There’s no denying that interviews are important in the hiring process. Not only is this the perfect opportunity for a hiring manager to get to know you, but it’s also your chance to see if the job and company are the right fit for you. Remember, interviews are a two-way street.
Despite this, many candidates will often exit the interview without asking questions. Whether you’re a recent graduate, are in search of a new career, or recently got laid off, a key strategy for acing a job interview is to ask questions, no matter how nervous you may be. Preparing smart and thoughtful questions will help you stand out while gaining valuable insight regarding the company you might work with. From company culture to professional development, there are numerous questions to ask during an interview.
If you don’t know where to begin, we’ve rounded up the best questions to ask in an interview to help you prepare. Use the links below to navigate this guide and find the right questions for you.
- Do I need to ask my interviewer questions?
- Questions to Ask About the Interviewer
- Questions to Ask About the Job
- Questions to Ask About the Company
- Questions to Ask About the Team
- Questions to Ask About Training and Professional Development
- Questions to Ask About the Culture
- Questions to Ask About Next Steps
Do I Need to Ask my Interviewer Questions?
Yes, it’s highly recommended that you ask questions during a job interview. But why is it so important for candidates to do so? For starters, it’ll be your opportunity to get to know more about the company, how they can help you grow, and what they can provide for you. Moreover, by asking thoughtful questions, you’re letting the hiring manager know that you’re genuinely interested in the opportunity.
Questions to Ask About the Interviewer
When the interviewer opens up the floor to you, ask engaging questions and get to know them a little more. You’ll get an idea of who they are, which is especially important if you’ll be working closely or directly reporting to them.
- What’s your favourite part about working here?
- What excites you about the company’s future?
- Why did you choose to work in this industry?
- What has your path at [company name] looked like?
- What do you feel attributed to your success at [company name]?
Be wary of interviewers who don’t seem excited about the role they’re in. Although not everyone can open up easily, these questions to ask a potential employer will help you gauge their level of interest.
Questions to Ask About the Job
When asking questions relating to the job, be careful not to inquire about matters already answered in the job description. Doing so might make it seem like you don’t pay attention.
- What does a typical day look like?
- What are a few projects I’ll be working on?
- What attributes does someone need to have to be successful in this position?
- What are the most challenging aspects of this job?
- Do you expect job responsibilities to change within the next six months?
- Are there any functions not mentioned in the job description?
Questions to Ask About the Company
According to a study, ⅓ of your life will be spent at work, which is why it’s so important to work somewhere where you feel comfortable. Questions to ask a HR manager during the interview include:
- How do you expect the company will grow in the next few years?
- What type of information is disclosed to employees? Is management transparent?
- How much exposure do employees have to executives within the company?
- What are some accomplishments the company has experienced within the last year?
- How has the company changed over the last few years?
Questions to Ask About the Team
Getting to know the team you’ll be working with is important for your growth at any company. After all, you should be able to depend on your teammates.
- Can you tell me more about the team I’ll be working with?
- What other departments does this teamwork with?
- How does this department contribute to the overall success of the company?
- What’s your team’s greatest achievement?
- Is there competition among employees?
Although some competition is healthy, a lack of unity could be detrimental to your state of mind in the long run.
Questions to Ask About Training and Professional Development
Training and professional development questions are definitely unique interview questions to ask an employer. When asking these questions, think about your career goals. The answers you receive will let you know how management sets up new-hires for success and you’ll be able to see if they align with your expectations.
- In terms of training, what does my first week look like?
- What opportunities are there for professional development?
- Where have employees in this role advanced to?
- How often is an employee’s performance evaluated?
- How would my performance be measured?
- How does management encourage employees to grow?
- How are employees recognized for their work?
- How often are employees expected to update supervisors on projects and tasks?
If the hiring manager doesn’t provide concrete examples of how they help their employees advance their careers, then it might not be a good place to develop your skills.
Questions to Ask About the Culture
From health benefits to fun perks, company culture is a critical deciding factor for many candidates.
- Are there any benefits or company standards that focus on a healthy work-life balance?
- What’s the company doing to stay connected during the pandemic?
- How would you describe the office climate?
- How frequently do employees make themselves available to work outside of normal business hours?
- Are there any team volunteering and community service opportunities?
Ideally, their company culture will align with who you are as a person. Look out for companies that care about the physical and mental well-being of their employees.
Questions to Ask About Next Steps
What questions should you ask at the end of an interview? Whether you’re looking for questions to ask at the end of a phone interview or final interview questions to ask employers, you want to wrap up the conversation and clear up any doubts you and the hiring manager may have. Most importantly, good follow-up interview questions should continue to show your enthusiasm for the role.
- Is there anything I can clarify about my qualifications?
- Is there additional information or samples I can provide to help you with your decision?
- What does the timeline look like regarding the next steps?
- If I don’t hear back by [day mentioned], is it okay to follow-up?
- Will there be a second round of interviews? If so, when will candidates be notified?
Sometimes, interviewers will provide you with the next steps before you get the chance to ask. Prepare yourself with additional questions. However, if all of your questions have already been answered, let them know that you had a few planned, but they responded during the interview. That’ll prevent them from thinking you didn’t prepare.
The Bottom Line
With a variety of questions to choose from, how many should you ask in an interview? We recommend you have at least 10 prepared to use throughout the interview. When the hiring manager allows for any last questions, don’t ask more than three. If you’re having a difficult time narrowing down your options,
Don’t make interview mistakes that could cost you the position by asking the following questions:
- What does your company do? You should know what the company does before you even apply. Asking this question will make you look unprepared.
- How many PTO days do I get? While vacation and sick days are important to ensure you get a break, an interview is not the time to ask.
- So, did I get the job? No matter how well you feel you did during an interview, don’t ask this. Not only does it make you look impatient, but it also puts the hiring manager in an awkward position.
- How long is lunch? Generally, avoid asking questions that have nothing to do with the company, job posting, interviewer, or next steps.
Remember to stay positive! Navigating the current job market is difficult and securing a good job may seem out of reach, but carefully planning the questions you ask will get you one step closer to your goals. As you narrow down the questions you’ll ask, thoroughly research the company to cater them to the industry and company you applied for. Also, don’t forget to send a thank you email after the interview! Use this guide to help you prepare second interview questions to ask.