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Abstract: A job interview, just like any other interview, is a dialogue, not a monologue. It should involve both parties: the recruiter and the candidate. So when, after a series of questions about your work experience, education, strengths and weaknesses, the hiring manager asks: "Do you have any questions for me?"—take your chance. Find out what are the top questions to ask at the end of an interview to make a positive impression.
Does every job interview you go to feel like an uneven power balance?
Maybe it’s time to change your approach and start dropping some questions for the interviewer yourself?
After all, it is a great opportunity to learn a great deal about the company and the position itself.
So why not take advantage of it?
Turn the tables and prepare a few questions to ask the interviewer.
You got this!
In this guide, you’ll find:
- Why you should ask questions at the end of an interview.
- 20 examples of questions to ask the interviewer.
- What a recruiter expects when they ask, “Do you have any questions for me?”
- Tips and tricks to win the interview.
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- “Where Do You See Yourself in 5 Years” Example Answers
- "Tell Me About Yourself" Example Answers
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Now, here are the top questions to ask an interviewer during a job interview:
1. What does a typical day look like in this role?
The answer to this question will likely give you insight into what your schedule may look like in the future and what the daily demands of the role are.
2. What are the biggest challenges that someone in this position would face?
This question can get help you receive some additional information that you’d never get from a job description. So apart from understanding what your day-to-day responsibilities will be, you’ll want to know what challenges will you face when working in this position.
3. What are the company’s values? What characteristics do you look for in employees in order to represent those values?
Studies show that when personal values align with the company's core values, employees are happier and more inspired to do their job. So don’t be afraid to dig deeper into what the company is all about—their ethos, mission statement and what they stand for.
4. Are there opportunities for advancement or professional development?
Show the recruiter that you care about your future at the company, and that you're excited about what the new position offers—growth, development opportunities, and more responsibility.
5. What does success look like in this position, and how do you measure it?
Understanding how your work will be evaluated is crucial. It will help you learn what the key performance indicators (KPIs) for the role are and what it would take to be successful in that position.
6. I’ve read about the company’s founding, but can you tell me more about...?
Find out more about the company history and what became of it. Bonus points: asking this question will also show the interviewer that you prepared for the interview and took the time to read a little bit more about the organization.
7. Can you tell me about the team I’ll be working with?
In most cases, you’ll be working on a team of different people on a day-to-day basis. Find out what the dynamics of the team are and if you’ll fit into the team’s style and approach.
8. What do you and the team usually do for lunch?
You’ll want to ask this questions to find out what the culture of an organization is really like. The answer will give an idea if the colleagues get along well, if they like spending time together during break at work.
9. What are the next steps in the interview process?
It’s a good idea to find out how long the recruitment process usually takes, so you know how and when to follow up. Additionally, it tells them you're genuinely interested in the job and are eager to hear back from them.
10. How many people have left the company in the last year?
This question might be awkward to ask, but it will show the interviewer you are being smart and thorough by wanting to find out why previous employees may have been unhappy in this role.
More Good Questions to Ask an Interviewer
With all this in mind, as you prepare for your next job interview, don't forget to take a moment to think about what you really want to know about the job.
If you still have trouble, pick some more questions from the list below:
- What do you/employees like most about working here?
- Is there anything I've said that makes you doubt I would be a great fit for this position?
- What are some problems your company faces right now, and what is your department doing to solve them?
- Who do you consider your major competitors? How are you better?
- How transparent is the company about operations/revenue/future plans?
- What do you see as the most challenging aspect of this job?
- If I were in this job, how would my performance be measured?
- What have past employees done to succeed in this position?
- Is there anyone else I need to meet with? / Is there anyone else you would like me to meet with?
- What's your timeline for making a decision, and when can I expect to hear back from you?
Why Is It Important to Ask Questions at the End of an Interview?
The main part of the conversation is not over when the "Do you have any questions for me?" question drops.
In fact, during a job interview, asking questions is just as important as answering them.
