. You have a right to ask questions, and in fact, the interviewer will expect you to ask questions. Asking good questions shows the employer that you are serious about the job opening.
Below is a list of sample questions that you may want to ask at your next job interview. When you decide exactly what you want to ask, be sure to bring a hard copy of the questions with you. Otherwise you may forget what you wanted to ask.
- What are the top qualities you are looking for in an employee?
- What are the most important responsibilities of this position?
- What has made previous employees successful in this position?
- What is the organizational structure? What department does this position fall under?
- Would I be reporting to you? If not, could I meet the person I would be reporting to?
- How is the scheduling handled? How much overtime is expected?
- What kind of training or orientation do new employees receive?
- What do you think are the greatest strengths of this department?
- What challenges is the department facing?
- What changes do you expect to take place over the next five years in this department?
- How are employees evaluated?
- What do you think are the best parts about working here?
With questions like these, you show the interviewer that you are interested in the job and interested in the organization itself. Remember, these questions are just suggestions. Be sure to customize them to your own style of talking and to the particular job interview.
Questions to Avoid
Some questions are not appropriate to ask at an interview. You can probably guess what they are, but it never hurts to have a refresher. Avoid questions like these:
- Don’t ask: How much does it pay?
- Don’t ask: Will I get health benefits?
- Don’t ask: How much vacation time do I get?
- Don’t ask: How much sick time do I get?
- Don’t ask: Do you have paid maternity leave/family leave?
- Don’t ask: How can I get promoted?
- Don’t ask: Am I going to get the job?
While these are all good questions, they are not appropriate for the interview. You want to show the interviewer that you are committed to doing a good job, and not just interested in the paycheck.
It’s important to save these questions until after you get a job offer. If you do get a job offer, the organization will typically describe the package they are offering, including wage/salary, benefits, schedule, and other details. This is the time when you can discuss things like your pay, time off, and benefits.
With this advice, we wish you the best of luck on your next job interview!
This article is a service of the American College of Medical Careers. We provide job training at our campus in Orlando, Florida. Check us out if you are interested in medical careers such as Cardiovascular Sonography, Diagnostic Medical Sonography, Medical Assisting, and more.