2019 Bumps In The Road

Journey of 20 Job Applications: Are these pre-interview questions rude?

So, I definitely have some emotional maturing to do at times. It’s when it comes to decision making from second-place options that I have the most trouble.

What isn’t listed on the chart are a few interviews I had earlier this year. The last one was in Jun 2019 and it was not altogether nice – disorganized, aggressive, inexperienced employee-interviewers.

I think leftover feelings from that played a role in the questions I just sent the HR contact at an upcoming interview. My thought was, it’s unlikely I’ll dazzle a 9-person interview panel throughout a 7-hour interview day that includes lunch and a 45-minute presentation. So to cope, I’ve changed my mindset to look at the day as an informational session and practice opportunity for a job I’ll really want after my 6-month sabbatical.

Viewing it this way helped. I had an objective, a task to complete. And if I’m anything, I’m task-oriented! With that objective in mind, I spent most of Saturday preparing my presentation. I got kind of into it and my first draft is rough but will be solid when finalized. No extras.

Recognizing how much time and effort I put into interview prep in addition to this presentation and my most recent interview experiences, I drafted and sent the following to my HR contact at the new place.

Thank you for the information. I have a few additional questions regarding the presentation and the interview day.


  • Who will my audience be for the presentation? HCPs? Other employees?
  • How many people in the audience?
  • Will I be in a room where I can project a Powerpoint? or Just speaking from handouts?
  • If projecting, will I need to bring a jump drive or will I be able to access personal email?
  • Will I be at a podium? or a conference table with the audience?

Interview day

  • Are all of the non-HR interviewers experienced in interviewing for this position?
  • Have they interviewed other candidates for this position?
  • Will they view my resume prior to the interview date?
  • Will each interview be skills/competency based? or Fit-based?
  • Is this interview format typical for this organization/ role or is it a new format?
  • I noticed in the job description that this position reports to Director or Senior Director but I did not see that person/title on the interview schedule. Is that typical? or Will this position be reporting to someone else?

Thank you so much in advance for your attention to this. I really appreciate it. I find it’s really beneficial to the process if interviewer and interviewee are equally prepared. Look forward to hearing from you.

Since I have no friends and my family is busy with their own lives, I slept on it. Waited for a sign (from God). (Never works.) The only thing I got was a bug crawling on my laptop as I was drafting said email. If it were a sign, I literally killed it.

So internet public, what are your thoughts? Risky? Bold? Inappropriate? Cheeky? Just what the doctor ordered?

In case you missed it...


  1. Buckeyecub says:

    The questions about the setup for the presentation are fine. The questions about whether the interviewers are looking for fit or skill is probably not a good idea. You should assume they are doing both. Suggest not asking about how expirenced they are in interviewing or if a new format is being used. Throughout my career I have had to interview candidates and never got any training. This seems common practice that employees that will be working with new hire are included as interviewers. Manager level interviewers generally have experience/trading in interviewing.

    I think your approach of treating this like a test run is wise. Takes pressure off.

    1. That it does! Thanks buckeyecub. I actually sent the questions before composing this post. And they responded. So…well who knows that means. 🙂

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