Interview Questions You Should Be Asking
Preparing for an interview can be nerve-wracking, frustrating, and overwhelming. You might be so concerned with studying up on what questions the interviewer might ask you that you forget another important part – questions you should be asking them. In your preparation research you should always jot down things that you want to ask. If you end up forgetting to jot them down, or simply aren’t sure what to ask, here are some solid questions to ask your interviewer, plus some good etiquette tips.
Preparation & Etiquette
In any interview, preparation is paramount. Do your research. Find out all you can on the company, products and services they offer, clients, employees, executive management, and any other available information. Put yourself in a position in which you can answer, and ask, relevant, industry/company-aligned questions. The most important thing is to ask questions that are relevant. The goal of your questions is to let the interviewer know that you are knowledgeable, passionate, and interested. Also keep in mind that you want to ask questions as organically as possible as the interview progresses. Don’t try to rapid-fire your questions at the interviewer. When the inevitable part comes when the interviewer asks, “Do you have any questions for us,” you’ll be ready to ask your big questions in succession. There will be a time to fit in each of you questions, and some of them might even be answered without having to ask. If that’s the case, a simple, “I was wondering about that,” could be appropriate. Just remember to give input at natural breaks in the conversation. Never try to talk over or interrupt the interviewer. If you don’t think there a good time to ask questions at all, just wait until the end of the interview. Also, be sure to make it aware that you are engaged and listening to the interviewer’s answers.
Asking the Right Questions
Below are some ideas to get you started asking the right questions during a formal interview:
- What does a typical day in this position look like?
- 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?
- What are the biggest challenges that someone in this position would face?
- What training programs are available to your employees?
- What are the performance expectations of this position over the first 12 months?
- Where do you see this company in the next few years?
- What are the current goals that the company is focused on, and how does this team work to support hitting those goals?
- Can you tell me about the team I’ll be working with? What are some strengths and weaknesses?
- How would you describe the work environment here—is the work typically collaborative or more independent?
Notice that none of these examples concern basic company information. Don’t ask questions that could be easily googled. Softball questions will get you nowhere. By asking the right kind of industry/position aligned questions, you’ll come across as confident and competent.
Ending on a Good Note
As your interview comes to a close you’ll want to wrap it up with questions that make you memorable. Often the interviewer will close it out by asking if you have any other questions you’d like to ask. Always ask about the next steps in the hiring process and try to tie up any loose ends. Some examples are:
- Is there anything that concerns you about my background being a fit for this role?
- What are the next steps in the interview process?
- Is there anything else I can provide you with that would be helpful?
Now is the time for your “heavy-hitter” questions. Try to make a personal connection, add some kind of extra value to yourself, or follow up with an in-depth question on a talking point brought up earlier in the interview. Here are some good examples to get you started:
- What would you say your best moment so far at [this company] was?
- What do you like best about working at this company?
- How would you score the company on living up to its core values? What’s the one thing you’re working to improve on?
- How has this position evolved? If hired, what could I do to improve it further?
With these questions in mind, you should be well prepared to make yourself stand out from other candidates and establish yourself as a confident, competent, ambitious prospect.