Employers shouldn’t be the only ones asking questions in job interviews; candidates should be doing just that too. Here’s what you ought to be asking!
You’ve been invited in for an interview for your dream job and, quite naturally, you’re super excited about the whole thing. You’re also equally nervous – it’s a job interview, after all, and the simplest mistake could very well cost you this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
You’ve done your research on the company and have even read up on how to answer the dumbest interview questions known to man. But, one thing you may have overlooked is preparing a few questions for you to ask at the end of the interview – and believe me when I say that you need to prepare a couple of questions for the most important 30 minutes of your professional life.
Simply put, if you have no questions to ask your interviewer, you might seem uninterested in the job, and we don’t really need to tell you that that’s the complete opposite of what employers are looking for. To help you out, we’ve compiled the ultimate list of questions you should ask at your interview.
1. The Job
Well, you’re obviously not going to accept a job you know nothing about, right?
1. What are the most immediate projects that need to be addressed?
2. Can you show me examples of projects I’ll be working on?
3. What does a typical day look like?
4. What are the skills and experiences you’re looking for in an ideal candidate?
5. What attributes does someone need to have to be successful in this position?
6. What types of skills is the team missing that you’re looking to fill with a new hire?
7. What are the biggest challenges that someone in this position would face?
8. What sort of budget would I be working with?
9. Which projects would you like me to complete in the next six months?
10. Is this a new role that has been created?
11. Why did the last person who held this job leave?
12. Do you expect the responsibilities for this position to change in the next six months?
13. Why are you looking at external candidates for this job rather than promoting from within?
14. How much autonomy would I have in making decisions?
15. What are the most important problems that need to be solved first?
16. How many employees would I supervise in this position?
2. Training and Professional Development
Each and every one of your jobs should be viewed as the next step in your career growth. How will this job help you get there?
17. What training programs are available to new employees?
18. How will I be trained?
19. How long is the learning curve?
20. Are there opportunities for advancement or professional development?
21. Would I be able to represent the company at industry conferences?
22. Where is the last person who held this job moving on to?
23. Where have successful employees who previously held this position progressed to?
3. Your Performance
You need to know what you’re getting yourself into and what will be expected of you, and these questions will help you get those answers.
24. What are the most important things you’d like to see someone accomplish in the first 30 days on the job?
25. What are the performance expectations of this position over the next 12 months?
26. What is the performance review process like here?
27. How often would I be formally reviewed?
28. What metrics or goals will my performance be evaluated against?
29. How do you measure an employee’s performance and provide feedback?
4. The Interviewer
Asking questions about the interviewer – on a professional level, always – will help you build great rapport and present you as an outgoing individual.
30. How long have you been with the company?
31. What did you do before this?
32. Why did you join this company?
33. Has your role changed at all since you’ve been here?
34. What’s your favorite thing about working here?
35. What’s your least favorite thing about working here?
5. The Company
You’ll obviously (hopefully) have done your research on the company before walking into the interview, but there are some questions that you won’t be able to find answers to on the company’s website. Your interview is a great place to get those answers.
36. I’ve read about the company’s founding, but can you tell me more about…?
37. Where do you see the company in the next five years?
38. What can you tell me about your plans for growth or new products?
39. What are the current goals the company is focused on and how does this team work to support meeting those goals?
40. What are the company’s plans for growth in the next five years?
41. How does the company intend to remain competitive?
42. What have the company’s goals been in the last year and did it meet them?
43. What makes this company different from its competitors?
44. How does this position fit into the company’s long-term plans?
6. The Team
You’ll be working with these people eight hours a day, five days a week, and they will have a significant impact on your work life. You need to know whether you’ll be able to work well with them, and these questions can help you out in that department.
45. Can you tell me a little about the team I’ll be working with?
46. Who will I be working with most closely?
47. Who will I be reporting to directly?
48. Do you expect to hire more people in this department in the next six months?
49. Which other departments in the company work most closely with this one?
50. Will I be able to meet the team?
7. The Culture
Just like the team you’ll be working with, you also need to enquire about the company culture: is it too formal or too relaxed for you? Knowing this will help you determine whether you’ll enjoy working there.
51. What is the company and team culture like?
52. How would you describe the work environment here?
53. Can you tell me a little about the last team event you attended?
54. What’s your favorite office tradition?
55. What do you and the team usually do for lunch?
56. Does anyone on the team hang out outside the office?
57. Do you ever do joint events with other departments or companies?
58. What’s different about working here than anywhere else you’ve worked?
59. How has the company changed since you joined?
60. Do you encourage participation in community or professional activities?
8. Next Steps
You’ve got all the information you needed about the job and the company, and now you need to find out about what happens next. You could also make sure that the interviewer has all the information they need.
61. Is there anything that concerns you about my suitability for this role?
62. What are the next steps in the interview process?
63. When can I expect to hear back from you?
64. Is there anything else I can provide you with that would be helpful?
65. Can I answer any final questions for you?
66. If you decide to extend an offer, when would you like me to start?
What questions do you ask when interviewing for a job? Tell us in the comments section below, and don’t forget to share this article with family and friends who are currently on the hunt for a job!