Asking Questions in an Interview

It is up to you to decide whether or not the job and company really interest you. The best way to do that is by asking questions. But exercise good judgement in choosing what questions to ask. Your research should answer many of the basics and will give you an idea of other things you might want to know. As a general rule you want to ask only those questions you really need answered in order to determine whether or not you want the job. If there is a second interview, or you are later offered the position, you will have an opportunity to ask additional questions then.

Some typical questions would be:

  • What kind of training does the company offer to new employees?
  • What are the workplace expectations? i.e. work habits, dress code, uniforms, work hours, shift work, overtime, etc.
  • How many workers does the company have?
  • Can you give me some examples of the best results previous workers in this position have achieved?
  • Does the company have an organizational chart? And where does this position fit?
  • What is the company’s mission statement/business philosophy/long term goals?
  • Does the company have equal opportunity/anti-racism policies and a formal complaint process?
  • Will I be working independently or as part of a team?
  • How much travel is required?
  • Will there be opportunities for advancement within the company?
  • When can I contact you/expect to hear from you about the interview results? OR When do you plan to make your hiring decision?

Salary Discussions

This is difficult for most people. Bear in mind that employers expect you to ask about salary. But how? And when? And how much?

Early in the interview is not the time. You don’t want to appear more interested in the money than the job, and the employer doesn’t even know yet whether they want you, never mind how much you might be worth to them.

It is best to wait and let the interviewer bring up the topic, usually by stating a salary range and asking you if this is acceptable. Always go to an interview with an idea of the current salary range for that position in your area. Canadian salary ranges are available online at If you do not have Internet access, check with your local library; they can help you find the information you need.

If the interview is coming to a close and the interviewer has not introduced the topic, ask for the salary range for the position as a point of information. Don’t try to negotiate anything, even if the range is unacceptable to you. You can discuss salary if/when they offer you the job.