Have you just gotten a call from a company that wants to interview you? Congratulations! The interview is the most crucial part of the entire hiring process. Don’t get stumped when they ask if you have any questions for them. Find 101 Smart Questions to Ask in a Job Interview to Stand out and make the best impression!
Everyone dreads the end of interviews because they don’t know how to leave off on a good note. Most interviews end with a ‘do you have any questions for us?’ Not asking anything can leave a bad impression, but the questions that you do ask can make or break your chances of acceptance.
If you want to ace your next interview, here is a whole list of questions for the interviewer. Next time they put you on the spot all of a sudden, you’ll be prepared!
What are the best questions to ask in a Job Interview?
Our first set of questions focus on the specific job requirements and what your position will ultimately entail. It is good to start with one of these because this tells the interviewer that you are very serious about the job and care about doing well.
Below is a list of some smart questions to ask in a job interview:
- How long has the position been vacant?
- What is the average length of time people have kept this job?
- Where does this position lead in terms of future growth?
- What are examples of projects I would be responsible for?
- Will someone train me?
- Are their performance reviews?
- When are performance reviews?
- Who will be my supervisor?
- What will show success if I were to take this position?
- What do you think needs to change within this role?
- To what extent will I directly deal with customers?
- How do higher-ups view this position?
- Is there anything specific about the job that is not included in the description?
- What skills are essential to do the job well?
- Will I be managing anyone?
- How will performance be measured if I were to be employed?
- Why did the last employee leave?
- Has anyone who worked in this role been fired? If so, why?
- Who will I be working with most frequently?
- What is the hardest part of the position?
- Will the tasks change periodically, or will they stay static in the next six months?
- Do other employees find themselves needing to do overtime regularly?
- How many paid vacation days does each employee get?
- Is there a certain month where vacation days cannot be used due to workload?
- What will I be prioritizing if I get the job within this position?
- Will I be assigned a mentor?
- What has set apart the best performers in this role in the past?
- Will I be receiving feedback monthly to know if I am on the right track?
- Will tasks be similar every day, or does each day have its own set?
- What is the most important thing I could help with within my first three months working here?
- Are there any work from home opportunities that I can avail of when coming into work is not possible?
- Is risk-taking encouraged?
- If risk-taking is encouraged, what happens to those who fail?
- Are the hours flexible?
- Is the team looking for people with certain skills or talents to fill any gaps in knowledge?
- How much decision-making will I be able to do?
The answers you receive in this portion of the interview will also be beneficial if you end up getting the job. Instead of confusion during the first few weeks, you will be much more confident since you will know the basics of working at the company. You’ll also know how they judge your success and who will be in charge of overseeing what you do.
What are the best workplace culture questions to ask the interviewer?
Every office environment is different. Some are serious, and others are more playful. To get a good sense of whether you would be comfortable in the company you’re applying to, you can ask one or more of the questions listed below.
- Would you say the office runs smoothly day to day?
- Are employees encouraged to work through lunch or breaks?
- Are people in the office cordial to one another?
- How accurately does the company’s culture coincide with that of this specific branch?
- Are there any major hostilities amongst departments?
- What tools are used to stay connected to everyone in the office?
- Are major holidays celebrated?
- How convenient are the parking spots?
- How much emphasis is given to the mental health of the employees?
- Is bullying common?
- How is bullying or unfair treatment of employees handled?
- How quickly are complaints addressed?
- What are important values for the company?
- What kind of company events are held here?
- How would you describe the team’s dynamic?
- What has caused the most conflict in the workplace?
- Do people tend to work in teams or independently?
What questions can you ask to find out more about the company's culture?
Knowing who you are going to be potentially working for is very important. The interviewer knows a lot more about them than you, so this is a good time to ask any questions you may have regarding the company itself. You can modify these questions depending on what field the job is for, but the ones listed below will work best for the corporate sector.
It is best to have done some research before going to the interview so that you are not completely clueless. If you have done so, your questions can be more tailored and relevant. If not, you may find yourself scrambling a little bit. Most companies have websites that talk a little bit about their mission statement and aims, so do go through those beforehand.
The questions listed below are a good place to start:
- What is the problem the company is facing right now?
- What makes this company different from others?
- How many people joined the company in the last year?
- What kind of incentives does this company give employees?
- What kind of clients or customers does the company deal with?
- Who is this company’s biggest competitor?
- What is enjoyable about working here?
- What are the company’s pros and cons compared to its competitors?
- Would you say that the management is open to hearing suggestions on how to improve?
- What is the company’s management style?
- What does the timeline look like for raises?
- How are raises decided?
- What is one thing that is undesirable about working in this company?
- Have there been any major changes since you became a part of the company?
- What makes people enjoy coming to work here?
- What is the biggest reason people leave the company?
- How does the company handle adapting to the constantly evolving market?
- What kind of employee is most successful in the company?
- Is creativity welcomed?
- Can you tell me something about the company that most people may not be aware of?
- Have you had any layoffs in the last year?
- How important is the happiness of the employees to the company?
