Ottawa County Michigan Works!

Employment Expertise – Can I ask questions in a job interview?

Question: I’m going on a job interview. Am I allowed to ask questions? What kinds of questions can I ask an interviewer?

Answer: Yes, you encouraged to ask questions. Interviewers appreciate this since the interview becomes more of a conversation rather than being so one-sided. Here are some suggestions:

How would you describe the ideal candidate?
This question enables the hiring manager to picture you actually on the job as s/he is describing the position. It’s a great place for you to highlight your skills and experience as they relate to the position.

How do you envision this position supporting you, or the company, or the team?
This question is about others and your support of a group. It suggests that you are a team player, and you can talk about how you can make life easier for the group.

How would you define success for this position?
The response provides the definition of success by the supervisor or group. The answer may also reveal the kind of boss you might work for. You might gain insight into the company’s procedures and culture. That’s another way to help determine the kind company you may be working for.

How does this position fit into the company’s long-term plans?
This response opens the door to explore challenges and goals. It might lead to the history and strategy of the department and the company’s vision for the months or years ahead. If you ‘re uncomfortable asking direct questions you can start with: “may I ask about…?”.

What can I do for you as a follow-up?
What you are saying is “How can I help you decide in my favor?” The more you find out about who or what group will be making the hiring decision and what their timeline is, the more influence you have in terms of making the right contacts and sending follow-up information.

Always send a thank-you, either by email or by traditional snail mail. That means you need to get your contact’s name, title, email, phone and physical address. Keep that information for your reference.

Article on the Holland Sentinel