Ask the right questions

Apart from replying to the questions posed by the interviewer a candidate can derive a lot of benefits by making the interview a two way processes. Experts point out how interviewing the interviewer is one of the ways of ensuring just that.

There are quite a few ways through which candidate can actively participate in an interview. By asking questions, seeking clarification asking for information sharing interesting examples / anecdotes etc experts say. But what are the relevant questions that one must ask? Queries regarding the size of team need to be clarified. What would be a typical working day in this role is also a popular question.

The more senior the position the more macro the questions becomes for example questions pertaining to the size of the business vision of the department / organization and the role, Why isn’t this position being filled from someone within the company? How many people have held this job in the last three years? The above are a few popular questions.

One must be judicious in the choice of words and manner in which the questions are posed to the interviewer / panel members. Keep in mind that irrelevant questions may not be entertained by the interviewer and it also shows poorly on the candidate. The key objective should be to understand the opportunity holistically and help the candidate better understand the company. One could ask about some of the business / group success stories, upcoming challenges and the values/personal attributes a company prizes in its employees.

Experts say that a candidate must do his /her homework well before appearing fro the interview. Being prepared with a set of questions and asking those at appropriate time gaps could be beneficial for the candidate. Many a times, asking questions is seen as a display of a candidate’s keen interest in knowing about the organization and working with them. A part of preparation for active participation is to anticipate the kind of questions that the interviewer could ask and understanding the why behind the question. Speaking more or repeating oneself reflects a lack of confidence or uncertainty on part of the candidate It’s important to be attentive to and interpret the verbal / non verbal cues of the interviewer. In case of uncertainty it’s best to ask whether one has answered the question adequately or if the interviewer is looking for something else. It’s important to remember that active participation is also about the body language tone eye contact and personally displayed by the candidate. So be ready with your questions and find out if the job is right for you!

For Interviewees:


1) Describe the accomplishments you were most proud of in your last job.
2) Do you consider yourself more of an independent contributor or a team player?
3) What serious problems did you face and how you handle them?
4) Describe an incident in which you handled a problem involving personal interaction well. Describe another incident in which you were less effective.
5) Where do you see your career in five years?

For Interviewers:


1) Why did you choose your major field of study?
2) What courses did you like the best? Least? Why?
3) If you worked during school, how did you manage your time?
4) Were you satisfied with your college?
5) How important were extracurricular activities to your education?
6) If you were starting college all over again, what would you do differently?

Activities and Interests

1) What activities are you involved in?
2) Would you describe your role in these activities as more of a follower or a leader?

Strengths and Weaknesses

1) Give me three reasons why you are especially qualified for this job.
2) What weaknesses have previous employers identified over the years?
3) What part of this job would probably give you the most trouble?

Comments are closed.