Most people get anxious about what questions  they will be asked during an interview. It is arguably just as, or more important, to know what you are going to ask your employers!

Every question an employer presents has a motive, because they have their goals as a business, and they know that how you answer their questions may align with or be misaligned with their personal values. The reverse is equally true! YOU must have questions because YOU have a motive and goals as an individual, and YOU know that how they answer YOUR questions may align or misaligned with YOUR personal values.



What Questions Should I ask?

The best interview questions to ask your prospective employer must stem from what you are personally interested in knowing. So how do you ask the best interview questions? If you ask questions that have value to you, your interviewer will find commonalities with you. Any interviewer who believes you have common values will increase the chances of landing an offer. 


So if you want the best chance of working at the firms you want, do a little research on yourself first to see what it is which you value…



Learn All You Can About Yourself

Why would I put this? You know everything about yourself. Right? If you can’t describe the firm environment which best matches your personality and work values then you may not. You need to decide what are the specific values you want in a firm. Do I want more money vs. experience? Do I want to sit at a desk all day with repetitive tasks vs. collaborate with co-workers on designs?

The following questions are for you to ask yourself. You should come up with an answer in your head that matches your values. If the question doesn’t matter to you, then you shouldn’t ask it. You can then spend time focusing on the questions that matter to you!


Ask yourself the question in bold. If this is important to you ask your interviewer the statement that follows

How many hours do you want to work? Ask them what the workweek is like. Ask how they deal with project deadlines.

Do you want to work somewhere where they pay for your ARE testing (at least if you pass them)? Ask if they provide monetary accommodations for ARE testing.

Do you want time to be able to study during your ARE testing?  Ask if and how they work with employees during ARE testing.

Is job retention a serious concern for you? Ask how they fared through the last recession.

Do you want to know if there are opportunities for promotions? Ask what their 5-year and 10-year goals are.

Is there a certain building type you are interested in working on? Ask what kind of opportunities they have for that building type.

Want to know if your interviewers are honest about their firm culture? Ask employees similar questions if you are able to take a tour of the firm.

Do you want to be given an opportunity to shine at your job? Ask what kind of leadership role you can take with your current experience.


Questions To Ask Before the Interview

Discuss the interview environment directly with your contact with the firm, through either email or a phone call, only if they directly offer. There is nothing wrong with asking questions about to expect during your interview. In fact, the reality is quite the contrary; Asking questions ahead of time shows you want to be prepared and you are taking the initiative to do so! Here are a few great questions to ask prior to an interview:


I am currently writing my cover letter and would like to ask, to whom should I address this to?

What can I expect the interview environment to be like? Such as a one- on- one conversation or a board of people sitting at a conference table.

What is the proper attire for the interview, ie business casual?



Questions To Ask at Interview

Feel free to copy and paste this list into your own document. I would not suggest bringing a physical copy to the interview but study the questions that you have decided are important to you and relay them verbally. Take these questions, add to them, edit them, own them:


What is the scheduled work week? 8-5? What is the average number of hours worked in a week?

What would be my role in the company? The day to day stuff?

If I started working here today, what project would I be working on?

What do you offer as benefits?

What is your five-year plan in terms of growth/ sustainability?

What kind of leadership role can I take with my current experience?

What kind of unique opportunities do you have at this moment?

Do you provide assistance with testing? Or do you work with employees during ARE testing?

I enjoyed meeting with you and your firm. Based on what we know about each other, can you offer me this position?

When should I expect to hear back from you? I am interested in this job.


What do you value in a firm? Do you have any questions we should add that could benefit future students? Comment below!