List of Questions Asked on a Job Application

Tips for Effective Answers for Questions on an Application for Employment

Equal opportunity applicants
Getty Images/Christopher Badzioch

Job applications take many different forms and include a wide range of questions, depending on the position. Employers will often use an application for part-time, entry-level, and blue collar jobs as a method of screening applicants to select those they want to interview.

For more professional jobs, an application may be required in addition to a resume and cover letter. Having every candidate complete a job application provides the employer with consistent information for each person in the applicant pool.

Signing the application, either by pen or online, attests that the all the information provided by the applicant is truthful.

When companies use applicant tracking systems (ATS), there is an automated system in place to manage the hiring process from application to hire.

When you're applying for a job in-person, bring a list of your employment details with you. It will be much easier to complete the application if you have the information at hand, and don't have to try and remember the details. For online job applications, have a copy of your resume available so you can copy and paste from that into the employer's application form. This way, you'll be sure the information you're giving the company is accurate and up-to-date.

List of Questions Asked on a Job Application

Here is a list of some of the types of information which you may be asked to supply, though not all of this information will be needed for every application.

  • Name, address, telephone number, email
  • Desired job
  • Desired salary
  • Previous jobs including titles, duties, employers, locations and dates of employment
  • Salary history (present salary and salary at previous jobs)
  • Names of previous supervisors
  • Permission to contact your current employer
  • Reasons for leaving prior jobs
  • Educational background including majors, degrees, schools, locations, dates of attendance/graduation, GPA, honors, awards
  • Extracurricular activities
  • Military experience
  • Volunteer work
  • Specific skills related to the job (may be a checklist)
  • Essay with topics like why are you interested in or qualified for the job
  • Hobbies/Interests
  • How you learned about the vacancy
  • Employees you know
  • References (typically three references with contact information)
  • Licenses/Certifications
  • Whether you have access to an automobile to use for work
  • Driving record
  • Whether you have authorization to work in the US
  • Times and days available to work
  • For seasonal and temporary jobs, starting and end date of availability
  • Social Security Number (Only legal in some states; you may want to say "will furnish prior to offer for employment" or "uncomfortable listing SSN, please contact me to discus.")
  • Have you been convicted of a crime and, if so, what and when (only legal in some states)
  • Certification that all the information you have supplied is accurate

Tips for Answering Job Application Questions

Bring the necessary information or have it ready to input online. That includes your resume details, identification (including a social security card and driver’s license), proof of citizenship, and contact information for previous employers.

Follow instructions precisely. Read and review the entire application first before you fill it out, and then do so legibly. Consider the application as a reflection of your work ethic. Don't leave any questions blank (write "N/A" for answers that aren't applicable) and don't write "see resume" instead of answering the question. For online applications, check for typos before you submit it.

Shape your answers to fit the job. Avoid writing a laundry list of your education and experience and instead offer details about skills and accomplishments rather than a summary of duties. Draw on your history of work, school, extracurricular activities, and volunteer work. Try to craft an application that sets you apart and details why you're not only qualified but bring uniqueness to the role.

List references. Provide professional references, if you have them.

If you don't have a long work history, include character references in addition to or instead of past employers. If your work history is more robust, choose references who can attest to your skills and accomplishments.

Avoid specifying salary requirements. Employers often use this question to screen applications, and you don't want the door to close before getting an interview. The best answer is "negotiable" or "open."

Review Examples: Job Application Form Samples