17 Best Questions to Ask Your Interviewer (With Video Examples)August 12, 2020
Job interviews should feel like a conversation, with two people asking and answering questions. You should follow the lead of your interviewer and prioritize giving them information about yourself, but know that interviewers expect you to ask questions, too. When you do, it shows that you have enthusiasm for and genuine interest in the job.
In this quick video, Indeed recruiter Linda gives examples of questions you can ask your interviewer.
(Keep reading for more example questions you can use in your interviews.)
Your opportunity to ask these questions typically comes at the end of the interview. It’s a chance to learn more about the company culture, the challenges and opportunities the organization is facing, and what being in this job is really like.
Do I need to ask my interviewer questions?
It’s highly recommended to ask your interviewer relevant, thoughtful questions. Doing so will give you a better understanding of whether the position is the right fit for you. It also shows the interviewer that you have a genuine interest in the position. If the time for you to ask questions comes and you let the interviewer know that you don’t have any, it may come across as a sign that you did not prepare or that you’re not taking the position seriously.
Consider preparing a list of 5-10 questions to ask ahead of time. Having a written list of pre-prepared questions will help in the instance that you get nervous and don’t remember what you wanted to ask, or questions don’t arise organically during the interview. With the right questions, you’ll be able to illustrate your knowledge of the company and industry, along with your drive to excel in the new position.
Best questions to ask in an interview
Come to your interview with your questions prepared. Give thought to who you're interviewing with and what questions would be best suited for them. For example, recruiters will have the best knowledge of company culture, benefits and high-level responsibilities of the job while VP’s or CEO’s are best equipped for questions about strategy, vision and goals of the company. Beforehand, practice asking at least three questions that demonstrate you’ve thought seriously about what it would be like to do this job. Here are a few examples of questions you might ask:
Questions to ask about the job
1. Can you elaborate on the day-to-day responsibilities this job entails?
This is a good question to ask the hiring manager. The answer will be important for you to take into consideration as you determine whether or not this job is the right fit for you.
2. What are the characteristics of someone who would succeed in this role?
Ask this question to the hiring manager or others on the interview panel who you might work with if you accept the job. Their answers will quickly give you an idea of the qualities they hope to see in the person they hire.
3. What’s the most important thing I could do to help within the first 90 days of employment?
With this question, you’re showcasing your desire and ability to contribute from day one. It’s a good one to ask of the hiring manager.
4. What are some of the challenges you’ve seen people in this role or on this team encounter?
During your interviews, you want to get a clear-eyed view of what this job is like — why it’s hard and rewarding at the same time. Getting your interviewers’ perspectives on potential hurdles will give you a holistic picture.
5. If I were in this job, how would my performance be measured?
In your interview with the hiring manager, ask this question to get more specific about how you can succeed in this job. The answer to this question will be helpful to you even if you don’t get the job — you may be able to use the insights they share to identify new areas of professional development.
6. What does the career path for someone in this role look like?
Another one for the hiring manager. This question can signal your interest in growing at this company.
7. What other functions or departments does this teamwork with most often? What are the characteristics of a successful collaboration?
This is an important question if the company you’re interviewing with is a large or mid-sized business. Knowing how to collaborate will be a crucial part of your ability to do the job.
8. What does your job look like day-to-day and how would you anticipate working with the person in this role?
This is a good one for your prospective colleagues but can also work for the hiring manager. Their answers will give you a sense of their priorities.
Questions about the company
In addition to those questions about the specific job, you can leverage the research you’ve done beforehand to ask questions that showcase your interest in the company and industry. Here are some examples:
9. What do you like best about working here?
This question can be a casual way to engage your interviewer on a personal level while gaining valuable insights into their experience with the company. If appropriate, be sure to respond to their answer with examples of why you believe this type of environment is a great fit for your personality and working style.
10. Who do you see as your biggest competitor and why?
This question can show that you have an interest in the bigger picture of the company and industry. It can also be an opportunity for you to share that you did research on the company by following up the interviewer's response with what you found when you looked into this before the interview.
11. What challenges has this company faced in the last few years? What challenges do you anticipate in the coming years?
This is a great question if you’re interviewing with managers or senior leadership. It shows your interest in the performance of the company and can give you insight into the pain points they experience. If applicable, you can follow up their response by any experience you bring to the table that can help with these pain points/challenges.
12. What changes or innovations in the industry are you most excited about?
This question allows you to see how passionate the interviewer is about this company and industry. It also gives you the opportunity to follow up with what excited you the most about the industry during your research or through your past experience.
You can formulate next-level questions by asking about something that stems from what you read about the company in the news or on social media. For example:
- “I noticed on your social media channels that you’ve opened several new offices lately. That kind of growth is exciting to me. It made me wonder what lines of the business are part of that expansion?”
- “I came across an interview with your CEO where she touched on several aspects of the company culture. What elements of the culture here do you like best?”
Questions to ask about the culture
This is a great opportunity for you to learn if the company culture is in alignment with the type of culture you’re seeking. You might consider researching the type of company culture you’re most interested in beforehand.
13. How would you describe the company culture?
This is a great, straightforward question to hear about how the interviewer would describe the company’s culture. Interviewers will often speak to what they like most about the culture, so it’s great to ask this question to multiple people throughout the interview process to get a holistic view of the culture.
14. What are the most important values of your company?
Companies often have missions or values that drive the decisions, attitudes and goals of the company. Knowing and understanding these values can give you great insight into the type of culture that’s set.
15. What are examples of company events?
The answer to this question will give you insight into if the company promotes camaraderie amongst the employees and what type of events they celebrate.
16. How would you describe the office environment?
You can better understand the culture of a company by knowing how employees would describe the office environment. For example, an open seating floor plan and couches/areas to congregate and hang out in promote a more casual atmosphere.
17. Do you have any employee resource groups?
This is a good question to ask if you’re looking for a company that promotes diversity and inclusion. If a company has resource groups or councils for underrepresented populations, it’s a sign that they may value diversity and inclusion. A good follow up question would be “What influence do the resource groups have on decision making in the company?” This can help you understand how the company values the opinions and recommendations of the resource groups.