List of Questions Asked on a Job Application

Tips for Effectively Answering Questions on an Application for Employment

People filling out job applications
••• Getty Images/Christopher Badzioch

Depending on the position, job applications take many different forms and include a wide range of questions. Employers will often use an application for part-time, entry-level, and blue collar jobs as a way to whittle down those candidates 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 all the information provided by the applicant is truthful. When companies use applicant tracking systems (ATS), that means an automated system is in place.

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 with you, and don't have to rely on memory. For online job applications, have a copy of your resume available so you can copy and paste information directly into the employer's application form.

List of Questions Asked on a Job Application

Below is a list of some of the types of information which you may need to supply, though not all of this will be required 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 (including current salary and previous salaries)
  • 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 
  • Essay with topics such as why you're interested in, or qualified for, the job
  • Hobbies/Interests
  • How you learned about the job
  • Employees you know at the company
  • References (typically three references with their contact information) 
  • Licenses/Certifications
  • Whether you have access to an automobile for work purposes
  • Driving record
  • Whether you have the authorization to work in the US
  • Times and days available to work
  • Start and end dates you're available for seasonal and temporary jobs
  • Social Security Number (only legally required in some states, you may want to say "will furnish prior to employment offer" or "please contact me to discuss") 
  • Have you been convicted of a crime and, if so, what crime and when (only legal in some states)
  • Certification that all the information you have supplied is accurate

Tips for Applying for a Job 

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 a 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. Instead, offer details about skills and accomplishments rather than a list of duties. To substantiate your experience, draw on your school work, 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 relevant to the position.

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

Review Examples: Job Application Form Samples