Interviewing

50 Unique Questions to Ask in Your Next Interview

March 12, 2020

Candidates attending job interviews can expect to answer questions about their education, experience and qualifications. Something that is just as important as answering questions posed by the hiring manager is asking your own questions about the position and company. Applicants should prepare a short, unique list of questions prior to the interview to express their interest in the job.

In this article, we explain why asking questions during an interview is important, provide 50 interview questions to ask an employer and offer tips for a successful interview.

Related: 21 Job Interview Tips: How to Make a Great Impression

Why asking questions during an interview is important

Asking the hiring manager questions during an interview is important because it helps you learn about the job, establishes your interest in the position and shows your intelligence and creativity.

Interviews help you and the company determine if you would be a good fit for their position. During an interview, ask questions that will help you decide if you would enjoy the job and work well with their team. When you ask questions, the interviewer can see that you've thought about the position and done research into their company. This shows the interviewer that you are a serious, dedicated candidate with enthusiasm for the position.

Asking thoughtful and unique questions about the company and job also allows you to showcase your intelligence and ability to think independently, and it makes you a more active participant in the interview.

Related: The Steps of the Interview Process

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50 interview questions to ask the employer

When thinking about what you might want to ask the hiring manager during your next interview, these questions are a great place to start:

  1. What characteristics should the person in this position exhibit?
  2. What skills are necessary to succeed in this position?
  3. What can I expect during a typical day or week in this position?
  4. What unique qualities are you hoping this position can provide the company?
  5. What does success look like for this company?
  6. What about my resume showed you that I may be a great candidate?
  7. What are some things not to do in this position?
  8. Is this a new position? If not, why is it vacant?
  9. How often does this position experience turnover?
  10. What are some differences between good employees and great employees in this company?
  11. What are some challenges this position might face?
  12. What is the top issue you would like the person in this position to address on their first day of the job?
  13. What goals would you like to see accomplished during the first three months in this position?
  14. Do you have any examples of projects I could see?
  15. What is the departmental budget?
  16. What is the company culture like here?
  17. Does anyone in the company attend industry conferences?
  18. Are there promotion opportunities within the company?
  19. How often are employees promoted?
  20. What jobs have people who previously held this position been promoted to in the past?
  21. How often are performance reviews completed?
  22. What metrics or goals will the company use to evaluate my job performance?
  23. Who are the company's top three competitors?
  24. What has led previous employees to fail in this position?
  25. Is professional development offered for career advancement?
  26. Besides those listed in the job description, are there any other tasks you require this position to do?
  27. Will the duties and responsibilities of this role change over time?
  28. How does this position contribute to the company's overall goals?
  29. Can you tell me about the other members of this position's department?
  30. What is the company's overall leadership style?
  31. What is the company's view on flexible scheduling and remote work?
  32. Who is the supervisor for this position?
  33. What is currently your biggest concern for the team?
  34. What other departments does this position work with?
  35. What do you feel is the company's greatest competitive advantage?
  36. Roughly how many new employees does the company hire annually?
  37. Does the company do any outsourcing?
  38. Where do you see the company headed in the next 10 years?
  39. What are some company goals this position might directly contribute to?
  40. How long have you been with the company?
  41. Has your role changed since you started with the company?
  42. What do you like best about your job?
  43. Do you feel supported by the company?
  44. How transparent is the company's leadership?
  45. Do you have any final questions about my qualifications?
  46. Do you think I would be a good fit here?
  47. Can you describe the compensation for this position?
  48. Where are you in the hiring process?
  49. When can I expect an answer about the position?
  50. What is the expected start date for this job?

Related: How to Emphasize Your Personal Strengths During an Interview

Tips for a successful interview

Use these tips to go confidently into your next interview:

  • Keep it short. Aim to ask roughly three questions when called for at the end of the interview. Be aware of how long you've been in the interview as well as the hiring manager's body language. If they seem relaxed, you can ask more questions if you have them.
  • Ask the most interesting questions. The questions you ask should be thoughtful and interesting. Ask about company culture or specifics about the position rather than general questions about the company that you might be able to find answers to on their website.
  • Be confident. Interviewers appreciate when you ask questions in an interview, so ask them with confidence.
  • Write down your questions before the interview. Prepare a list of around 10 questions for the hiring manager prior to the interview. More than likely, they will answer some of these questions throughout the interview, so you can ask your remaining questions when prompted.
  • Bring something to write with. Bring a notebook and pen or pencil to the interview so you can take notes on the hiring manager's responses to your questions. This way, you'll remember what they said and show the interviewer that you sincerely want to learn from them.
  • Ask new questions. Make sure your questions cover new information. If the hiring manager has already answered a question on your list, ask about something else rather than rephrasing an old question.
  • Be concise. Your questions should be short and direct. Ask the question and then pause to allow the interviewer to answer or ask for more information.
  • Ask open-ended questions. Open-ended questions provide a more comprehensive answer than yes or no questions. Aim to ask the hiring manager thoughtful, open-ended questions that stimulate conversation.