Questions to Ask Potential Employers in Job Interviews
gathered from various sources by Nitron Advisors staff
The people who do well at your company: what skills and attributes do they usually have?
What do you like best about working at _____?
What results are expected?
What specific problems are you hoping to solve during the first six months?
Who are the key internal customers? Any special issues with them?
What happened to the person who had this job before?
What communication style do you prefer?
What is your philosophy regarding on-the-job growth and development?
What are your goals for the department?
Pillars of a Successful Interview - Sample Questions
1. What do YOU SEE as the three most important capabilities of the person you'll hire in this position?
2. (If it's a territorial or regional position) Where is the (territory/region) at, compared to your goal or plan? Where is it ranked against the other regions?
3. What do you see as the primary challenges to building more business or capturing more marketshare?
4. How does your product stack rank in the market? Would you classify your product as the industry leader? The cost effective solution? The Rolls Royce product?
5. (If it's a replacement hire, rather than a newly created or expansion position) What was the last person's success in this (territory/region/position)? What would you see as being the capability you'd most like to improve with the new hire?
6. What is your vision for the (region/territory)?
7. How does the performance of this role play into the bigger goal or plan for the company?
8. How are you perceived in the marketplace??
9. Assume I'm the selected hire--let's fast forward 90 days: Give me a taste of what a typical week will be for me in this position.
10. In reviewing your current sales staff, what would you say are the key qualities that are common to your top producers, as I'm going to model myself after the best people in your company?
11. I'm also interested in career pathing--logically, is there a next step that would be in progression from this role? (National/Major Accounts? Management?)
12. What type of support and tools are provided in this role? Leads? Contact mgmt software? Sales support? Laptop computer?
13. How would you define ___________'s Unique Selling Proposition?
14. Historically, what has been the primary concern or logjam in closing a sale on your product?
"Your Turn To Ask"
adapted from National Business Employment Weekly -- Interviewing
by Arlene S. Hirsh, National Business Employment Weekly, published by John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
What are the major responsibilities of this position?
Is there a job description? May I see it?
Can you tell me why this position is open?
How often has it been filled in the past 5 or 10 years?
What did you like most about the person who previously held this position?
What would you like to see the person who fills this position do differently?
What qualifications would you expect the successful candidate to possess?
What do you see as my strengths/weaknesses for this position?
What are the greatest challenges facing the person in this position?
What are your immediate goals and priorities for this position?
What kind of support does this position receive in terms of people and finances?
How much freedom would I have to determine my work objectives and deadlines?
How would my performance be measured and how is successful performance usually rewarded?
What career progression do you see for someone in this position? Do you normally promote from within?
How would you describe your management style?
Can you describe your organizational culture?
Do you have a lot of turnover?
How many people would I be supervising? How long have they been with the company, and what are their backgrounds?
Why are you looking at external candidates for this position, instead of promoting from within?
What do people seem to like most/least about working here?
Would it be possible to meet the people who work in the department?
Do you encourage participation in community or professional activities?
Do you have a management development or internal training program?
What are the company's plans for growth in the next five years?
How does the company intend to remain competitive?