If there are important things you need to know, interviewers want to hear them. Don't be afraid to ask questions. In fact, NOT asking questions is a major no-no. The Muse says, "not having any questions for the interviewer basically says that you’re not interested enough to learn any more. Have some thoughtful questions prepared, and your interview will feel more like a conversation than a firing squad."
And that's important. Ladders.com reminds you that interviewing is a two-way street. "The employer is offering you the job, and you are offering the talent. Remember, the person interviewing you might very well be your working partner. Talk to them, ask for clarification so you have more details about the role you have been offered."
Bottom line: It's okay to ask questions.
The Best Job Interview Questions to Ask
In fact, when you ask questions it shows your interest and dedication to the company and your potential new role. So what questions should you ask? Here's a laundry list to get you started.
General Information and The Role
- How did this position come to be open?
- Is this a new position? If not, what did the previous employee go on to do?
- What is this position's churn like?
- Who previously held the role?
- What does success look like in this role?
- What are the skills and experiences you’re looking for in an ideal candidate?
- Could you give an example of a typical working day?
- How much travel is expected?
- What is the defined career path for this role; how can I advance?
- What are the top three character traits that would help me excel in this position?
- Can you tell me more about the day-to-day responsibilities of this job?
- What are your expectations for this role during the first 30 days, 60 days, year?
- Can you show me examples of projects I'd be working on?
- What types of skills is the team missing that you’re looking to fill with a new hire?
- Do you expect the main responsibilities for this position to change in the next six months to a year?
- In what area could your team use a little polishing?
It’s true: the people you work with are just as important as the work you'll end up doing.
- Is there anyone I can reach out to and get guidance from after I start?
- What are the biggest challenges people face when they start out in this position?
- Who will I work with most closely?
- Who does this position report to? If I am offered the position, can I meet him or her?
- Who will be reporting directly to me?
- How many people work in this office/department?
- What is your vision for the team?
- How much growth has this team seen over the past few years?
- What other departments does this team collaborate closely with?
- What is the biggest achievement this department has made?
- What is the biggest challenge facing this department right now?
- How long is the average tenure of an employee?
Let's Talk About Company Culture
- What is the company's management style?
- How is work-life balance in the company?
- What is the typical workweek? Is overtime expected?
- What is the company culture here like?
- How would you describe this company's values?
- How would you describe the work environment here—is the work typically collaborative or more independent?
- Does anyone on the team hang out outside the office?
- Where do people usually eat lunch?
- What's different about working here than anywhere else you've worked?
- Can you tell me about the last team event you did together?
- Would you mind giving me a tour of where this job would take place?
KPI'S, ROI, and Success
- What would my immediate priorities be?
- What do you offer in regards to training staff?
- What does your on-boarding process look like?
- What is the biggest challenge that I would face in this role?
- What are the expectations of this position over the first 12 months?
- How would you measure my success, if I were chosen for this role?
- What is the performance review process like here?
- What metrics or goals will I be evaluated against?
- What are the specific key performance indicators for this job?
- How does one advance in this company?
- What is the typical career path for someone in this role?
- What is the performance review process like here? How often would I be formally reviewed?
- What are the long-term prospects for the person who takes up this job?
Salary and Benefits
It's important you don't bring these questions up in the first interview. Save them for after you've made it through a few rounds or when an offer is on the table.
- Is the salary negotiable?
- Is the amount provided base pay?
- What is included as a part of your benefits package?
- What kind of opportunities exist for personal growth?
- Will I be getting any additional wellness perks?
- Do you offer dental and vision insurance?
- How many sick days and personal days will I get?
- How much paid vacation time will I get per year?
- Can I carry over the paid vacation time if I don’t utilize it?
- Is there a 401(k)?
- What are the core working hours?
- Is there any flexibility in working hours?
- Will I be able to work from home once in a while?
- If I am extended a job offer, how soon would you like me to start?
Misc. and "Bonus Point" Questions
Asking smart questions can prove you've done your research.
- Where do you see the company in the next five years?
- Can you tell me about your new products or plans for growth?
- What are the company's plans for development?
- What are the biggest opportunities facing the company/department right now?
- What is the best part of working for this company?
- Has your role changed since you've been here?
- Glassdoor reviews indicated (specific issue), do you think that is accurate?
- Do you have any reservations about me or my background for this position?
- What, if anything, concerns you about my qualifications?
- Are there any skills needed in this job you think I would need to improve upon?
- When can I expect to hear from you?
- Are there any other questions I can answer for you?
- What are the next steps in the interview process?
- Who can I reach out to if I need more information or have another question?
Questions NOT to Ask at a Job Interview
There are some questions that you should avoid asking, since they won't present you in a positive light, says TheBalance.com.
Here are ones to skip, we hope the reasons why will be obvious:
- What does this company do?
- If I get the job when can I take time off for vacation?
- Can I change my schedule if I get the job?
- Did I get the job?
- How long would I have to wait to get promoted?
- What is the astrological sign of the company president?
- How late can I be to work without getting fired?
- Does this company monitor internet usage?
- How many warnings do you get before you are fired?
Don't Forget These Job Interview Tips
There's no need to face the interview process with fear and trepidation. When you go for an interview, remember that the company already likes you! They've already chosen your cover letter or your resume as one of the few among the hundreds they received for an interview. Your skills have impressed them, so all you need to do is seal the deal. You're getting on stage, yes, but for an audience that already wants to hear what you have to say.
So go nail it!
And afterwards? One of the most important things you can do to win over your interviewers? Follow up. Send a thank you email and/or snail mail thank you card. In fact, Monster.com indicates it's often the thank you note that makes the difference between one candidate and another when all other factors are equal. Many candidates don't take that extra step, so you'll be sure to stand out.
Need Interview Help?
The digital age has changed much about the job search, but job interview techniques have changed very little. If you are offered an in-person job interview, mind your P's and Q's. It just might make the difference between acceptance and rejection. Contact us today if you need help.