- Do bosses keep frequent checks on the work being done by the departments?
- How does the company appeal to clients, and what strengths should be emphasized?
- What are some changes the company has recently finalized?
- What is the biggest difference between the company and its competitors?
- Does the company offer any support if employees want to pursue advanced degrees?
What questions can I ask my interviewer?
Who better to tell you more about the job than someone who works there? Interviewers can answer anything you want to ask about the company or office culture because they have experienced it during their time working there.
Here are some appropriate questions you can ask:
- Has your role changed since you started working here?
- What do you enjoy the most about your job?
- Where did you work before this?
- Why did you choose to start working at this company?
- What is the biggest problem you have faced during your time here?
- Do you think you have a good relationship with your coworkers?
- Which part of the job motivates you to come to work every single day?
- Is there anything you wish you had been made aware of before you started here?
- Have you ever been disrespected by a superior unnecessarily?
- What innovations are you looking forward to in the field?
Be vigilant about the choice of words the interviewers use and how they answer the questions. Their answers could be huge red flags as to why you should not take the job.
What questions can you ask about the hiring process?
These questions may seem a bit more direct than the others. The time period after a job interview is riddled with anxiety about whether or not they will call you. By asking about their hiring process, you can get rid of some of these nerves.
Knowing what to expect is always better. So, here is what you can ask:
- When can I expect an answer?
- Have you decided when you need the new hire to start working?
- Will there be a probationary period?
- How many people are you interviewing?
- Should I follow up or wait to be contacted?
- By when will I hear from you?
- What kind of educational background are you looking for?
- Who makes all the final decisions when it comes to hiring?
- What happens once I leave today?
- Would you like any documentation?
- Is there anything else you would like to ask me?
If they ask you not to send follow-up emails, it frees you from the stress of having to follow up. If they say you will have their final decision in a week, you can start hunting for new opportunities once that week is over. This sense of knowing can go a long way in helping you remain calm.
What kind of questions you should never ask an interviewer?
Now that you know all the good questions for the interviewer, it’s time for you to find out which questions should be avoided at all costs. As mentioned, questions can make or break the interview, so you want to make sure you do not give off a bad impression with the things you say.
One thing you should steer clear of is any question that is easily answerable by the job description they have already provided. Similarly, don’t ask about any information available on their website.
You should also avoid asking questions that portray you as greedy or money-hungry. These give off the impression that you just care about the pay and not the position or the company. Here are some examples:
- How much will you pay me?
- Will there be any benefits?
- Who is my competition?
- Will I get my own office?
Don’t ask your interviewer whether your social media profiles will be monitored either. It may be a valid concern, but it makes you look like you have something to hide and gives a bad impression.
Additionally, any questions that seem out of context or robotic should be eliminated from your list. Try to let the conversation flow smoothly, so both you and the interviewer have a pleasant experience interacting with each other.
How can you ask questions in an interview?
Now that you know what you want to ask, the next thing to focus on is how you will go about actually asking the questions. The delivery matters just as much, if not more, than the question itself.
The first thing you should do is pay attention to your body language. Sit with your back straight and not slumped down in the chair. This exudes confidence and will go a long way in your favor. Secondly, maintain direct eye contact but do not stop blinking; otherwise, it may make the interviewer uncomfortable.
When conversing with the interviewer, let them complete their sentences before you begin answering or speaking to them in any way. If you cut them off, it shows impatience and disrespect on your behalf. Nod along to things you agree with to show your activeness in the conversation as well.
When you are finally told to ask any of your questions, you should speak calmly and at a speed that is coherent. You can start with questions about the role and then move on through the list above.
Between questions, give the interviewer enough time to tell you everything that they can. If they say something that causes more questions to form in your mind, ask them because it will make the conversation a lot more cohesive than if you jumped from one question to another unrelated one.
Before coming to the interview, you should sit down and select which questions you will try to ask so that you are not flustered when in the spotlight. You can select a few from each category to make sure you have something for all areas. This also allows you to switch questions easily depending on what you and the interviewer are discussing at the moment, keeping the tone of the conversation natural and less forced.
Why should you ask questions in an interview?
Asking questions is a great way to get a good feel of a company and the office culture. It lets you understand what capacity you’ll be working in and how well you’ll fit into the existing dynamic. It also lets you decide whether said culture is ideal for you or if you should look elsewhere.
Depending on your field, questions can also prove intellect. If you are applying for a job that requires a particular skill and you can somehow mention it in your question, you are telling the interviewer that you both know about it and have it. During the hiring process, they will remember these small details, and it could be enough to pick you over someone else.
Questions are a great way to figure out whether a certain job is suited for you or not. They give you a more in-depth view of the position you are applying for as well as the company you are trying to work for.
The questions you choose ultimately impact whether you get the job, which means a lot is riding on them. Try to work on your interview skills beforehand and perfect them to the best of your ability to give yourself the best chance you can.
If you stick to the questions listed above, you will be in the clear and will finish the interview in your interviewer’s good graces. To top everything off, don’t forget to follow up in their preferred manner and maintain professionalism during the actual interview!
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