Job interviews are not just an opportunity for employers to size up candidates. In fact, they provide a good opportunity for candidates to also size up potential employers. If you are going to ask the employer some questions, be sure to avoid the “what about me” questions such as “how long is my lunch break,” “how much vacation time do I get,” “how much time do I get for coffee breaks,” etc. The answers to such questions will provide little insight and should be saved until after you have received an offer of employment.

Instead, you should focus on asking the right questions that will provide you with the right kinds of information. Here are some examples of some potential questions to ask a potential employer during an interview:

  • What is the overall goal of the department/team/unit that I would be working with?
  • Can you tell me about the people I would be working closely with?
  • How would my performance be measured?
  • What are the long and short-term goals for the company?
  • What are the company’s values?
  • Can you describe the work environment?
  • What types of project/assignments would I be working on?
  • Are there opportunities for advancement?
  • What are the challenging aspects of the position?
  • Does the organization have plans for future growth and expansion?
  • Can you tell me about the person I would be working for?

These are just a few examples and I recommend doing some prep before an interview to jot down a few of the important questions that you want to ask. It is also a good idea to visit the company’s Web site in advance to see if any of your questions can be answered from the information available. You wouldn’t want to be asking questions during the interview that could be directly answered from the company Web site.