Job Interview: Some Essential Questions to Ask

The following is from “Ten Questions to Ask in a Job Interview to Really Stand Out” along with my commentary and earlier blog link.


You’ve researched the prospective employer and its industry online, and figured out how you’ll answer common interview questions —like the dreaded “What’s your greatest weakness?”, for instance. You’ve even called ahead (or hung out in the building lobby when people are coming and going, at around 9 a.m. or in the early evening) to check out how employees dress there, and ransacked your closet for clothes that will help you fit in. You’re good to go, right? Just one more thing: when the interviewer gets to those 7 crucial words—”Do you have any questions for me?”—what will you say? What you’ll say next does matter. 

(Pick two or three follow-up questions from the following list — not all ten!)

I have modified it for police candidates.

  1. What’s the most important characteristic required for success in this agency?
  2. How would you describe the the officers that I’d be working with in this job?
  3. Is this a new position? Or a new work orientation? If so, what additional value do you expect someone in this role to deliver?
  4. What is most important in my first 12 to 18 months here, if I join you? Are there specific goals or milestones you’d like me to reach immediately?
  5. What are some of the biggest challenges someone in this job will face?
  6. What excites you most about the future of your agency?
  7. What do you see as your agency’s biggest opportunity/area of growth?
  8. In evaluating other police agencies (be able to name them), who is tops from your perspective? Why is that?
  9. What made you decide to join this agency? What has persuaded you to stay?
  10. What are the next steps in the process?

See also an earlier blog of mine which I adapted from Reinventing the Corporation, Naisbitt and Auberdene, 1985. (Of which I happen to like a bit more!)

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