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16 Key Questions You Should Ask During a Job Interview

The questions you ask an interviewer during a job interview can make a positive impact. Here's a list of questions that can help you land the job of your dreams.

Donna Wright Profile
By Donna Wright 5 minute read

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Questions to ask an interviewer during an interview

“Now, do you have any questions for me?” If hearing that line near the end of a job interview strikes fear in your heart (or at least makes you a little nervous), we’re here to help. Hiring managers often hold numerous interviews before deciding on a candidate to extend a job offer to, but one way you can set yourself apart from other candidates is to ask good questions during the interview. Preparing some killer questions to ask employers is important for the following reasons:

  • It shows you’re interested, excited and engaged — all things the employer is looking for.
  • It shows you’ve done some homework on the job and company.
  • It gives you the chance to learn more about the company, the position, career path and the company culture.

On this page, we’ll cover valuable tips to help you prepare for a job interview, as well as the top five questions you should ask during your interview. We’ll also tell you how to successfully follow up after a job interview to increase your chances of getting hired.

Regardless of your career path or level of professional development, having a resume that stands out and impresses hiring managers and potential employers is important. Craft or update your resume to look professional and impress recruiters with ResumeHelp’s tools.

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5 tips for preparing questions to ask your interviewer

So you’ve taken the time to write the perfect resume with ResumeHelp and started applying to jobs — now it’s time for the interview. You may be nervous at first but you will increase your chances of nailing the interview and getting hired with good preparation.

1. Prepare yourself for the major questions an interviewer will ask you

The best way to prepare for a job interview is to read the job description carefully. Compare the list of requirements to your career experience so you can fluently answer questions about your qualifications. Take particular note of the company values and how they match with your own values. Be sure to utilize parts of your resume that make you the ideal candidate for the position. Lastly, you should practice doing mock interviews with friends and family using your resume and job post to mimic your next interview.

2. Do your research on the job and the company

With a few online searches, you typically can learn a lot about the company that you are applying to. This includes reading the company website and any press releases or media mentions in recent news. Pay close attention to the company values and its history. This will give you a heads up on any specific questions the interviewer may ask you regarding your interest in the company. Be prepared to answer the hiring manager’s questions about why you want to work for the company.

3. Make a list of questions about the job you want answers for

Make a list of everything you want to know about the job and the job role that you are interviewing for. Although some of the questions you have will most likely be answered during the interview, you can still ask whatever unanswered questions remain on your list. Try to create meaningful questions that show your interest and enthusiasm about the industry and the company. Asking meaningless questions at the end of an interview could make you appear unprepared or uninterested. Be concise and prepare to ask about the job’s day-to-day responsibilities, the company’s biggest challenges and company culture.

4. Prepare a list of questions to ask in an interview based on the 5 key questions below

We suggest you have at least five main question types to consider asking during your interview. These can be related to the job, the team, the culture, the training and the hiring process. With time being limited, at the end of the interview, you should expect to have enough time to ask at least two to three valuable questions.

5. Avoid questions about perks and benefits

There will be better opportunities during the application process to inquire about job perks, benefits and compensation. During the interview is not the time to ask about salary, bonuses and pay raises. The same holds true about medical, dental, life insurance and retirement fund benefits. Make your interview questions more job role and company related so you can reinforce your passion for the job.

16 top questions to ask in an interview

You can spend countless hours preparing for your interview by preparing answers to some great questions and doing mock interviews. But if you end the interview without asking the hiring manager some final thoughtful questions, you may as well continue with your job search because you probably won’t be hired. Hiring managers want to see proactive job candidates, so preparing some well-thought-out questions to ask at the end of the interview will significantly increase your chances of becoming a new hire.

Here are the top five questions to ask during an interview:

Questions about the job

Questions about the job would be those that related to your day to day role at the company.

Questions may include:

  1. What are the biggest challenges presented by this role?
  2. What skills or experience would an ideal candidate have?
  3. Can you give me an example of a project I would be working on?
  4. What would I be expected to accomplish in the first 60-90 days?

Asking about the biggest challenges in the role provides you with a realistic view of the job role and the work environment. This allows you to say how your experience will help you meet the challenges. Asking about the qualifications for a prime candidate shows you’re interested in succeeding and not just landing the job. Becoming a better employee by zeroing in on key skills and experiences that are relevant means will be an asset to the team and employers know this. Learning about role’s projects further elaborates on the job posting.

