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Be prepared to ask questions of the hiring manager during the interview that are based on your research of the company and industry. Insightful and pertinent questions will demonstrate that you've done your homework and that you're serious about the position. And your questions will help both of you determine if you are the right match for the job.

Know what questions NOT to ask. Don't inquire about vacation time, benefits or your office space at the first interview. These questions are appropriate only after the hiring manager has expressed serious interest in offering you the position.

  Sample Questions to Ask
  • What is it you saw in my background that made you want to speak with me?
  • What qualifications would the ideal person for this job have?
  • What is the biggest challenge facing the person you hire for this position?
  • What are the three most important things you would expect me to accomplish in my first 30/60/90 days on the job? -and/or-
  • What is the first priority of the person who is hired for this position?
  • What are the reporting relationships for this position?
  • What are the biggest challenges facing your company in the next few years?
  • How would you characterize the corporate culture here?
  • When will the job performance evaluation take place? -and/or-
  • How are performances reviews handled here?
  • What do you like best about working for this company? -and/or-
  • What's the most frustrating thing about working for this company? -similarly-
  • If you could make one constructive suggestion to top management, what would it be? -or-
  • What areas does the company need to focus on to become more competitive?
  • When you look at people who have been successful here, what tend to be their strengths? Conversely, when people don't work out, are there any common themes as to why?
  • How would you describe a typical day on the job? -or-
  • What are the daily duties and work of an intern?
  • What are the overlying goals of the program?
  • How much discretion am I allowed and expected to exercise?
  • What are the next stages in the interview process? Who will be making the final decision? When?
  • What kind of training can I expect in the first three months?
  • To whom would I report?
  • Would I be assigned to a specific department or rotate throughout the organization? -and/or-
  • Does the company anticipate changing the current structure soon?
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