The interview process should be a two way street. While it is important to market yourself to a potential employer, an interview is not just about whether you’re a good fit for the role and the organization. It is equally important to determine whether the potential employer is a good fit for you.

Near the end of the meeting your interviewer will typically ask if you have any questions. Don’t be caught off guard. Seize this opportunity to learn more about the potential employer and demonstrate that you are interested, intelligent, and forward-thinking. Consider the following 21 questions:

  1. What will my responsibilities be?
  2. Where will I fit into the overall organizational structure?
  3. Why is this position vacant?
  4. Who will I report to?
  5. Where does he/she fit into the structure?
  6. Who will report to me?
  7. What do you expect me to accomplish in the first six months?
  8. Is there support for this operation or department or project from the top down?
  9. What training do you provide to your employees?
  10. When will you decide on the hire?
  11. What are the promotion possibilities?
  12. Where does the job fit into the organization?
  13. What other positions would I interface with in the job?
  14. How would you describe the work environment?
  15. Do your employees work individually or as a team?
  16. What career opportunities exist in the company?
  17. What further education or training does the company consider important for my future progress?
  18. What is the performance review process?
  19. Is this a newly created position or has it existed for some time?
  20. What are the department’s goals for the year?
  21. After having this discussion, do you have any concerns with my ability to do this job?

Each of these questions provides vital information to help you decide if this role is the best fit for you. For example, if the previous employee left due to culture fit or work life balance it may give you clues about the dynamics of the organization. Asking about promotion or training opportunities can give insight into how much the company is willing to  invest in you as an employee, or whether there is potential for growth.

This list is only a start. What aspects of your job are most important to you? Once you define what you’re looking for in your next position, write down some questions that will help you get the information you need to make an informed choice.

Still searching for more in-depth assistance with interviewing?  Contact your installation’s Transition Readiness and Family Member Employment Assistance staff and ask the Marine For Life Network on LinkedIn.