Questionable questions?

Salary, Work Expectations Top of Mind for Candidates During Job Interviews

TORONTO, Sept. 24, 2015 /CNW/ - Employers aren't the only ones doing the asking during job interviews. The majority (84 per cent) of professionals polled by Accountemps said they typically pose questions of their own when meeting with hiring managers. Unfortunately, some of the queries among respondents were questionable. For example:

  • "How late do you consider too late for showing up to work?"
  • "When can I retire?"
  • "Can I take a three-week vacation?"
  • "When can I get a raise?"

"Beyond serving as an evaluation of a candidate's skills and experience, the interview is equally the job seeker's opportunity to get a sense of whether or not the company aligns with their workplace ideals and preferences," said Dianne Hunnam-Jones, Canadian president of Accountemps. "For the initial interview, it's best to keep your questions broad in an effort to better understand the company's goals, and how your skills can support those objectives. The specifics can be discussed in future meetings, when the employer is more familiar with your abilities."

Professionals were asked, "When interviewing for a job, do you typically ask the hiring manager any questions of your own?"  






The most common questions professionals asked fell into the following categories. Their top responses included:



Professional expectations/responsibilities




Hours/work schedule/environment


Job description/growth opportunities


Accountemps offers five questions that can help applicants gain useful insight during job interviews:

  1. What is a typical day like for someone in this position? Not only can you learn about the standard duties, but you also will get a sense for how closely your prospective manager understands what's involved with the job.
  2. Who was in the role before me, and why did they leave? Be wary if the job is a revolving door; there could be unrealistic expectations or other reasons that people in this function haven't been set up for success.
  3. What qualities do you think would make someone successful in this position? The answer can help you highlight your relevant traits and determine if your strengths are a match.
  4. What do you see as the greatest opportunities for the company in the next several years? The response gives you a sense of the firm's prospects and whether leadership is more pragmatic or visionary.
  5. What do you like most about working here? This gives you information about the corporate culture and also what most motivates and inspires your potential manager.

About the Research
The survey was developed by Accountemps and conducted by an independent research firm. It includes responses from more than 400 Canadian workers 18 years or older and employed in office environments.

About Accountemps
Accountemps, a Robert Half company, is the world's first and largest specialized staffing service for temporary accounting, finance and bookkeeping professionals. The staffing firm has more than 340 offices worldwide. More resources, including online job search services, can be found at Follow the Accountemps blog and @RobertHalf_CAN on Twitter for additional workplace news and hiring trends.

SOURCE Accountemps

For further information: Naz Araghian, 416.865.2140,

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