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1. Let’s Say I Execute All the Set Duties of My Position For A Long Time….?

You should always find out where the job is taking you in the next few years, however you must phrase this question properly.  If you come out and say that you want to know exactly where you’ll be in 3 years, the interviewer is going to perceive that you are not into this job and feel as if you are above it.  Once this happens, all hopes of obtaining an offer letter are over.


On the other hand, you can ask the interviewer that if you plan to do exceptionally well in the position, after you really prove yourself (the “really prove” must be stressed), what potential is there for you to grow both personally and professionally?  Again, you have to make the interviewer aware that you are 110% dedicated to the position that is currently being discussed and not put too much emphasis on this point, but finding out is important.

Pull this off correctly, and you’ll get the person on the other end of the table or on the other phone line to show his or her cards and tell you whether there is truly a future within the company.


2. What Is The Average Turnover Rate of the Corporation? 

This may make the interviewer a tad uneasy, but it is a valid question and can be phrased as such:


“I want a career and not just a job, do you mind me asking how happy the people at the company are and, in a rough estimate, is the turnover rate towards the higher or lower end?”


Prior to interviewing with the company, you should have done your best to do the proper research to determine a rough estimate for yourself, but you should always hear this directly from the interviewer.  This way, they can either confirm what you have deciphered from your research or whether they have a rational, different spin.


3. What Is An Average Day Like?  When Does It Begin?

Two seconds after asking this question, make sure the interview knows that you understand that this is not a 9 â€" 5 job.  Tell him or her in a direct manner that a “9 â€" 5 job” is not what you are after.  However, what time the day begins will, if you’re commuting to the job from out of town, help you determine whether you can take the position in the first place.


When it comes to obtaining an answer to the first question, “What is the average day like?” listen contently to the interviewer’s answer/description and see if these tasks are going to challenge you and interest you on a daily basis.  You don’t want to start a job expecting to do “x” all day only to find out that you will be doing “y” and you don’t particularly care for doing “y.”   You might as well ask; there’s no harm.


4. What Is The Travel Like?  Where Would I Be Traveling? 

Remember, just like any other “eggshell” question (meaning a question that can be taken wrong way and ruin an entire interview), tread lightly and make sure that the interviewer knows that you are inquiring to make an informed decision and that you have an open mind when it comes to the topic of travel.  If the interviewer shoots right back at you asking if travel is a problem, simply state:


“For the right position, not one bit.”


After saying this, the person on the other end of the table will most likely give you an idea of the amount of travel.  Always remember, many companies tend to inflate travel as a way to test if the potential employee can handle the max workload.  Therefore, as a rule, I would deduct around 15% from the travel number you are given.


5. How Long Has Your Company Been Around?

You should have some information regarding this prior to the first interview, however it never hurts to cover all of your bases.  There are both positives and negatives to working at a small or large company.  The shorter the company has been around, the more risk that you are taking.   However, more reward typically lurks as well.


With small start-up organizations, if you believe in their product and / or service, they can afford to pay you and you like the people, act as if this is going to be a fun challenge.  Never walk into an employment situation, after accepting, with negative thoughts.  By doing so, you’re doing yourself and your new employer a grave disservice.  On the flip side, never let a small business tell you that they’re going to be the next Google and not compensate you well because of the “gold mine” you’d be sitting on.

6. Is This a New Position or a Replacement Position? 

Upon your first interview, if you find out that a position is a replacement position, you must dig a little bit deeper as to why the person was replaced, what is going to be expected of you, how is your background similar and different to that of the particular individual who held the job prior and how, if you were chosen for the job, you could make a positive impact this time around.


If the position is a newly opened position within the organization, this typically alludes to the fact that the company is in some sort of growth mode.  This, for a job seeker, is an ideal situation; growth equals stability.  Once you receive this growth information, it is best to further inquire as to the reasons why they are growing and where the company sees itself 5 years from now.

Additional questions to ask on a 1st interview



This addedinterviews article was written by Ken Sundheim on 11/16/2011

Ken Sundheim is the CEO of KAS Placement Pittsburgh sales recruiters, Pittsburgh executive recruiters, an executive search firmIndianapolis Recruitment Indianapolis Sales Recruiters Staffing helping recruit job seekers of all levels throughout the U.S. including