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by Vault Careers | October 28, 2011


Questions aren’t just for the interview. While your preparation for your job interview should certainly include your own list of questions—about the company, the position, the culture, or any other topic that will help you decide if the job is a good fit for you—you should also get ready with some pre-interview questions. Below are some inquiries that you may want to make before your next job interview.


1.With whom will I meet?

Get to know your interviewers before you walk into the interview. Request the names of the people with whom you will meet, if the recruiting contact has them handy. Once you have the names, you can research each interviewer’s bio and learn more about his or her career path, publications, major accomplishments, and main responsibilities at the company. Understanding your interviewers may give you context for their questions, and arming yourself with knowledge of the interviewers’ backgrounds will provide you material for conversation-starters and questions. Plus demonstrating that you did some homework will show your commitment to the opportunity.

2.Where am I going?

Going to the right place on the day of your interview is obviously important—companies relocate, and you need to make sure you have the current location. Asking the recruiter for the company’s address may make you look lazy, as a quick Google search will likely reveal the answer. So, don’t ask for the address—confirm it. Look up the address and then ask the recruiter if that is the correct location.

3.Do you need anything else from me?

You’ve sent in your resume and cover letter—the company has everything it needs. Or does it? Sometimes prospective employers will also request references, writing samples, a portfolio, or other materials relating to your qualifications for the job. While it is good practice to go to the interview prepared with these materials, it doesn’t hurt to ask the recruiter if he or she would like any additional information prior to the interview. Providing materials in advance—if requested—may make the interview more productive, as the interviewers will have had access to the information ahead of time. Of course, you shouldn’t send additional materials if the recruiter does not want them.

4.Where will we go?

Sometimes interviews are conducted over lunch, and while you shouldn’t be demanding when it comes to the restaurant, you should inquire about the cuisine if you have dietary restrictions. Consider how uncomfortable it will be if you can’t eat at the restaurant selected by your interviewer. Help the recruiter plan in advance

5.How do I get there?

This question is one for yourself, not the recruiter. Once you have confirmed the address of the company, figure out the best way to get there and how much time it will take. Be organized so that you can make a good first impression and arrive early.

--Mary Kate Sheridan,


Filed Under: Interviewing|Job Search