Searching for a job, whether through the hidden job market or a job search on social media, is an arduous process. Once an interview has been secured, job applicants not only need to ensure they have good presentation skills, but they need to be aware of questions to ask job interviewers that will improve the overall interview experience, as well as increase their chances of receiving a job offer.

The interview process is a two-way exchange of information. While employers ask difficult interview questions to determine if a potential employee is capable of performing a job and whether her personality is a good fit for the organization, interviewees should also ask questions to determine the actual responsibilities of the position, whether the employer offers a positive work environment, and whether the position offers career growth.

Questions to Ask Regarding the Organization

Asking questions about the company will give job applicants a better idea whether they fit into its corporate culture.

What is a typical day like?

I have read on your website about some new initiatives your organization is involved in. Can you tell me more about these? [This question shows the employer that the interviewee is interested in the organization and has done some of her own research before attending the interview.]

What is the best thing you like about working here? [This question gives the employer a chance to provide job candidates with information about the corporate culture, information which is not usually included in the job description. Also, astute interviewees who observe any tension or discomfort in an employer’s response may decide that the work environment is particularly stressful.]

Questions to Ask Regarding the Job

Asking specific questions about the position will reduce the chance that the job candidate is over- or under-qualified.

How does this job fit into the work of the organization? [Asking this question of employers will give job candidates an idea of their potential role and responsibilities, as well as a better understanding of the function of the work unit.]

What projects will I be involved in if I am the successful candidate? [Again, this question gives a job candidate an idea of the actual job responsibilities, which are not always accurately detailed in the job description. It also forces the employer to provide a clear picture of the job.]

Is this a new position or was there a previous incumbent in the job? [If the job is in fact a new position, new processes and responsibilities will need to be established as the job experiences growing pains, and the interviewee should be aware of this.]

Questions to Ask Employers During Interviews

Asking questions of employers will help determine if a job applicant and boss can work together successfully.

How would you describe the ideal candidate? [This is a good closing question because if the attributes the employer describes reflect qualities that the job applicant has clearly demonstrated during the interview, then it will help the employer realize that he has found the most suitable candidate.]

How would you describe your management style? [Job applicants will want to know if their new boss is hands-off or tends to micro-manage his staff.]

Searching for a job is not simply a matter of sailing through the interview by answering interviewers’ questions. By asking appropriate questions of their potential employers, job applicants will learn more about the job and the organization, and can improve their chances of finding their dream job.