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Questions to Ask in Your Interview

If you’re Filipino and heading into an interview with a foreigner, it may help to understand style differences. Typically an American, Australian, or British interviewer will expect you to ask questions at the end of your interview. They use this to gain insights into your priorities, values, or motivations, and often find this the most interesting part of the process.

Filipinos, conversely, are often shy to ask questions. If you are called on for questions and you respond “No, you answered everything already”, you are at risk of giving the impression that you’re just not that interested in the job. An interviewer never tells you everything; they will be surprised and disappointed if you ask nothing. And you’re missing a perfect opportunity to sell yourself into the role.

So what types of questions should you ask?

Let’s start with the ones to avoid.

  • How many vacation days do I get each year?
  • When will I be considered for a salary increase?
  • What training courses will you send me on and when?

All of these questions fall into the “what’s in it for me?” category. And while they are perfectly valid questions, they don’t give you an opportunity to demonstrate the benefits to the employer of hiring you. Save these ones for when you get the job offer or direct them to the recruiter.

Another set of dangerous questions are those that were already answered during the interview. If the interviewer spent 10 minutes describing the culture of the company and you ask “What is the culture like?”, they will think you weren’t listening, or that you have poor comprehension. The best way to avoid this is to write down questions before your interview, and cross them off if they are answered. Listen closely to what the interviewer tells you and make a note to ask later if you didn’t understand. You can also preface your question to cover this situation, “I know you mentioned the company culture, but could you tell me more?” or “You talked a little about the new system you’re implementing – could you elaborate?”

The following questions set the right impression, as long as you make sure they weren’t already answered:

  • Can you tell me what’s the best thing about working at your company?
  • How big is the team I’ll be working in? How big is the company? How many locations?
  • How did this vacancy come about – is it a replacement role or a new position?
  • The job description mentions travel / shift work / something else – can you tell me more?

The very best questions to ask are those that show you’ve really thought about the job, what it entails, what the challenges might be, and that demonstrate your high level of interest to be hired. Personalize them by assuming you have the role, so that the interviewer pictures you in it:

  • What will be my biggest challenge in the first month?
  • Which system will I be using for ?
  • What would a typical day look like for me?
  • What would be my deliverables in the first 90 days?
  • How often will my performance be reviewed?
  • Who will I work with most closely?

Finally, while some interviewers will give you feedback at the end of the conversation, many won’t. You can ask for it in the following ways:

  • What is the next step in the process after this interview?
  • How do I compare to other candidates you’ve interviewed?
  • Is there anything lacking in my experience that will prevent me from getting hired for this role?

It’s most important to leave the interviewer with a positive impression. You can do this by asking well-considered questions and thanking them for their time at the close.

Check out our other job-hunting tips on our blog at and apply for one of our vacancies today!

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