You might think that all you have to do in your interview is answer questions, but answering questions is only part of the equation. You need to ask questions too.
When you ask questions, you’re showing you care about doing the job well and about deciding if the job's a good fit for you.
If you don’t ask questions you’ll seem like you’re not interested enough to want to know more and no one wants to give a job to someone who seems like they're not that interested in it.
How many questions should you ask during your interview?
I recommend asking a total of 10 questions during and after the interview.
Isn’t that a lot of questions? Yes, but if you’re talking to someone for an hour 10 questions isn't really that many. Plus, some of them can be short and simple.
Still, 10 seems like a lot.
Okay, yes, 10 is a lot but the key is to ask some during the interview, because that turns the interview into a conversation and shows your interest. If you ask a question here and there during the interview, you’ll only need to ask a few at the end.
And if you prepare 10, some of them will probably be answered as you talk to the interviewer. You don’t want to ask about the team culture if she’s already talked about the team culture at length, for example, so you’ll have to cross it off your list.
Questions you can ask during your interview, divided by topic
You can use these questions for ideas, but if there’s something you’re interested in learning you should definitely use your own idea instead, because it will sound more personalized to you.
What is a typical day like for the person in this job?
Can you tell me more about the day-to-day responsibilities for this job?
Can you give me some examples of projects I’d be working on?
Do you expect the main responsibilities for this position to change in the next 6 months to a year?
Is this a new role that’s been created?
What are the 3 most important leadership principles for this job?
How do you define success for this position? What metrics will you use to measure my accomplishments?
Do you have any concerns about my qualifications for this job?
Training and Development
How will I be trained?
Where is the last person who held this role moving on to?
What is the typical career path for someone in this role?
What is the performance review process like here? Can you walk me through a typical one?
What would your expectation for me be for the first 90 days?
These questions are personal so you don’t want to ask them if your interviewer seems like they might have a problem with personal questions. They’re not too personal though so you can definitely ask them if it seems like a good time to do so.
How long have you been working here?
Why did you choose this company?
What’s your favorite part about working here?
How would you describe the team culture?
Can you tell me about the members of the team?
What are the team’s strengths and weaknesses?
What have been the biggest challenges for the team this year?
Whom will I report to directly?
Which other departments work closely with this one?
Do you expect the department/team to grow?
How does this service or product fit into the larger picture?
How do you measure customer service?
What important initiatives are you working on for the next 6-12 months?
How does this role contribute to larger company goals?
What do you like the most about working here?
Can you tell me a little bit about the company culture?
Where do you think the company is headed in the next 5 years?
Whom do you consider your top competitor and why?
What are the biggest opportunities facing the company right now?
Is there anything else I can provide you with that would be helpful?
Can I answer any final questions for you?
What are the next steps in the interview process?
Topics to avoid during your interview
If you ask about these you'll seem selfish and impatient and like you don’t care about the job. These are questions you should save for the recruiter or HR manager after they offer you the job.
Working hours/your schedule
Did I get the job?
I’m happy to say that after working with me, my clients, who range from entry level to executive level, have done well in their interviews and gotten the job they wanted.
If you’d like to work with me to prepare for your interview, email me at email@example.com to schedule a free 15 minute consultation or a full interview prep session.
Interview Genie is an American interview prep company specializing in interviews at American companies.