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What are some good questions to ask a prospective employer when being interviewed?

I know not to ask about vacations, sick time, and other perks but what would you want to know about a new position if you have a good amount of information about the company already?

There are two that I always ask :
What is the company policy concerning advancement and raises ?
I also ask what are advancements can I look forward to ?

Chicago Lady:

Jackie, fortunately I have not had to look for a job for a long time. If I had to look for a job in today's economy, and if I were going to be leaving the job I'm in, I would want some reassurance of stability.

If I were unemployed, I would NOT ask about the future or duration of the job.

But if I were to leave a really stable, well-paying position to go somewhere else, I would be having a frank conversation about the company - any downsizing they may have done, what plans they may have for reduction in force, why the last person left the position (retirement, voluntary, to take another job, layoff, fired, etc.) and how long they had been there. And also, with today's economy, I WOULD be asking about paid benefits, medical insurance, vacation and sick time, etc. Why would I leave a stable job to take something with fewer benefits and risk of instability and involuntary layoff? I would weigh these things very carefully......


@Dick, very good points. I am always looking for new opportunities and enhancement of my skill set. I would love to move up the ladder but I definitely would be near the top in my field in that position, I guess I could inquire about tuition reimbursements if I wanted to go back to school. (No homework for me please.)

@CL, I haven't had to look either because at my last position, I was recruited from within the company and I had transitioned all through the company. This time I applied for the position but a doctor that I worked with on another project went in a gave her personal recommendation that they should call me in.) I submitted my CV yesterday afternoon at her behest and they called me this morning. I'm not a shoo-in but I am definitely a strong candidate. I will miss working from home though.

Chicago Lady:

That's very exciting, Jackie!! And working from home DOES have it's benefits - I've worked both ways too. Staying within the same company is definitely a big plus! If it is a LONG commute for you, perhaps a company vehicle could be discussed or at the least gas mileage reimbursement. GOOD LUCK!! Let us know what happens!!


I would say you should ask about what the company can do for you and your future. I have asked for job description, employee handbooks, company profile, mission statement, history, etc. when I picked up the application for employment. That gives not only gives you the opportunity to tune your résumé for the particular position, but also gives you a chance to get a list of questions prepared. It saves not only your time, but the time of the potential employer as well.


Good tips Jerry, I did update my CV recently and they got it when I applied yesterday. I was surprised when I got the call this morning because I don't ever remember being called in this quickly for a job interview. I was happy that the person who recommended me actually called me to let me know that she stepped into that department and said that she knew someone that would fit the profile easily. She told me to submit my resume and I did but I didn't give it too much thought last night but I certainly think I am a lucky and blessed girl. The salary is far above what i make working from home and it would be nice to go out and work in real clothes again... Writing management analyses in your PJ's doesn't promote critical thinking. Thanks for the advice.


You're welcome. It sounds like an exciting opportunity. I am sure you will do well and they are fortunate to have you.


You don't ask question until nearing the end of the interview.

You tell the prospective employer how much you can help the company and then you go on to give a dearth of information about it and then you try to tie yourself to those things the company represents.

Near the end of the interview ask about salary, health benefits, and retirement

Good Luck girl! ;-))


I appreciate the tips Blade, it's been a while since I interviewed for a job. My only regret is that if I get the positiion that I will be leaving my very nice work at home position and I can't QnA at will. The salary is much better than what I make now, the health benefits and retirement are quite excellent because I actually will be working in a hospital. Hard to call in sick. (cough, cough....LOL)


Jackie! Your financial well being is a vehicle to secuing protection during your old age! ;-))


Might be a good idea to indicate you're ambitious and a self starter by asking about potential for advancement and what added responsibilities you might be asked to assume in the next 5 years or so if you perform according to expectation.

I would save that question for the part of the interview where you ask for an outline of your immediate responsibilities.

Good luck....and remember you have only one chance to make a first impression!


Very good advice Mustafa. I was recommended for the position by a doctor that works there and actually heads her own department. I figure I have at least one stellar recommendation and that certainly helps. Thanks the interview is Monday and I'm not nervous but I would definitely like to work there.

Redneck Rev:

What are the responsibilities of the job? I saw that question one time when I was looking up tips on what to ask during an interview. I guess it is good to find out what you will be doing so that you can decide if you really want to do it everyday.


It's a management analyst position so I know what the job entails and but I want to sound interested in that but also in other facets of working in a hospital/medical school environment. The last time I worked in a hospital I did Inventory Control and this is totally different.


Good question for my list though.


When you move to Mexico or China, will I get severance pay?


LOL, that's not likely, it's a large metropolitan hospital and medical school. That's why I applied. LOL


Jails & Prisons
Funeral Homes & embalmers
A pretty safe bet they will be necessary. Oh yeah, Bail Bondsmen too


I always ask if they have many long term employees, as that tells me that it is a good work environment that people enjoy working in


That's a good one and should I ask what happened to the person who previously held that position?


Do some research about the company and that should generate some questions. It shows the employer that you have taken the interest and time to get to know what they're about. They like that!


Oh Headache, I know a lot about them. I really want to work there because I would have the opportunity to practice my other field after hours. (I run support groups for new mothers and pregnant women. I wanted to do it before but the commute from my office was an interference and since I started working from home it was too time consuming.) They are a well known and esteemed hospital and medical schooll here in New York City. I just don't know a lot about their particular department so I guess I need to do a little research on that. Thanks.


well, just ask yourself what you'd like to know about that department. That will give you a good start for things that you could ask the employer. Try to convey a way to let them know how much you'd like to work there without sounding needy, or putting yourself in a position where they will offer you less pay because they know you will accept it. Good luck!


try this site I had found it very helpful,,


When can i expect to hear from you?

It lets you know that if there are other people that are being interviewed. They would say something like "well im still interviewing till the end of the week so sometime after that"
that way you have a timeline.


What is the job description. You can inquire about benefits or additional details. It shows you are interested. If they ask you if you can say what your weaknesses are---turn them around into positives. Find out if you are required to have any training. Make sure you are positive and show you have confidence.

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