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In a Job Interview, Can I Have My Questions for Them Already Written Down?

by Bronwyn Timmons, studioD

You've landed a meeting with a potential employer and you're ready to jet out the door with your resume in hand. Before you go, take a few moments to prepare by compiling a list of questions you want to ask during the meeting. Asking questions will help you learn more about the job and whether it's right for you. Writing down your questions and bringing them with you will ensure you get the answers you seek and that you don't forget to address any important points.

Selecting Your Questions

Your questions should not be anything that could easily be answered with a quick Internet search of the company’s name. For example, don't ask how long the company has been in business or who the founder or president is. Instead, choose specific questions that only the interviewer will be able to answer. For example, ask about the work environment or long- and short-term goals of the department you'll be working in. Try to ask at least five questions during the interview. Type or write them, and be sure to leave plenty of space after each question to jot down notes about the answers you're given during the interview.

Questions to Ask

While you can ask almost anything you desire during the interview, some questions will reveal more about the position and company than others. Ask why the position is open and what problems need to be addressed by the person taking the job. This will show that you are interested in helping the company grow and that you're willing to tackle and fix issues. Ask for more information about the position itself, especially if the job description or posting was vague about the duties or scheduling for the position. You may also ask what a typical work day is like for employees, what makes top-notch employees stand out within the company or how the interviewer would describe the corporate culture around the office. You can take your questions a step further and ask specific questions about the interviewer herself. For example, ask her to describe her personal vision for the company or her management style. These types of questions will show you are genuinely interested in the job and will give you more information about how well you'd fit in with your potential colleagues.

Questions to Avoid

While you probably want to ask about the salary and any potential benefits, avoid only asking questions that pertain to pay, time off or perks. According to US News, doing so could make it look like you aren't genuinely interested in the job and only care about the compensation, which is a major red flag to many employers. While it's acceptable to ask the interviewer pointed questions, keep it professional and refrain from asking anything personal. For example, how many children he has or whether he's married are not appropriate interview questions as they have nothing to do with the job at hand.

Displaying Your Questions

If you wish to hand write your questions, do so in a professional-looking notebook and try to write as nicely as possible. While you certainly won't hand the list over to the interviewer and it is simply for your reference, the interviewer will probably see it. Bringing a wrinkled, dirty sheet of paper with questions haphazardly scrawled across it probably won't make a very good impression. An easier way to throw together a professional-looking list of questions is to simply type and print them. Regardless of how you present your questions, bring your own pen to jot down notes during the interview.

About the Author

Based in Colorado, Bronwyn Timmons has been writing professionally since 2009. Her work has appeared on a variety of websites, covering topics such as career and education planning, wedding planning, home improvement, crafts and gardening. Timmons is pursuing her bachelor's degree in mortuary science.

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