This information can help you convince the interviewer that you are not only qualified but also the right candidate for the job. Knowing what to expect in the first few months of employment can prepare you for what will be expected of you. Perhaps a previous job had a similar stressful challenge from the beginning so you can share how you are a quick starter, exceeded expectations and will do the same for this potential employer.

Questions about the team you’ll work with

Questions about the team can help you determine what type of role you will play. Questions may include:

  1. Can you tell me more about the team I would be working with?
  2. What happened with the last person who held this job or is it a new role?

By learning more about the team, you can share your experience with previous teams and how you played a key role in teamwork. Learning whether you are an additional team member or replacing someone, gives you an idea if you will help alleviate some of the team’s workload or possibly be replacing a key member of the team. Questions about the team will also give you insight on how well you can fit in, and give you clues on what strengths you can bring to the team, as well as how well you’ll get along with the team.

Company culture and goals

Within this type of question about culture and goals, you can get a good feel about the company’s concern for its employees and investment into growth opportunities. Questions may include:

  1. What is the work culture like here?
  2. Can you tell me about how you came to work here, and your experiences with the company?
  3. What do you like the most and least about working here?
  4. Where do you see the company in five years?

Knowing about a company’s culture helps you get a glimpse into the work environment. Based on the interviewer’s answers can provide the opportunity for you to mention your passion for both the specific company and the industry by sharing how you can fit in with the current culture. Asking about the interviewer’s experiences also helps you develop a rapport with your interviewer while learning valuable information about the company. Finally, learning about the company’s future goals shows that you’re interested in working with the company on a long-term basis.

Future career and professional development for employees

Questions about career and professional development will give you a glimpse of what you can expect in regards to advancement and training. Questions may include:

  1. What is the career path for this position?
  2. Are there opportunities to progress further down the line? What training programs are available for employees?
  3. What are your policies for promotions and advancement?

These types of questions show the interviewer that you’re interested in growing with the company and are willing to learn as much as possible about your field. It also shows that you are looking for a long- term role with career advancement possibilities. Putting your ambitions out there in the beginning tells employers you’re highly motivated for success and ready to know what it takes to make it in their company. The answers to those questions may also give you the opportunity to mention previous seminars, lectures and professional courses you have taken during previous jobs and how helpful they were towards your growth with the company.

Questions about the hiring process and next steps

Questions about the hiring process and next steps is a good way to know what to expect in the coming days and weeks in regards to future interviews, job offers or job rejections. Questions may include:

  1. Can I answer any final questions for you?
  2. What are the next steps of the hiring process?
  3. Is there any additional information that you need from me?

These types of questions help to conclude the job interview showing that you have remained confident and are willing to provide additional input. It’s not an attempt to ask whether you can expect a job offer but instead a realistic timeframe. You may be told if a second interview is forthcoming or the company will go right to selecting a candidate. The answers to this type of question will also help you gauge whether the job will begin within weeks or months.

Bonus: More questions to ask an interviewer

Among the best questions to ask an interviewer, here are a few more questions you may want to consider asking. These are great backups in case your interviewer already provided answers to our top five question topics during the interview. The better you are prepared with questions, the more natural sounding you will perform during your interview.

How do you measure and evaluate the performance and success of the person in this position?

Ask this question to learn more about how you can succeed in the job. This information can help you determine what will be expected of your performance, especially if there is a company probationary period. It’s a good opportunity to share your experience with performance measurements and how you received a positive evaluation.

What does a typical day look like?

This question can help you understand more about the daily duties and decide whether you are a good fit for the position. As a candidate, wanting to know about the day-to-day responsibilities shows a hiring manager or recruiter that you are serious about getting this role. It’s also a great opportunity to reiterate your qualifications for the job by showing how you can easily handle the job responsibilities based on your career experience, education or training.

Do you expect the main responsibilities for this position to change in the near future?

This question shows the hiring manager that you’re flexible and motivated to grow with the company by taking on new tasks. Include a specific example about how a previous role changed and how you successfully assimilated.

Are there opportunities for training within the role/company?

This question allows you to better understand the company’s expectations from you and if they offer any help or resources for new hires. Make it known that you are excited about career growth and opportunities. This shows you are looking for long term employment.

