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The job interview is your chance to learn as much as you can from a potential employer. And, they’ll expect you to ask questions. Remember, not every job will be right for you. To know if a job is the right fit, check out our guide below which includes 55 great interview questions. You’ll find questions about the role, company, work environment, as well as helpful tips about when and how to ask these questions.
The key to an outstanding interview is being as prepared as possible. Follow these suggestions and assemble a compelling list of queries that will impress any interviewer.
You should have between 10 and 15 questions in your list. Evaluate which are most important to you, and establish your top 5. These are the ones you absolutely need to be answered. After asking them, and if there’s time left in your interview, you can go through the rest of your list.
Remember that it’s normal for some of them to be answered as you talk with your interviewer. That’s a good sign! However, preparing a broad list saves you from ending up empty-handed when it’s your turn to ask.
The ordering says a lot about your priorities. Start with what matters most: the job and the company. Then move on to your specific needs as an employee. Leave the topic of salary and benefits toward the end of your interview.
Be mindful of how long your interview process will be. If you know you’ll interview with more than one person, you don’t need to ask all your questions on your first round.
An interview should be a conversation. Forcing a script will limit your chances of having an engaging discussion. Instead, actively listen to the interviewer’s answers. Their responses might touch on questions you were planning to ask. Listening attentively will help you avoid asking things that have already been discussed.
What you ask is as important as how you ask it. Avoid sounding defensive, impolite or arrogant. Practice reading your questions out loud so you sound coherent and professional.
Most interviews can be broken down into three main stages: the screening, the phone, video, or in-person interview, and the team interview. As your interviews advance, the questions will become more specific and individualized. Organize your questions based on these three stages and ask them in the appropriate order.
In this interview, you will talk with a recruiter or hiring manager. They’ll make sure you meet all the requirements for the job. You should ask questions that concern the job and the culture, like: how many team members you’ll have, who you’ll report to, what are the metrics of success, and what the work environment is like.
When you pass to the in-person interview, you’ve caught the employer’s interest. This is where you’ll ask the bulk of your questions, so be absolutely prepared. Topics you will discuss are the job, the company, the team, culture, and growth opportunities. Ask what the day-to-day looks like, which departments you’ll collaborate with, what the company’s main objectives are, and what accomplishments will be expected of you.
Some companies will also want you to interview with future co-workers. This is a chance for you to know if you’re a culture fit. Ask questions related to the team and the culture, such as: how they tackle giving and receiving feedback, if the team members collaborate with each other, and what obstacles they faced when they started.
By the end of this interview process, you should be able to decide if this role is right for you.
Ask these questions to understand your work responsibilities, what daily life in this role will look like, and the main goals you need to achieve. Before you ask some of these, make sure they’re not already answered in the job’s description.
A workplace that matches your personality and working style will make doing your job much easier. Get to know the company and its leadership by asking the following questions:
If you’re allowed to interview with potential team members, use this opportunity to get a comprehensive view of your future workplace. These questions also let you discern if everyone’s perspectives of the job align. If you only interview with one person, ask them about the team you’d be working with. A couple of questions you could ask are:
A company’s culture is defined by the shared values of each team member. The way your coworkers interact with each other can impact how well you do your job. Make sure you’re in your ideal workplace by asking these questions about company culture:
As you envision your future in the company, you want to know if you can advance in this role. Ask these questions so you can learn about any potential growth opportunities.
As your interviews come to a close, you want to know what to expect from the decision-making process. Ask these questions to make sure both parties have all the information needed to make a decision:
You should avoid questions that will make employers doubt your professionalism. Stay away from questions like these in your interview:
Questions about salary are a delicate topic. You should never ask about wages in your first interview. Usually, employers will inform you of salary and benefits when they’re ready to make a job offer. If you’re in the last stages of your interview process and the employer hasn’t mentioned the topic at all, you’re entitled to ask about it.
Try to phrase it tactfully like: “Can you give me an idea of what the company has budgeted for this role’s compensation?”
A good work-life balance is necessary to be a productive employee. However, you don’t want to sound like you’re already dreading the job.
Phrase this concern appropriately by asking: “How does the company encourage a healthy work-life balance for its employees?”
Ambition is an attractive professional trait, but don’t ask this before you’ve had a chance to understand your responsibilities and actually perform.
Avoid looking like you’re only interested in a raise by asking: “Can you tell me about the performance review process and how I can maximize its benefits?”
Asking if the company will investigate you makes you look suspicious. We advise you to stay away from this topic altogether, but if you feel the need to address it, try something like:
“Please let me know if I can help clarify anything about my professional or personal background.”
Asking questions about the company’s competition or recent projects might seem smart. However, if those answers are easily searchable, you’ll seem like you couldn’t be bothered to conduct a basic Google search.
You can learn a lot about a company by browsing its webpage, its social media accounts, and its LinkedIn profile. If you see something during your research that caught your attention, mention it in the interview. Your future employer will be impressed that you did your homework beforehand.
As you get ready to close an interview, make sure your interviewer has all the information they need to reach a decision. Ask about the next steps of the interview process and when you should follow up. Remember to thank the interviewer for their time. Finish by directly communicating your desire for a job offer.
Stand out in your interview by asking unique questions that extend beyond the job’s requirements — questions that show you’re determined to bring solutions. For example:
Showcasing your personality will also help you connect with your interviewer individually. You should always remain professional, but expressing confidence and honesty is refreshing.
Include conversation-starters that allow you to connect. For example:
Yes, bringing notes to an interview is perfectly fine. If you’re interviewing for different jobs, it’s helpful to note key information from each interview. Just make sure you don’t spend too much time writing things down than engaging with the interviewer.