If you decide not to ask any questions, the recruiter may assume that you’re not really interested in working for the company at all.
After all, employers want to hire someone who’s prepared and committed, and who shows it from the very first moment.
A job interview is not just about the recruiter asking questions and you answering them. It’s worth conducting a dialogue, showing interest, proving that you really want to work for a given company.
So, how will you actually benefit from asking these questions?
Benefit #1: You’ll Get to Know the Company You Are Applying to Better
Our ideas about the nature of the job are most often highly simplified and based mainly on what we’ve read in the advertisement and the company website. Direct contact with the recruiter can be a great opportunity to gain first-hand information.
So ask for more detailed information about the company and the position you are applying for—you may want to know what the organization’s objectives are, what the daily routine looks like in this position, if there are any development opportunities, and what the structure of the company and the team looks like.
Asking some thoughtful questions at the end of your interview is a simple way to show your enthusiasm for the job.
Benefit #2: You Look Professional
Talking to a recruiter and asking them a few questions makes us look professional and prepared. It’s also a great way to convey your enthusiasm for the job and the organization that you're looking to join, as it proves you really want to understand what the role is all about, and its requirements and expectations.
Not having any questions for the recruiters shows a lack of interest in the company. It also gives the impression that it doesn't matter whether you work for company X or Y, as long as you get hired SOMEWHERE. And everyone (including employers) likes to feel special. So take advantage of the opportunity and find out whether the job is the right fit for you.
Benefit #3: You Can Verify Your Expectations
By asking questions at the end of an interview, you can initially verify the mutual expectations of both parties.
In short, your future job satisfaction may depend on what questions you ask at the interview. That said, you can avoid a situation where, for example, after accepting a seemingly promising offer, it turns out that the actual work conditions are far from what was expected.
And no one would want that!
Preparing Questions to Ask an Interviewer
Preparation is key when going for an interview with a prospective employer.
Actually, not asking the interviewer questions may be interpreted as lack of preparation.
Since you haven't taken the time to research the company in more depth, the employer might think it's not worth investing time in you…
And you definitely don’t want to give that impression.
Now, you may be thinking that it doesn’t make any sense to prepare these questions beforehand, since it’s impossible to predict the course of the interview, as it may turn out that all the previously prepared questions have already been answered.
However, it’s worth doing it anyway and having something up your sleeve if nothing new comes to mind during the actual interview.
Questions Not to Ask the Interviewer
While asking questions is always great when you’re being interviewed for a job, there are certain topics that should be avoided during the first meeting with your potential boss.
1. Will there be overtime?
Most companies highly value availability and diligence, and asking this question gives the interviewer the impression that you are indisposed or even lazy. There is a high probability that the employer will turn you down in the first stage of the recruitment process.
2. How much will I get paid?
Salary is, of course, one of the most important issues raised at a job interview. The problem is that this question should not come from the employee, and it certainly shouldn’t be asked at the beginning. The organization is focused on finding a candidate who will bring new ideas and make changes where they need to be made. How is it going to look if you seem more focused on the money and benefits?
3. What is your drug testing policy?
This should go without saying, but asking this question is considered highly unprofessional and is a huge red flag to employers.
4. Personal questions
Just as the interviewer is not allowed to ask you about personal matters, so you too should avoid steering the conversation into inappropriate territory. This means that you should never ask about things like your interviewer’s marital status, age, nationality, religion, address, and so on.
Although it’s perfectly fine to ask how long they’ve been with the company and what they enjoy about their job, it’s considered extremely unprofessional to ask about their salary.
A job interview is an opportunity for the employer to get to know you better, but it’s also a great chance for you to get to know the company as well. Make good use of this meeting and learn as much as you can about the organization and the job by asking some insightful questions.
Thanks for reading! Still not sure what questions to ask an interviewer at your next job interview? Perhaps you have some of your own interviewing tips and tricks to share? Give us a shout in the comments section!