Landing the perfect job is all about asking the right questions. In an interview, you want to ensure that you put your best foot forward and show the interviewer that you are interested in the position. But what should you ask? Here are 45 questions to ask in an interview that will help hire you.
Why Are Your Questions So Important?
The questions you ask during a job interview are just as important as your answers. They show the interviewer that you are genuinely interested in the position and want to know more about it. Asking questions also allows you to get more information about the company and see if it is a good fit for you.
How to Prepare for An Interview
Before you go in for an interview, it is essential to do your research. This means knowing everything you can about the company and the position you are applying for. Once you have done your research, you can start preparing for questions that may be asked.
Personalize Your Interview Questions
One of the worst things you can do in an interview is asking generic questions that prospective employees could ask at any company. Personalizing your questions shows that you are interested in the specific company and are just going through the motions. You want to ensure that your questions are specific to the company and position you are interviewing for.
Research the Company Before The Interview
Researching the company is one of the most important things you can do before an interview. You want to ensure that you know as much as possible about the company. Doing your research will help you ask more informed questions and show the interviewer that you are genuinely interested in working for their company.
Some companies have specific values or mission statements that they live by. If this is the case, use this information to guide your questions.
For example, if a company emphasizes customer service, you could ask the hiring manager how they handle difficult customer situations.
Additionally, research can help you identify red flags about a company. If there are negative reviews or articles written about the company, this is something you will want to be aware of going into the interview.
Questions About the Company
When asking questions about the company, make sure you’re asking questions that don’t have obvious answers and aren’t easily searchable on Google.
- What are the company’s plans for growth and development?
- What goals is the company currently focused on, and how does the team work to support these goals?
- How has this company changed in recent years?
- How would you describe this company’s values?
- What are you most excited about regarding the company’s future?
- What are the company’s strengths?
- What are the company’s weaknesses?
Questions About the Team
To gauge whether or not you will be a good fit for the team, it’s essential to ask questions about the team dynamic.
- Who will I be working closely with? Are there any other departments I will work with?
- Will my primary responsibilities change in the next six months to one year?
- What can you tell me about the team I’ll be working with?
- What are the biggest challenges this position poses?
- What skills are you looking for to fill the void in the team dynamic?
- What are some of the team’s most notable accomplishments?
Questions About the Position
Of course, you will want to ask questions about the position itself.
- How long until I will be (meeting with clients/taking charge of my own accounts/interacting with other departments)?
- What metrics or goals will supervisors evaluate my performance by?
- What is my top priority in the first 90 days?
- What are your expectations for this position?
- What are the most immediate projects that need my attention?
- Tell me about the performance review process. How often will I be formally reviewed?
Questions About the Boss
It can be helpful to ask questions about the boss to get a feel for the company culture.
- What is your management style?
- How do you prefer to communicate with your direct reports?
- What are your expectations for my communication with you?
- Is there anything I should know about how you like to work?
- What is your availability if I have questions or need help outside regular business hours?
- What is your favorite part about working here?
Questions About Company Culture
Company culture is essential to many job seekers, so it’s a good idea to ask about it in the interview. Interviewers typically will not reveal any toxicity in the workplace, so take every answer with a grain of salt.
- What is the company’s dress code?
- Do employees socialize outside of work? If so, what are some of the things they do together?
- How does the company do employee recognition?
- What is the onboarding process like for new employees?
- What is the most surprising thing employees discover when they start at the company?
- What is the most popular office tradition?
- Do you ever have events with other departments?
- How has the company changed since you joined it?
Questions About Career Growth
If you’re looking for a long-term position, you must ask questions about career growth.
- What are the opportunities for advancement at the company?
- How does the company invest in employee development?
- What resources are available to help me grow professionally?
- Can you tell me about someone who started in this role and is now in a higher-level position?
- What kind of training and development programs does the company offer?
- Is there room for negotiation when it comes to salary or job responsibilities?
- How does the team I’ll be joining grow professionally?
- What does the promotion process look like?
- What are the most common career paths in this department?
After the interview has concluded, there are some follow-up questions you can add.
- What are the next steps in the hiring process?
- When can I expect to hear back about the position?
- Is there anything else I can provide about my qualifications to help decide on my candidacy?
Questions to Avoid
In addition to knowing which questions to ask, it’s just as important to know which questions to avoid. These are a few of the most common ones:
- How much does this position pay?
- What are your paid leave policies?
- What can you tell me about health insurance benefits?
- Did I get the job?
Why You Should Avoid Asking About Salary and Benefits
While knowing how much the position pays and its benefits are essential, you should avoid asking about these things in the initial interview. Asking about salary and benefits can make you seem more interested in the job’s perks than the actual work itself. Additionally, most employers will not give out this information until they have made a job offer. If the interviewer asks about salary or benefits expectations early in the interview process, you can say that you’re flexible and open to discussing those details later.
Why You Should Avoid Asking About Paid Leave Policies
Asking about paid leave policies can make you seem unprofessional and unprepared. It’s essential to do your research ahead of time and know what the company’s policy is before you ask this question. Additionally, this question is likely already covered in the job listing or company website. Asking about it in an interview shows that you haven’t done your research and makes it seem like you’re not interested in the position.
Why You Should Avoid Asking About Health Insurance Benefits
In addition to paid leave policies, another question you should avoid asking in an interview is about health insurance benefits. Just like with paid leave, this information is likely to already be available on the company website or in the job listing. Asking about it in an interview makes it seem like you haven’t done your research and are more interested in the benefits than the actual job.
Avoid Asking Questions That Try to “Seal the Deal”
In an interview, you should avoid asking questions that try to “seal the deal.” These questions are designed to convince the interviewer that you’re hired. For example, asking, “What would it take for me to get this job?” is inappropriate. This question puts the interviewer on the spot and makes them feel they have to give you a positive answer.
Instead of asking these questions, focus on ones that will help you learn more about the company and the position. By doing this, you’ll be in a better position to decide if the job is right for you.
Final Thoughts on Questions to Ask in an Interview
The opportunity to ask questions at the end of an interview is one that you don’t want to waste. Questions allow you to learn more about the company and the position. Since you’re obviously not going to ask every single one of these questions, pick a few that stick out to you as the essential information you should know about the company.
Be sure to write your questions to ask in an interview down on paper or type them into the notes app on your phone. Glance at them before the interview begins, so they are fresh in your mind. Be mindful of the interviewer’s schedule as well. If they turn the interview over to you in the last five minutes, only pick a couple of questions so that you aren’t drawing out the interview and wasting the interviewer’s time. Once you have the offer in hand, you can always ask the other questions.
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This article was produced and syndicated by My Work From Home Money.
Robyn is a millennial mom with a passion for personal finance. She has her MBA and has been studying Personal Finance on her own for as long as she can remember.
She has always been “into” personal finance but got inspired to start her blog after a period of extended unemployment. She says that experience really changed the way she viewed her relationship with money and the importance of accessible personal finance education. Read more at A Dime Saved.