I'm a newly grad in Computer Science, and just like everyone I know, I've gone through several interviews for some entry level position, and I noticed one thing in common, which is that the interviewers (be it an engineer or the VP, etc) would keep asking if I have some questions for them.

Do they really expect the candidate to ask some questions? If so, what kind of questions would be appropriate? I've honestly never seen anything about any company that I couldn't find out myself on Google!

In one interview, I asked my interviewer a question for which I hated myself for weeks! (It just came out, and when I realized how childish and off-topic the question was, it was too late! I basically asked if the company was still giving out its 'trademark' puzzle games to candidates, because I really wanted one and these weren't on sale anywhere. I could see my interviewer getting some kind of brain-freeze or something as he apparently tried hard to look up his memory and even his computer because the practice, as I later found out, had been discontinued for sometime. In the end, they managed to get one for me, but I felt extremely bad.)

Yet for some 'strange' reason, I did get an offer from them that time. So it doesn't seem to me that asking questions was important in an interview. But maybe I was just lucky. And I would really love to know the right kind of questions to ask in my next interviews.


1 Answer 1


An interview is meant to be a two-way street. The hiring manager is interviewing you to determine whether you're the best fit for the job. At the same time, you should be asking questions to determine whether you would be happy in the position or with the company. After listening to the interviewer's monologue about the company and role, you're asked a barrage of questions about your background and future plans " all the while praying that you're delivering the "right" answers. By the time the employer asks if you have any questions, it's easy to be so drained and nervous you can only stammer out, "Nope." Not asking questions, however, is passing up a chance to stand out from the competition.

•What do you see ahead for your company in the next five years?

•What can you tell me about your new product or plans for growth?

•How do you rate your competition? The position's history Asking about why the position is vacant can provide insight into the company and the potential for advancement. •What happened to the last person who held this job?

•What were the major strengths and weaknesses of the last person who held this job?

•What types of skills do you NOT already have onboard that you're looking to fill with a new hire?

•What is the overall structure of the company and how does your department fit the structure?

•What are the career paths in this department?

•What have been the department's successes in the last couple of years?

•What would you consider to be the most important aspects of this job?

•What are the skills and attributes you value most for someone being hired for this position?

•Where have successful employees previously in this position progressed to within the company?

•Could you describe a typical day or week in this position? The typical client or customer I would be dealing with?

•What are the most immediate challenges of the position that need to be addressed in the first three months?

•How will I be evaluated at XYZ company, and how often?

•What are the next steps in the interview process?

A selection of these questions will help you stand out from the rest of the people being interviewed as well as give you an insight on this being the correct job role for you.

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