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Students & New Grads

Questions to Ask at a Job Interview

Being inquisitive shows interest and helps you stand out.

You dressed professionally, arrived punctually and you're nailing the latest job interview. The hiring manager seems impressed with your experience, and you've responded to every question with ease. As you wrap things up, the hiring manager asks if you have any questions--and you're stumped. It's an awkward silence, and one that could hurt you chances of landing the job.

Job interviews are a two-way street, according to Barbara Black, director of human resources at Care Communications. Just as employers ask questions to determine a candidate's fit, job-seekers should launch their own Q&A to get a better feel for the position. Black offered the following tips and sample questions at the 2009 American Health Information Management Association Student Academy. Next time you're prepping for an interview, throw a few of these in your toolkit, she said.

Questions serve three functions for the job candidate:

  • To help you assess whether you really want the job.
  • To help you understand what the employer needs.
  • To build a working relationship grounded in give-and-take communication

Sample questions:

  • 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 to 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?
  • How is one evaluated in this position?
  • What are the greatest challenges facing the person in this position?
  • What are your immediate goals and priorities for this position?
  • 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?  (Why or why not?)
  • Do you have a management development or internal training program?


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