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I've started looking for different job opportunities and have had four interviews so far with different companies. I think I did very well in all four but only got an offer from my last one and it was below what I am currently making.

The last one I asked softball generic questions about the company goals, outreach programs etc..and a week later go offered the job bu declined due to the salary being below my expectations.

The three others went like this:

Question: "Why is there a vacancy and does it have a high turn-over rate?"

*Question: "Where do you see this position leading into in regards to advancement opportunity?" *

Question: "Tell me about the team that I would potentially be working with and their culture?"*

Needless to say, I didn't get an offer and one of the interviews got defensive about question one for some reason.

Should I stick to softball questions...?

  • 2
    Questions about the team and advancement are about the easiest ones to answer. – Dukeling Jun 29 at 17:34
  • 1
    There are a lot of things one can do wrong during an interview, and sometimes you may not have done anything wrong; someone else may just have been a bit better. What makes you worry about those questions specifically? – Dukeling Jun 29 at 17:38
  • A variant of your vacancy question is discussed here: Is it okay to ask why the previous employee left or was let go? – Dukeling Jun 29 at 17:40
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Should I stick to softball questions...?

You should stick to the questions for which you need an answer in order to make your accept/reject decision.

If the questions you asked were vital to your decision, then you must ask them. If not, then don't ask them. Since you only asked these question of three potential employers but not the fourth, perhaps you feel that you really don't need to know the answers?

If you don't get the answers you need, or don't get any answers at all, then that's a clear signal that this company is not a good fit for you.

Question: "Why is there a vacancy and does it have a high turn-over rate?"

I often ask "Why aren't you filling this position from within?" That tends to be received well, and gives me some insight.

*Question: "Where do you see this position leading into in regards to advancement opportunity?" *

I don't usually ask that one. My sense is that most folks make their own path once they are in a company. I don't want my employer to think that I need my hand held for career advancement.

Question: "Tell me about the team that I would potentially be working with and their culture?"

I never ask this one directly. Instead, I always ask to speak with some folks who would be my peers in the company. That request is almost always accommodated.

I ask them what they like about the company, what they don't like, what it's like working for whoever would be my potential boss, etc. That tells me a lot about the team and their culture.

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Why is there a vacancy

I'd say this bit is fine is absolutely fine.

does it have a high turn-over rate?

This is getting a little bit onto dodgy territory, as you run the risk of putting your interviewers on the defensive. It's absolutely something you want to find out, but try and approach it with a bit more sensitivity. However, it's almost certainly not a deal-breaker.

Where do you see this position leading into in regards to advancement opportunity?

Tell me about the team that I would potentially be working with and their culture?

These two are both good questions, and ones which would in fact encourage me slightly about a candidate in that it shows they recognise that hiring a permanent member of staff is a long-term commitment, and one which depends on more than just more technical skills.

Given all that, I'd say by far the most likely reason why you didn't get acceptable job offers is because you didn't perform well enough in the other parts of the interview, rather than because you asked those questions.

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