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Prepare Yourself to Ask Questions

Always remember, an interview is about whether you’re the right fit for the role and whether the job fits you. Asking the right questions is important because it shows genuine interest in the role while helping you decide if this job suits you.

After reviewing common interview questions, draft three to five questions to ask the interviewer. Follow these tips to prepare:

  • Customize your questions: Show the interviewer you’ve been paying attention by tailoring your questions to the topics you’ve discussed during your conversation.
  • Stay on your feet: The hiring manager may respond to some of your questions during the interview, so be ready to deviate from your list and think of questions based on what you’ve discussed.
  • Take the chance to impress: How you frame your questions can be an opportunity to reveal impressive facts about yourself. For example: “I’m proud to have earned my Masters in Psychology, and I’d love to apply what I’ve learned on the job. Do you see me using these skills and knowledge in this role?”
  • Ask specific questions: Don’t ask questions just because. Consider what is important for you: company culture, professional development or team dynamic. Make sure you leave the interview with all the information you need.
  • Do some research: Avoid asking questions that can be easily answered with a little bit of research.

What Questions to Ask an Interviewer

Use these sample questions to ask an interviewer to help you write your own.

About the job

  1. What does a typical day look like in this role?
  2. What does it look like during the busiest and most challenging times for this role?
  3. What’s the most important thing the person in this role should accomplish in the first three months?
  4. How does this position contribute to the company’s mission?
  5. Do you expect the core responsibilities of this position to change?

About the company

  1. What are the company’s current goals?
  2. What excited you most about the company’s future?
  3. How has the company changed over the last few years?
  4. How does the company uphold its values?
  5. What do employees like most about working here?

About the team

  1. How does the team contribute to the company’s goals?
  2. What skills is the team missing that you’re hoping to fill with the new hire?
  3. Which other teams work closely with this one?
  4. What is the team I’ll be working with?
  5. What are the team’s biggest strengths and challenges?

About the culture

  1. What’s different about working here than anywhere else you’ve worked?

  2. What kind of leadership do you promote in the company?
  3. How has the company changed since you joined?
  4. What type of company events do you have?
  5. How would you describe the work environment?

About current challenges and competition

  1. How would my role improve teamwork?

  2. What’s the biggest challenge the company has recently faced?
  3. How would my role contribute to the company’s goals?
  4. Which competitors are you most worried about?
  5. What mistakes have people made in this position?

About professional development

  1. Are there opportunities for advancement within the company?
  2. Where have successful employees previously in this position progressed?
  3. Are there training programs available to employees?
  4. Are there examples of a career path beginning with this position?
  5. Where would you like the company to be in five years?

About your potential boss

    Ask these questions if the interviewer is the person you’d report to.

  1. How would you describe your management style?
  2. Do you plan to hire more people for this team soon?
  3. How long have you been at the company?
  4. How has your role changed since you’ve been here?
  5. What is your favorite part about your job?

About next steps

  1. What are the next steps in the interview process?
  2. Is there anything else I can provide you with that would be helpful?
  3. Can I answer any final questions for you?
  4. What am I not asking that I should?
  5. Is there anything I need to clarify for you?

Questions to Avoid

  1. What does the company do? (You should have covered this during your research)
  2. When do I start?
  3. Did I get the job?
  4. How soon can I request a vacation?
  5. When does my PTO kick in?

Key Takeaways

Now that we’ve covered 40 great questions to ask an interviewer let’s review key points to remember:

  • Your questions for the interviewer are an opportunity to show your insight and impress them further.
  • Arrive with at least three to five questions ready in case the interviewer answers some of them during your conversation.
  • Focus on what’s important to you in a job.
  • Remember to research beforehand to avoid asking questions to which you should already know the answer.