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Asked by Arthur on February 21, 2017

Someone once told me that an interview is as much about me learning about the company as it is the company learning about me. Is that a fair assessment? For example should I feel free to ask my interviewer about why they like the company or where they feel its weak points are?

Answered by Charlene, Hiring Expert at Gap Inc., on February 21, 2017

What a great question.  It is a time for the two of you to see if this is a match, and that means both ways.  If you have applied with a company, and they have screened through candidates, and invited you for an interview,  the interview is giving you an opportunity to give more in depth information about your experiences and background.  Meaning your skills, experiences and background have got through the "is this person qualified", you are now in the, "is this the best candidate" stage and it's your chance to sell what value you can bring to the company. So during the interview keep in mind you are still selling yourself, however, this in person opportunity is also a great chance for the company to sell you on what they have to offer.  Take this chance to ask well thought out questions that are important for you when thinking about going to work for this company and what would help you make that decision.  If what that person likes about the company, and what they feel are the pain points will help you make a better choice then ask the question. Utilizing that as a filter hopefully will help you when putting together a list of questions for interviewer.  Good Luck.

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Answered by Ellee, Hiring Expert at Textron Inc., on February 22, 2017

Hello! This is a great question! If you have been contacted for an interview, the recruiter has already identified skills and experiences on your resume that lead you to be a qualified candidate for the positon you applied to. During the conversation, you will want to discuss your background and experiences to show that you are the best candidate for this position, and ensure you stand out among your fellow applicants. The interview is also a time for you to ask questions that you believe are important to your decision making process. Prepare questions in advance that are about the position you have applied to and also have questions prepared about the company based on your research prior to the interview. I would steer away from getting too personal with the questions, however, if you are interested in learning about why the interviewer enjoys working for the company, then ask. Be sure the questions that you ask will provide meaningful information in order for you to make the best decision for you! Best of luck!

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Answered by Dean, Hiring Expert at Archer Daniels Midland, on February 28, 2017

Absolutely!  Those would be two great questions to ask.  The interview is definitely a two way street!  Do your homework on the company you are interviewing and try to tie in a question to learn more about the company.  By asking good questions about the company, you are demonstrating intellectual curiosity and this can only help you in your standing.
Good Luck!  

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Answered by Brittany, Hiring Expert at ManpowerGroup, on June 6, 2017

Absolutely fair! Both you and the interviewer are determining if this will be a mutually beneficial fit at this time. Still be respectful and tactful of course, but feel free to ask your interviewer where they see some possible areas for growth in the company. It's important to remain positive because that will have a lasting effect on the overall conversation. Here are a few more questions you can consider asking:

1. How is success defined in the department and how will my performance be measured?
2. Why do you enjoy your position? What do you appreciate about the company?
3. What is the company culture like? Is it the same in this department?
4. What are some goals that you have for this team within the next year?
5. How do you see this position contributing towards those goals?

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