Questions You Should Ask

Now that you know what you shouldn’t ask during the interview, determine what questions you should ask. If you plan to ask a lot of questions, it would be wise to have a typed list.

  1. Ask specific questions about the position. You need to know what duties will be required, and if this hasn’t already been covered, it’s time to ask appropriate questions to find out. You need to know what will be required of the person in the position to see if there is a fit between your interests and qualifications and the requirements of the company.
  2. Try to find out as much as possible about qualities and skills the recruiter is looking for in job candidates. Tom Jackson, an authority on career planning and author of several books including Guerilla Tactics in the Job Market, suggests this question: “Could you tell me what qualities you are looking for in candidates for this position?” Once you determine the necessary qualities, you can then explain to the recruiter how your background and capabilities relate to those qualities.
  3. Ask questions concerning advancement and promotion paths available. Every company is different and most advancement policies are unique. Try to find out what the possible promotion path is to see if it fits your career goals. You may also want to ask about periodic performance evaluations and pay reviews.
  4. Ask questions about the company’s training program. If you are seeking a position with structured, formal training and the company offers on-the-job training program, you know the position may not be right for you. You may have specific questions about the training program not covered in the company literature.
  5. Ask questions about location and travel required. If you have limitations regarding location, relocation possibilities, or expected travel, this is the time to find out what is expected in the position. If you have limitations based on health or family commitments, these should be discussed with the recruiter.

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