FAQ: Questions to Ask During an Interview

andreas.com FAQ: Questions to Ask During an Interview

Managers like you to ask questions, it shows you’re bright, interested, and paying attention. If you don’t ask questions they’ll think you’re not really interested in the job. Copy the following list and use it as your questions.

Tip: On a job interview, you’re nervous. When you’re nervous, it’s hard to remember what you want to ask. So bring a list with your questions. Always bring a notebook and take notes on what the manager tells you. Since your notebook is already open, it’s easy to refer to the written questions you want to ask.

  • Describe the audience I will be writing for?
  • Is this a new manual or a revision of an existing one?
  • If new, does a draft outline already exist?
  • If existing, will my version be in the same format or a new format?
  • Does the company have an editor (copy editor or developmental editor)?
  • Will I be doing any online material? Web pages? Online help?
  • What authoring tools will I be using?
  • What is the schedule?
  • Is there a style guide that I will be following?
  • Are there templates and style-sheets?
  • What are my deliverables?: camera-ready, formatted text, unformatted text, HTML, XML, and so on.
  • Who will make the art/photos/diagrams/schematics? What graphics tool and file formats?
  • Who will I use for info sources? (specifications, engineers, testing, tech support, marketing, etc.)
  • Is the product in a state that I can run/use it? (It’s hard to write about something that doesn’t exist or that you can’t see and use.)
  • Who will review my work for accuracy and usability?
  • Has review time been included in the engineers schedules?
  • Where will I work? (If it’s in the hallway next to the soda machine, try to negotiate a better space.)
  • Can I work at home?
  • What machine(s) will I be using?
  • Will I have a company email account?
  • Will I have web access?
  • What is the expected work week in number of hours? (For staff job.)
  • What is the payment cycle? (For contractors.)
  • What is Accounts/Payable name & phone number? (For contractors.)
  • Always ask the other employees what it’s like to work there.

This list of questions has been copied quite a bit and it shows up on other websites. Every once in a while, when I was a manager, I’d get a candidate who had a copy of the list. Or didn’t realize that I was the same as andreas.com.