Job interviews can be an intimidating process, one that inspires many anxious idioms among English speakers. It’s an opportunity for an employer to figure out if you’re a good fit for a role in their company. Hiring a new employee is an expensive process both in terms of time and money, so managers are paid to grill (intensely question or interrogate) candidates to minimize that cost. But candidates may also find they have their own questions to ask during a job interview!
You see, the door swings both ways (the same principle or argument applies to both sides of a situation). A hiring manager will usually ask at the end of an interview (but not always!) if you have questions for them. This is your opportunity to see if a job is a good fit for your needs.
*If a company doesn’t give you the opportunity to ask questions during the interview, it’s okay to speak up and ask if you may ask questions at the end.*
It’s important to ask questions when given the opportunity. Many employers see it as a reflection of your interest in the company. It also shows that you’ve put thought and research into the position or career field.
Follow along with this video to see when and how you can ask questions during a job interview. Or keep reading to get a full list of example questions and explanations!
Below is a list of questions to ask during a job interview. (Note that while these questions do involve grilling the company, good employers love to hear these questions from applicants. The questions show that you are keenly interested in your long-term experience at the job, and will be committed to your work if hired!)
What do you like about working at [company]?
If you intend to spend a lot of your time working somewhere, it’s good to know what others think about the company. First-hand experience is always best, so be sure to ask the interviewer their thoughts on working at the company.
If the interviewer is enthusiastic about working at the company, it is a good sign that the work environment is positive. You could also get some insight about the company’s practices and values in this answer.
However, if enthusiasm is low, it’s something to note.
How do you define and measure success in this position?
Everyone has a different definition of success, so it’s important to have a sense of what your company defines as success in your role. You’ll want to know how the company will rate your performance and how often.
This is a way you can measure your performance concretely. If a company doesn’t have a means of measuring success in your role, the company may not have a clear vision or direction.
Does [company] offer opportunities for advancement and professional development?
Knowing there is a potential for growth is a key factor in choosing a career. You’ll want to see that there is the same opportunity with any company you work for as well. Also, knowing the steps you need to take to advance helps you to create and envision goals for yourself.
A company that offers growth is one that has a plan for the future. Knowing that a company can help you personally and professionally is a good sign when deciding whether to take an offer for a position.
Who would I be working with most closely?
When taking a position, it’s good to know who you’ll be spending most of your time with. The interviewer might give a little background information on these individuals as well.
It’s an opportunity to take notes and do your own research later on. A quick search on Google or LinkedIn can often provide a lot of career-related information. That information can be a great help when choosing to accept a position.
What is the most challenging part of the job?
Certain aspects of jobs are more difficult than others. It’s good to know what to expect when taking on a new position.
At the very least, you’ll be able to weigh the good parts of the job against the bad when deciding to take a position.
What values does the company hold in the highest regard?
Our values make up who we are as an individual. It’s important that those values are in alignment with the company we work for.
For example, let’s say you’re someone who loves to spend time with your family, but your company doesn’t hold that value highly. There is a great chance of conflict in the future.
Take the time in the interview to be sure your values align before it becomes a problem. This is a question that’s okay to ask even if the company has their values written on their website or posted in the lobby.
How does the company communicate internally?
This is a great question to help you figure out how savvy (shrewdness and practical knowledge; the ability to make good judgments) a potential employer is. Knowing the chain of communication can also let you know how organized the company is as well. This should be a key factor when determining whether to take a position.
For example, if you’re someone who is very good with technology, you may want to pass on a company who uses outdated methods to communicate.
Or, perhaps you’re not keen on someone checking your work all the time. But, your potential employer requires that you check-in twice a day. This is another potential reason to pass on a position.
Is there anything else about myself that I can tell you that would help with your decision?
This question is the wrap-up question to ask the interviewer. It provides one last opportunity to give information that benefits you during the decision-making process.
Also, the question shows you have an interest in the position. Andit could be a way to clear up any concerns the interviewer may have about you taking the position. Regardless, after you ask this question, it’s a clear sign to move on to the next phase of the interview.
Other Resources for Questions to Ask During a Job Interview
Now that you know some key questions to ask during a job interview, can you think of any more?
This list isn’t the end-all list of potential questions! And of course, you can tailor or omit certain questions based on the job you’re interviewing for.
Click on the links below for further information about job interview questions:
Additionally, Magoosh offers an excellent resource on questions to ask during a job interview. Click on that link for all sorts of helpful job interview advice.