Re: How Many Questions/Memorized Interview

Subject: Re: How Many Questions/Memorized Interview
From: "Comeau, Lisa" <Lisa -dot- Comeau -at- MOH -dot- GOV -dot- ON -dot- CA>
Date: Tue, 16 Feb 1999 18:13:37 -0500

see my comments in quotes

During an interview, how many questions should I ask?

"As in your are interviewing a candidate, or you are being interviewed? I
don't think there's a set number - depends on how much you want to know,
whether you need clarification, or you think the question may help you
appear more 'right' for the job...or, if you're doing the interviewING,
whether the question will clarify that the interviwEE is right for the

How many is to little, how many is to much?
"Zero is too little. Unless they're silly questions, no numerical limit as
to 'too many'. Always ask at least one - unless it's 'how much does it pay?'
- if this is the only question you plan to ask, be sure to also ask your
lawyer if you can sue the interviewer for damages when s/he kicks your butt
out the door. Ask questions that give you insight as to what type of place
it is to work, what the staff turnover rate is, why the position is open, is
there room for advancement, what does the interviewer like best about their
job...the kinds of questions that show you are interested in working for the
company. (Of course, if you weren't interested, you wouldn't be in the
interview, but it doesn't hurt to let the interviewer know you want the
job. The biggest mistake I have seen as an interviewer is the person who
doesn't show me they want the position."

"Zero is too little. Unless they're silly questions, no numerical limit as
to 'too many'. What do you want/need to know?"

In your opinions is it also appropriate to bring a list of questions to an
interview and ask from a list during the interview? Or, should I have them

"I always write a list of questions. Sometimes the act of writing it makes
me remember, and I don't have to refer to it, but it's on paper just in
case. Also, having it written down in front of me (with plenty of space for
noting the interviewer's answer) allows me to go back over it later, and see
whether the answers I got to my questions were the kind of answers I

"If you are the interviewer, not the interviewee, you should ALWAYS write
down your questions, and the answers from the interviewee for review when
your department FINALLY tells you to go ahead and hire one of those 555
people you interviewed last year..." ;-)

My two cents from both sides of the fence...
Lisa Comeau
Office (416) 327-1112
Pager (416) 715-9198
mailto:Lisa -dot- Comeau -at- moh -dot- gov -dot- on -dot- ca

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