What’s the most important thing I can do to help in my first three months?

This question shows the hiring manager your motivation to contribute from day one. It also gives you a glimpse into whether you are expected to jump right into the role or will you be offered training opportunities at the start.

Is there a work-from-home option offered?

Given changes in the workplace, this is an important question as working from home has become more common. Most often, this information will be listed in the job description. Pay careful attention to whether it suggests the role is an onsite location, remote or hybrid opportunity.

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Questions to avoid asking an interviewer

While it’s great to be prepared to ask questions to your interviewer, note that there are some questions that are better not asked. Here are some questions to refrain from asking:

Don’t ask about bonuses and pay raises

Unfortunately, not all job postings mention compensation. During a job interview is not the time to ask about salary, bonuses or future pay increases. Keep your questions related to the job role and company and avoid those that make it appear that you are only interested in the pay. Compensation concerns can be raised at a later time in the hiring process.

Don’t ask about benefits

While most full time jobs offer some type of benefits package, refrain from discussing benefits during your interview. By doing so, it may suggest that you are more interested in the benefits than how you will tackle the job responsibilities. Hold off on your specific benefits questions for after the job is offered to you.

Don’t ask if you got the job

A job candidate is rarely offered a job during an interview. Instead, ask a generic question about the hiring process and what communications to expect in the coming days or weeks. This will provide an adequate timeframe as to when a candidate will be offered the position or when the job role will commence.

How to follow up after a job interview

You may feel like you nailed the interview after applying everything you’ve learned so far from this article. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t follow up and just wait at home to hear the good news (or bad).

You should ask about the next steps before leaving the interview. Also, you should work in a genuine way to ask the hiring manager to connect on LinkedIn. Don’t simply ask them if you can connect on LinkedIn out of the blue. Instead, try to find a common connection and valid reason for asking them.

After you finish the interview, send a thank-you note out the same day of the interview via email. Finally, don’t hesitate to check in periodically if you haven’t heard anything from them.

More interview resources

ResumeHelp offers job seekers many helpful resources and guides for preparing for interviews, including these major topics:

FAQ: Questions to ask an interviewer

Have questions? We’re here to help.

Career experts suggest you phrase questions for interviewer in these top interview questions topics:

  • Questions about the job
  • Questions about the team you’ll work with
  • Company culture and goals
  • Future career and professional development for employees
  • Questions about the hiring process and next steps

Most often, some of your prepared questions should be answered by the interviewer earlier in the interview. For each type of question, have a few alternative questions ready.

At the end of the interview, it’s important to ask about the next steps of the hiring process. This will give you a realistic timeframe to expect an invite for the next round of interviews or an actual job offer. You can also ask if the interviewer has any additional questions or requires additional information.

  • Do you have any positions other than this one?
  • How long are the working hours?
  • How many vacation days do I get?

Hiring managers and recruiters are typically on a tight schedule when it comes to interviewing candidates. Try to limit your questions to two to three topics that will provide you with more insight into the job role, company culture and the team you will be joining. Avoid asking questions that you can easily find answers online. Instead, focus on asking the most meaningful questions that show your interest in the position.

It’s important to ask questions during an interview because it shows your genuine interest in the position. It also shows that you’ve done your research and it helps the hiring manager get to know you.

The STAR method stands for Situation, Task, Action and Result, and is a good strategy for answering many job interview questions. Think of a particular situation you’ve been in at a current or previous job, the task you were responsible for, the action you took to tackle that task, and how that action produced a positive result. This way, you can present your best skills and qualifications through giving specific examples from your background, and give them more impact.

While we offer plenty of tips on questions to ask an interviewer on this page, figuring out the “good” questions to ask will depend on how your actual interview goes. Of course, you won’t need to ask questions about topics that have already been covered in the interview. The best approach is to create a “cheat sheet” of potential questions you can ask, and pick out questions that haven’t been addressed when it’s your turn to “interview the interviewer.” You can also take notes during the meeting to pick out topics you may want more details about at the end of your interview.

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Donna Wright Profile
WRITTEN BY Donna Wright

Donna is a career expert with extensive experience in the fields of Marketing, Publishing, Direct Mail and Communications. She’s witnessed firsthand the importance of a powerful resume and cover letter to a job search, so she takes great pride in helping change the lives of job seekers by sharing expert career advice and tips to help land the perfect job.

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