Questions to ask your prospective employer in an interview

Questions to ask your prospective employer in an interview

Well I’ve been doing a lot of interviewing lately and I’m starting to realize now that I’m worried less about the interview questions that the employer will spring on me than I am trying to come up with good questions for the person interviewing me to help me learn more about them and their company.

You see the place I am working at right now really isn’t the worst place in the world so in order for me to make a move I really want to know that the company I am going to is going to be a very good fit for me. So I’ve been asking all kinds of questions about expected work hours, flexible schedules, team environment, etc. Unfortunately I rarely prepare a whole lot when I go into an interview and it often ends up being an “off the cuff” conversation and many times I forget to ask some of important questions.

So what I’ve decided to do is sort of come up with a list of interview questions that I can bring with me to my interviews to make sure I get all my basis covered and can properly distinguish between the various companies that want to hire me. Of course the only reason I’m doing this on my blog is because I want YOUR help in coming up with a comprehensive list. 😉

Financial Questions

  • What is the salary range for this position?
  • Is there any kind of bonus program?
    • If yes how are bonuses calculated?
  • Do you offer a 401k plan?
    • Do you offer a Roth 401k option?
    • Does the company match any contributions?
    • What investment options are there (prolly save for later in the process)
  • If publically traded company do you have an ESOP?
    • Is there any discount on purchases?
  • Do you have any kind of pension plan?
  • Do you offer Flexible Spending accounts?
  • What does your health insurance plan look like?
    • Dental?
    • Vision?
  • What kind of compensation increases can I expect in the first few years?

Work Environment

  • What does a standard work week look like (hours?)
  • Do you offer flexible work hours?
  • Do you offer company paid training?
  • How often is performance evaluated and how?
  • What kind of computer equipment/software will I have?

Misc

  • What do you like the most about working here?
  • Can you describe your ideal employee for this position?
  • Is there any travel required for this position?
  • Why are you hiring for this position?
  • What will be the most difficult part of this job?
  • How much lee-way will I have in deciding what I will be working on and how to solve the tasks at hand?
  • What are the long term options for someone in this position?
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  • I, too, am sending out resumes and getting ready to interview. I am preparing a list of questions to ask prospective employers, as well. I consulted with the Director of Career Services at the university where I currently work. I was advised that questions about benefits, such as those listed in your first “financial” section are not considered appropriate for a first interview. If you have been offered a position, then you should definitely ask about these things before agreeing to employment. It could be considered presumtuous to ask such questions early in the interview process.

    One question that I have on my list that you might consider adding to yours is if you are replacing someone (not a newly created position), you might ask why the person before you chose to leave.

    Also, here are some other standards…

    – If there was one thing you could change about your job, what would it be?
    (depending on the industry) – How is the company poised to challenge competitors and compete for market share in the future?

    I do think that your sections on work environment and miscellaneous are good, but you might do better to seek the opinions and information from other current employees on the financial issues until an offer is in place.

    Best of luck in your search!

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