Questions to Ask During an Interview

Author: Marcella Mullaney

A student interacts with a visiting employer at the Fall Career ExpoA student interacts with a visiting employer at the Fall Career Expo

An interviewer will typically ask if you have any questions about the position or the organization. Don’t pass up this opportunity to demonstrate that you have researched the organization - it indicates that you are interested in the job. 

Your questions also allow an opportunity to gather information that will help during the decision-making process. Prepare five to seven questions for your initial interview with an employer. You may not have the opportunity to ask all of them, but avoid saying, “I don’t have any.”

Here are some standard questions to ask interviewers:

  1. How will my work objectives be determined?
     
  2. Describe the rotational training program associated with this position/internship. How is employee performance evaluated during the training period?
     
  3. What career paths have others generally followed after completing the program?
     
  4. As an intern, what kind of projects will I receive?
     
  5. What characteristics best describe individuals who are successful in this position?
     
  6. Where could a person advance who is successful in this position? Within what time frame?
     
  7. In what ways has this organization been most successful in terms of products/services over the past several years?
     
  8. How is job performance evaluated?
     
  9. What has been the professional growth track for other students who have been recruited by your company over the past 3-5 years?
     
  10. How would you describe the culture of your organization?
     
  11. If I work hard and prove my value to the company, where might I find myself in five years?
     
  12. What is a typical work week for a (position) in your company?
     
  13. How much decision-making authority is given to new employees?
     
  14. Does your organization encourage its employees to pursue additional education? Service opportunities?
     
  15. What other positions/departments will I interact with the most?
     
  16. What are the key business reasons driving the need for this position?
     
  17. Describe the three top challenges that I’ll face in this job.
     
  18. What has to happen for you to know you’ve hired the best person?
     
  19. What are the key deliverables and outcomes that this position must achieve?
     
  20. Describe the top three initiatives for your company/department and how this position is linked to these initiatives.
     
  21. What are the key metrics for measuring success in this position?
     
  22. How will (insert current event here) impact this industry/company?

The best questions are those that build on the content of your interview and/or are company/industry specific. 

For example, if you were interviewing with Ford, a good industry question might be:
"How will the automotive industry increase fuel economy to 54.5 miles in 2025 per the agreement reached with the federal government?" 

A good company specific question for Target might be: 
"Target recently expanded into Canada, your first international store.  Are there any further plans for international expansion?"
 

For questions regarding what might be beneficial to ask an employer, please contact the Center for Career Development at 574-631-5200.

 


"Questions to Ask During an Interview" is from the Interviewing section of the Undergradcareers.nd.edu website. To view more information or tips on interviewing, please view the Notre Dame Career Development Guide.