The art (it is an art as well as a science) of asking questions during an interview is important and is often a decision maker/breaker.

Three article: one giving 5 questions to “always” ask (or at least get answered) during an interview; the second, a list of best Questions (topics) to Ask; and the third, a list of 10 questions to “dazzle” prospective employers.

Five Questions to Always Ask on an Interview

These five questions go beyond the obvious ones, such as the title of the job, the job description, to whom it would be reporting, and other such basic questions. In fact, it’s unlikely you’ll even need to ask those questions, as they’re usually outlined for you.

With some preparation and thought, you should be able to easily come up with 15 – 20 first-interview questions to ask. But these five – in some form – should always be asked. Not only will they help you to ascertain if the job for which you are interviewing meets the criterion of your perfect job, but the answers, when put together, will give you a fairly accurate picture of what’s really going on behind the interview.

1. What are the priorities that will need to be addressed immediately in this position?

2. How long was the previous person here? Why did they leave?

3. Tell me about your management style. How do you bring out the best in your employees?

4. What types of people tend to excel here?

5. How long have you been here? Why do you stay?

These are informational questions, not challenges. Be genuinely interested in the answer, because you’re gaining valuable information that has to do with your future. When you leave the interview and process it within yourself, you’ll be matching what you learned with what you are looking for.

The Best Questions to Ask in the Interview
Kate Lorenz, Editor

An interview is meant to be a two-way street. The hiring manager is interviewing you to determine whether you’re the best fit for the job. At the same time, you should be asking questions to determine whether you would be happy in the position or with the company.

Not asking questions, however, is passing up a chance to stand out from the competition.

“This is a great opportunity to set you apart in a positive way from other people being considered for the job,” says Eddie Payne, division manager of professional staffing for recruiting firm FGP International. “Employers say they are interested in candidates who ask quality questions and make intelligent conversation based on what they know about the organization.”

Before the interview, prepare a list of questions that demonstrate your knowledge of the company and interest in the position. Some good topics to cover include:

The company

The position’s history

The department

The job’s responsibilities

The expectations

The next steps

10 Questions to Dazzle Would-Be Employers

By Kate Lorenz, Editor

1. “What type of growth and advancement opportunities does this position and the company offer?”
2. “How do you see me benefiting the company?”
3. “What would my first project be if I’m hired?”
4. “Are continuing education and professional training stressed?”
5. “Why did you choose this company?”
6. “What is the company’s culture?”
7. “Who will evaluate me if I’m hired?”
8. “What exactly are the job responsibilities?”
9. “When will a decision be made on the successful candidate?”
10. “May I contact you if I have other questions?”