questions

Powerful Questions to Ask in an
Interview to Get Results

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A hiring manager asks a series of professional and behavioral questions to help determine if you’re a good fit for the company and to further expand on your resume and cover letter. At the end of the interview, the recruiter will probably ask if you have any questions of your own.

We’ve put together a list of great questions to ask about your job responsibilities, professional development, and the company and its culture. Demonstrate your preparedness to the hiring manager with these thoughtful questions.

Asking Great Questions

Excellent interview questions demonstrate your genuine interest in the position, the company and your potential boss. Getting answers can also help you determine if the job is right for you. If you fail to compile a list of intelligent questions, you may come across as an uninterested or unprepared candidate. Asking the right questions can help you do the following:

Determine short and long-term career opportunities. If your goal is to work for a company and move up within the organization, openly ask about potential opportunities for growth.
Measure the company culture. The culture includes how people dress and talk to leadership, and company perks. If you are laid-back, you’ll appreciate finding out the company has a casual dress code.
Consider staff satisfaction, tenure and turnover. Companies with high turnover should give off warning flags. It’s helpful to know if you’re working for a company where everyone wants to stay or where no one stays for more than a few months.

Questions About Job Responsibilities

This is your opportunity to ask the hiring manager about any skills and responsibilities that weren’t covered during the job interview or within the job description. Ask questions that give you a clearer picture of the job’s day-to-day responsibilities. Research to get an idea of what might be expected of you and whether you’re right for the job. Some examples of questions about job responsibilities include:

  • What would a typical day look like for me?The answer can help you adjust during your first few days on the job and gives you a better idea if the position is a good fit.
  • Is this a new position or are you hiring to replace someone?This lets you know if the company is experiencing new growth or if it has high turnover. Consider follow-up questions for why the previous employee left.
  • What are some of the biggest challenges this position faces?If the employer is honest with you, she won’t try to gloss over the fact you have strict deadlines, may interact with angry customers or be asked to work overtime.
  • What are some goals I would be expected to accomplish during the first few months? This gives you a good idea of what your potential employer expects of you in the event you’re hired.
  • What are the top skills and experiences you’re looking for?If you need to be fluent in a specific software program, now is a good time to find out.
  • Will the roles of this position shift over time?If the manager hopes to merge two positions into one, or if you will be expected to take on greater responsibilities, this question can help you prepare for the future.
  • What are some expectations of this position over the first year?You want to know what the company expects you to accomplish once you are fully trained. For example, if you plan to work in sales, you want to know how much you need to sell to keep your boss happy and meet your quota.
  • What skills is your team missing that I could fill?Find out about your potential team members by learning what the team needs. This can help you figure out how well you’ll fit in.
  • How should I prioritize tasks for this position?Obtaining a list of responsibilities along with their importance can help you get organized.
  • How has this job evolved since it was first created?Gauge how the company and the position has grown over the years by finding out what the position entailed initially.

Professional Development Questions

Regardless if you’re starting out in an entry-level position or would like to move up in the company eventually, it’s important to ask your potential employer about professional development opportunities.

  • What are some common career paths for this position within the company?Learn more about the opportunities for advancement and the direction most employees take once they get this position.
  • What does the onboarding process look like?Are you expected to go it alone or will you be assigned a mentor?
  • Does the company offer continued education or academic seminars?Companies that encourage their employees to learn and grow expect to experience growth themselves.
  • Are there opportunities to train for other positions?Again, a company that hopes to succeed wants you to succeed too.
  • Are there opportunities for advancement within the company?It’s important to find out if managers frequently move people up or if they hire advanced positions from outside the company.
  • How often are performance reviews?Find out exactly when the company will evaluate you and what that usually means in terms of salary.
  • Will the role of this position change over time?Ask if the company has plans to add more responsibilities or even cut the position in the future.
  • Where have other individuals who filled this position moved to within the company?If they’ve achieved success within the company, there’s a good chance you can as well.
  • How do you measure my success with the company?Along the same lines as what the company expects from you, ask what successes it hopes you will achieve.

Find Out More about the Company and its Culture

While it’s hard to get a true vibe about a company without working there, some strategic questions can help you discover what the organization is really like. According to recent studies, company culture plays an active role in your employment satisfaction. Asking the right questions will help you understand the type of people hired and lets the employer know you’re a team player.

  • What is the company culture like?Ask your interviewer about the current dress code, how team members communicate and staff camaraderie.
  • How would you describe the office environment?Find out if the company has a professional atmosphere or if it’s more casual.
  • Tell me more about why the company was founded.Find out as much as you can about the people you work for.
  • Where do you hope to see the company in five years?An organization that wants to grow means job security for you. If the company hopes to expand to other countries or states, this can mean a potential relocation.
  • Can you tell me about the products or new initiatives that you’re kicking off?New products indicate the company takes customer input into account and seeks to improve their experience.
  • What are the current company goals and how does this role contribute to them?Knowing your position aligns with the company goals can help you feel like an integral part of the business.
  • How long have you been with the organization?An interviewer who loves their job won’t have any problems discussing their role, and longevity is a good sign in itself.
  • How has your role evolved since you’ve been here?Again, this provides information on how successful you can be with the company and if managers hire from within.
  • Why did you join this company?Ask the hiring manager why they were initially attracted to the organization.
  • What’s your favorite part about working here?Find out what makes the company fun and what keeps people inspired.
  • When was the last team-building exercise?This can be especially important if you just moved to the area and are seeking new friends and group interaction.
  • What does the team usually do for lunch?Teammates who stick together through their lunches tend to enjoy each other’s company.
  • Is there any team member I’ll work with closely?Some companies assign a mentor of sorts to help you integrate into the company culture.
  • What’s the current team setup?Is the team growing in the next six months? Do employees work together on projects or is the work assigned to specific individuals?
  • What departments does this position work with and how does that function?Find out if your position works with other departments or if your team frequently works on their own.
  • How would you describe the work environment here?Is work collaborative or independent? An open-office concept tends to encourage team collaboration and places goals on the group, as opposed to cubicles which may keep employees separate.
  • Is there a company-wide mission statement and how well do you adhere to it?If you don’t already know the mission statement through your research, find out what it is at this point.
  • Are there any office traditions you look forward to?Find out if the company plans picnics, parties or other yearly traditions that keep the staff engaged.
  • Do co-workers hang out outside of normal office hours?Ask about extracurricular activities and who tends to go.
  • What makes this company or team stand out against other brands/companies/offices?Does it encourage flexible work schedules or are there strict work hours? Knowing what makes company teams successful can help you decide how well you’ll fit in.
  • How has the company changed since you joined?A company that has remained the same over the course of several years can be a huge warning sign. You want to work for a company that’s continually changing to accommodate new technologies and innovation.