Interviewee Tips: Questions Job Candidates Should Ask Potential Employers
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Interviewee Tips: Questions Job Candidates Should Ask Potential Employers

Job candidates, just as an employment recruiter would interview you for a job youÂ’ve applied for to determine your suitability, you should likewise interview the employer at some point during the interview process.

Job candidates, just as an employment recruiter would interview you for a job you’ve applied for to determine your suitability, you should likewise interview the employer at some point during the interview process.  This is to ensure that the job you are interviewing for is best suited for you as well.  By asking pertinent questions you will be able to conclude whether or not you should continue pursuing this particular job, or…if you should accept or reject a job offer~ if offered by the employer. If you should decide it’s not the right job for you, it’s your responsibility to inform the employer quickly so that the employer can contact other interested applicants and you can continue your job search elsewhere.  Interviewing the employer is something many candidates don’t even think of doing… nonetheless, is appropriate and vital in job search.  In fact, most employers consider this admirable because it demonstrates your sincere interest in the position. So before you go for your next interview you should prepare relevant questions that will help you make an informed decision about your future job.  Here are a few sample questions that you might want to ask a potential employer.

What will my main responsibilities entail?

Job clarification is important in that you will need to know what is expected of you in this particular function, especially your core responsibilities. 

May I view a copy of the job description?

The recruiter should have a copy of the job description on hand. You should carefully scrutinize the list of responsibilities along with the job hours. After viewing the job description you may have questions about certain responsibilities and/or the hours that are listed. If so, you will need to get clarity from the recruiter right then.  Do you honestly feel that you have the expertise and meet the requirements for this particular job?  Are you able to work the required hours?  After viewing the job description, you might conclude that this is not something you want to pursue further.

What will a typical day be like for me?

By asking this question you will get a general idea of what to expect during a workday.  Now that you know what to basically expect, do feel that you are capable of mastering the challenge?

Will I receive on-the-job training for this position?

This is important because if you require training and the company wants you to hit the ground running, this could be problematic for you.  Every company is different; some will provide general training, depending upon the job, whereas other companies don’t have the manpower to train.

Who held this position previously and what are they doing now?

You want to find out why this particular job is open in the first place and if the previous employee is still working for the company.  You should be suspicious of answers like, “he/she was not a good fit for the job” or “I really don’t know what happened”.  You could view this as a red flag. Sometimes it’s not the employee that failed but it’s the manager.

Why is this position open to external candidates?

You want to be sure to ask this question because this position could be open again due the fact that internal employees keep quitting or are terminated within a six-month period. And this you will need to know before accepting a job offer.  Or, it could be open because the previous employee was promoted within the organization. This shows that opportunities for advancement are obtainable, and that’s a good way to motivate employees and increase morale. And another reason might be because internal candidates lacked the qualifications required for the job. You would view this as positive also.

How would you describe the company culture?

The company culture is the fabric of the organization.  If hired, you will spend a great portion of your time on the job and you want to work in a comfortable environment. Would you rather work in a laid back environment or do you prefer to work for a professional venue?

What is the turnover ratio for the company/department?

You want to pay close attention to the interviewer’s response to this question.  The interviewer may not want to disclose this information, especially if the turnover rate is high- for fear you may view this as a negative. If the company has a high turnover rate there is obviously a problem and it’s usually a result of bad management. 

What type of individual are you looking to hire?

Employment recruiters are well aware of the type of individual the department manager wants on his/her team. This is because HR recruitment and the department manager(s) collaborate in selecting the ideal candidate for the position.  So after he/she describes the ideal person for the job, you should ask yourself if you are that person.

How soon are you hoping to fill the position?

This is important because you will have an idea of when you should be available to work should you get the job. And if you are currently working you will need to give your present employer a two-week notice so they can find a suitable replacement for your old job, if you accept a job offer.  Now if the company is looking to fill the position immediately, not to worry, just let the interviewer know that you are currently working and want to give your employer advance notice.  If he/she really wants to make you a job offer, they are understanding of this and will delay the hiring process until you have terminated your service with your current employer.

What type of benefits do you offer?

This question is appropriate because you want to make sure that the company offers the benefits that you need.  For example, if you need tuition reimbursement to help defray the cost of your education.  

Concluding, after you receive a response for the questions you ask, you will need to weigh the pros and cons in determining whether or not you are the right fit for this particular job.



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Comments (13)

Excellent guide. I usually already ask most of these questions, but I've never asked what the turnover rate was for the company nor what type of person they were looking for to fill the position. I like those! Voted.

Well composed and beneficial questions to ask.

Great guidelines Donata.

Very wisely done.

Cat Lugo

Lots of good probing questions here-I like it.

Excellent job on this article. Nice tips. Well done.

Very helpful tips for job applicants at this time of crisis.

Central Information

The information is very helpful, I agree with your opinion.

See also : Elite Job Interview Questions Tips

Maybe it could help, thanks

Central Information

The information is very helpful, I agree with your opinion.

See also : Elite Job Interview Questions Tips

Maybe it could help, thanks

Very informative for the interviewee and great questions.

I just noted them in my personal interview guide, though these might be more for a second interview, right? Seems that lately all first interviews are done in 20 minutes or less by phone and you barely get time to say stuff about yourself.

These are really great ideas; I especially liked the question about the corporate culture. After getting through a series of tough questions and focusing on "selling" yourself, sometimes there's an awkward moment when the interviewer asks if you have any questions. This article would help prevent that problem!

Good piece.