Search
Advice » Interviewing» Interview Questions » Own the Interview: 10 Questions ...
Own the Interview: 10 Questions to Ask

Own the Interview: 10 Questions to Ask

By Larry Buhl

For many job seekers an interview can seem too much like an inquisition. That's usually because they're doing all the answering and none of the asking.

"Somewhere in the interview you have a chance to impress the employer on your own terms and see if the job is a good fit for you," says Florida-based career coach and executive recruiter Jonathan Milligan. "And you absolutely should take this opportunity. By asking the right questions you can determine if the job is right for you and also show you're engaged and interested in the job."

Employment experts identify five key question areas where you can gain insight, put yourself in a good light and take some control in the interview.

Identify Their Pain:
  • "What is one of the biggest problems the company faces that someone with my background could help alleviate?"
  • "If I started in this job tomorrow, what would be my two most pressing priorities?"
Find Out Where the Company Is Going:
  • "Where do you see this department/company in five years?"
  • "What are the long- and short-term goals of the company/department/work group?"
Determine Whether You'd Fit In:
  • "How would you describe your company's culture?
  • "What tangible and intangible qualities attracted you to the organization?"
Show You're Really Interested:
  • "What additional information can I provide about my qualifications?"
  • "What are the next steps in the selection process?"
Ask Follow-Ups:
  • "Can you clarify what you said about...?"
  • "Can you give me some examples of...?"

"By requesting clarification or examples, you show interviewers you care and that you're thinking deeply about the issues they brought up," says learning and development consultant Bill Denyer. He suggests taking notes in the interview, using keywords to jog your memory of what was discussed but not burying your head in your notebook.

What you don't want to ask are questions with obvious answers, according to Susan RoAne, author of Face to Face: How to Reclaim the Personal Touch in a Digital World.

"You really need to do your homework," RoAne says. "Before the interview, go to the company Web site and use search engines to get up to speed, and browse social networking sites to see who knows what about the company."

And never, never ask an interviewer, "How long is the vacation?" or "What does your company do?'" RoAne added.

Some experts suggest waiting for the inevitable "Do you have any questions for us?" at the interview, while others recommend looking for conversation openings to ask appropriate questions.

"It depends on the situation," Milligan says. "If the interviewer seems to be reading from a sheet of questions, don't interrupt. If it's a more casual conversation, you may have chances to turn the questions back on the interviewer."

RoAne advises job seekers to remember "the job interview is a two-way street."

Latest Jobs

Parker and Lynch
Posted: 10/31/2014
Miami, FL, 33134
Parker and Lynch
Posted: 10/31/2014
Princeton, NJ, 08540
Parker and Lynch
Posted: 10/31/2014
Princeton, NJ, 08540
Parker and Lynch
Posted: 10/31/2014
Princeton, NJ, 08540
Parker and Lynch
Posted: 10/31/2014
Chicago, IL, 60606

Want more personalized results?  Update Your Profile

 
 
 

Monster Communities

Teaching Community
Where teachers meet and learn.
ArtBistro
Create and connect.
Excelle
Networking for the career-minded woman.
Nursing Link
Where nurses call the shots.
More Monster Communities

Monster Partners

Scholarships
Scholarships, financial aid and more ways to pay for school.
Education.org
Find top campus and online degree programs.
Military.com
Military portal for the US Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and Coast Guard.
Financial Aid
Scholarships & financial aid.
Staffing for Government Jobs
Staffing and hiring solutions for federal government agency jobs.
More Monster Partners

Job Hunt Strategy

Six Ways to Make a Recruiter Hate You
If you want to blow your chances with recruiters -- and, by extension, with the companies they work for -- here are six perfect ways to do so.

Resumes & Cover Letters

Rev Up Your Resume to Relocate
Hoping to relocate? Get the ball rolling on landing the right job in the right location with these expert resume and cover letter tips.

Interviewing

100 Potential Interview Questions
Interview questions can run the gamut. You probably won't face all 100 of these, but you should still be prepared to answer at least some of them.

Salary & Benefits

10 Questions to Ask When Negotiating Salary
Most of us aren't natural negotiators, but asking these 10 questions during salary negotiations can help you get everything you deserve.

Employee Sourcing

Alt text
November Monster Employment Index Grows 13% Year-Over-Year, Tenth Consecutive Month of Positive Annual Growth.

For Seekers

Campus and Online Degrees
Advance your career and earn more with an online degree.
Free Salary Wizard
What are you worth? Find out and negotiate a better salary.
Research Careers
Get information on jobs and career paths to help guide your choices
Questions & Answers
Find answers to all your career related questions -- powered by Yahoo! Answers
Resume Distribution Service
Our distribution service puts your resume right in the hands of recruiters.
Resume Writing Services
Our experts will craft a keyword-rich resume that stands out in the crowd.
More Career Resources

For Employers

Career Ad Network
Target your job posting to more candidates on thousands of websites.
Hire Right Background Checks
Explore our background check packages to improve the quality of your hires.
Hiring Home Page
Find the best candidates for your business with Monster hiring solutions.
Job Postings
Find the right solution for your hiring needs. Starting at $99.
Power Resume Search
Monster's new search technology precisely matches people with your jobs.
Resource Center
Find staffing insights, labor trends, HR best practices and more.
Target Post
Connect with skilled, hourly and administrative candidates for only $99.

Social Media

Jobs on Twitter
Find jobs in your area and industry.
Monster Careers
Tune into our career advice and discussions tackling a wide range of topics and industries.
Monster Corporate & PR
Stay up-to-date on the latest news. Get the 'Who', 'What', 'When', and 'Why' on all things Monster related.
Monster Customer Service
Got a Monster question? We've got the answer. Whether you're a job seeker or employer, we can help you find the answers you need.
Monster for Employers
Find advice on hiring.
Follow Us
Check out our many pages and stay connected with the latest industry news, events, career advice and job openings.

Other Links

Monster Company Profiles
Explore companies and get information to guide your career decisions.
Compare Salaries
See how your pay stacks up to others in your field.
iPhone Application
Download the Monster app for iPhone and iPod touch.
Monster Job Seeker Blog
Monster Job Seeker Blog.
Monster Thinking Blog
Monster's Recruitment Trends Blog.
Jobs & Career Resources
Search Jobs:
For Employers: Post Jobs | Search Resumes | Advertise
About Monster | Work for Monster | Advertise with Us | AdChoices | Partner with Us | Investor Relations | Social Media
Terms of Use | Privacy Center | Accessibility Center | Help | Security | Contact Us | Sitemap | Mobile
©2014 Monster - All Rights Reserved U.S. Patents No. 5,832,497; 7,599,930 B1; 7,827,125 and 7,836,060 MWW - Looking for Monster Cable? - V: 2014.4.70.79-219
eTrustLogo