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20 Questions You Should Ask A Potential Employer in a Job Interview

November 1, 2012

I typically have a lot of questions for potential employees during an interview, and the answers I get to those questions are pretty important in helping me determine that final hiring decision. But a lot of job seekers might be surprised to learn that the questions they come prepared with can help to elevate them above other applicants as well. Coming to an interview armed with questions shows an interest in the position and role, as well as an understanding of the needs.  At the end of an interview when I ask interviewees if they have any questions for me and they don’t, it really makes me feel like they are unprepared and just desperate for a job.  I mean, come on guys, this is where you’ll be spending a significant portion of your lives for the foreseeable future – don’t you want to know what it’s like before you take the plunge? I’ve listed some potential questions here so that you can arm yourself and be prepared for your next interview. These are just ideas, particularly for public relations professionals, and I welcome other suggestions or examples in the comments below.

  • What does a day in the life look like for the person who takes this position?
  • What qualities are you looking for?
  • What could this person do that would really knock your socks off?
  • How did you get started in PR (or any industry) and what do you love about it?
  • Tell me about the culture here. What are the team members like?
  • How would you describe yourself as a supervisor?
  • I noticed you work with XX client. Can you tell me about your program for them and how well it has worked?
  • I like to challenge myself.  Do you support outside education opportunities or conferences?
  • While I know this is an entry level position, would I have the chance to participate in client strategy or new business?  Those are areas I’m really excited about.
  • I’ve been watching X, Y, Z in the news. As a seasoned professional, I’d love to get your take on how the situation was handled.
  • What’s your process for measuring your programs?
  • I’m anxious to get active in the local PR community. Is this something that you encourage?
  • What’s your stance on employee involvement in social media?  Is it discouraged?
  • How are your teams structured?
  • Will I have exposure to clients?  If so, how much?
  • What do you think sets your company apart from your competitors?
  • What are the opportunities for advancement for this position and how to do encourage employees to achieve growth?
  • Why are you looking to fill this position?
  • What specific tactics are employed in your client programs?  Would I be responsible for doing all of those things, or would I specialize in a particular area?
  • Can you tell me about the person I would be directly reporting to?
11 Comments leave one →
  1. November 1, 2012 3:05 pm

    These are great!

    My two, and I ask them in every interview:

    What brought you here?

    What has kept you here?

    And they normally talk quite a bit about both, which can be illuminating.

  2. November 1, 2012 5:16 pm

    Rachel… You hit a home run on this post! I’ll be sharing this often.


  3. Charlie Proietto permalink
    January 16, 2013 8:22 pm

    when doing job interviews, you should always project great self-confidence.;

    Look into our very own blog page as well

  4. Winnie Vivino permalink
    January 17, 2013 3:52 am

    when doing job interviews, you should always project great self-confidence.^

    My favorite blog

  5. May 21, 2013 5:19 pm

    Rachel, I had done some hiring in my last role and was always underwhelmed when applicants didn’t ask any questions, let alone riveting ones. It was an important lesson I took with me as I was job seeking. You’re spot on with these great examples.

  6. November 22, 2013 5:20 pm

    I am really impressed with your writing skills and also with the
    layout on your blog. Is this a paid theme or did you modify it yourself?
    Either way keep up the excellent quality
    writing, it’s rare to see a great blog like this one today.

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  8. August 12, 2014 9:38 am

    This is very helpful. Thank you!


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