12 answers

What are some good questions to ask a potential employer during an interview?

Updated Mississauga, Ontario, Canada

Usually at the end of an interview, the hiring manager will give you the opportunity to ask some questions about the position or the company.

Are there any questions that you can ask that will make you stand out to the employer as the main candidate? As well, as there any questions to avoid asking?

#interview #interview-preparation #job-application

12 answers

Darlene’s Answer

Updated
Great questions already listed. I always ask, "How will you know, say six months or a year from now, that you hired the right person?" They usually respond with, "Wow, great question." I would NOT ask right away things like how much vacation will I get or how long before I'm promoted. Questions about benefits are perfect after the offer comes to you and you are deciding to accept or decline. Get them excited about hiring you first. Most importantly, do not give up! Job-hunting can be a marathon, not a sprint. Best of luck!!!!
Updated
Hi! With your question about knowing if you chose the right person or not, what do most people say after their first response of "Great question!"? I'm just curious! Thanks!

Joe’s Answer

Updated Nashville, Tennessee
Elas, It is very important to avoid asking questions where the result is a yes or no answer. You should also avoid questions that are so broad that they are difficult or take too long to answer. Ask about day-to-day responsibilities Ask where they think the company is headed in the next 5 years Ask what they believe the biggest challenges facing the company/department are right now How do I compare with the other candidates you’ve interviewed for this role

Lisanne’s Answer

Updated Eu, Normandy, France
Hi Elsa, Good question. It is always good to prepare a couple of questions in advance, before you start the interview. I also believe we have to go one step back in the process, before you can start with your questions. The first impression is probably most important. So show the hiring manager your enthusiasm, and convince the person that you really want that job (without exaggeration). The questions you can ask at the end of the conversation diver, because of the conversation you have. Questions you need to ask are also questions about stuff you really want to know. Show the hiring manager that you did checked the background of the company/organisation. Other questions you can ask are about: * How is the team spirit? * What do you expect from me? * How can I develop myself at this company? * What is the most important goal for me for the next six months? * What do you think about this interview? I hope this answer will help you further in your career. Good luck with the interview! Kind regards, Lisanne

Madeline’s Answer

Updated Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Hi Elsa! It's great that you are looking to prepare for the interview process. Having questions to ask an employer at the conclusion of an interview is a helpful way to show your interest and learn more about the company, culture, and position. It may help to do some research regarding the organization and position you are applying for. Upon doing so, if you see anything that stands out, you can ask about it in an interview. For example, if the company uses a particular software package or highlights a specific event, you may be able to request more information about it. That can help to express your interest and will allow you gain knowledge about the company's systems and endeavors. In addition to asking questions about the company, it can be helpful to ask questions about the interviewer. What is his/her favorite aspect of their position, and at the company as a whole? What experiences brought them to where they are today? Showing an interest in the interviewer (or interviewers) can help to establish a memorable connection and also provide you with more information about their background. This can be helpful when writing thank you letters or following up after the interview. I hope this helps! If you have additional questions do not hesitate to reach out. Wishing you the best of luck in your future endeavors! Sincerely, Madeline

Frederick’s Answer

Updated
Is this opportunity an existing position or newly open? What are your expectation if I am chosen for the positon? When are you looking to bring someone of board? Is there opportunity for growth within this position or department?

Maria T.’s Answer

Updated Hershey, Pennsylvania
Hi! Great questions provided by everyone! Here are a couple more that you might want to consider to learn more about the interviewer's thoughts on company, role: 1. What is the biggest challenge the hired person will face? 2. What do you love the most about the company and like the least? Good luck! Techa

Heidi’s Answer

Updated Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Hello, Elsa! This is a great question and one of the most debatable, for sure. While each company has their own style of interviewing, I've found that most employers are impressed by questions that demonstrate how interested you are in A) how you will learn the job, B) how their department is operated, and C) the current marketplace for that specific industry. For example, you could ask the following... 1) What is the management style like here? 2) Will my training be more classroom-oriented or "on-the-job"? 3) What would you say are the biggest challenges this company faces today? 4) How is this department's success measured? 5) How much of the work will be independent and how much will be on a team? Also, another trick I've found is to reflect back whatever they say so you appear truly engaged in the conversation. Without interrupting, try to make the conversation two-sided and less about an interrogation for you. Let them know that you have a clear understanding of whatever they're describing. Do your typical company research, but try not to over-prepare, as this will cause you to look less natural and more rehearsed. Lastly, as a general rule, I would try to avoid questions about salary, time off, etc. until after you are hired. I know that these things are important, but they can come off as slightly presumptuous for someone who hasn't been offered the job yet. LASTLY lastly, don't be too nervous! I've been hired at most places by just remaining the right amount of professional while showing my true personality. GOOD LUCK!

Carla’s Answer

Updated
Hello! It is important to always walk into a job interview as prepared as you can. At times this may not be possible, but something that you can always have prepared is the final question, "Do you have any questions for me?" As a hiring manager, I love when people have a question prepared because it demonstrates that they care about the interview. A couple of my favorite questions are: - Will there be chances for advancement/ promotions? - What does a typical day/shift look like? - What have you learned from working here? - How have you grown professionally since you started here? There are just to name a few. Good luck!

Miriam’s Answer

Updated California, California
The questions part is the best opportunity for you to show you have done your research. This is your chance to ask what led to a recent announcement at the company, how a specific new initiative is performing, or what they learned from a recent published experience. Get this information on their blog, website, or by doing a Google News Search. If you want to be bold, you can also ask what their biggest concern in bringing you on would be so you can speak to it. Finally, if you are interviewing with more than one person, asking them each the same question is ok if its a good question. Asking what the most important goal for the company is this year gives you a chance to see if they all see things the same.

Adam’s Answer

Updated Denver, Colorado
For interviews with hiring manageres, I usually research the company ahead of time so I can ask industry or company specific questions. If they are pubicly traded, there is a lot of information released in their 10-Q or 10-K reports, which can be found online (I use Yahoo finance page). If I cannot find anything directly about them, I'll research the industry a bit and see what's happening in their space. The goal of my research is to find one really good highlight (to ask them a friendly question) and one thing that might be considered a risk to the company (to ask them a tough question). This shows I'm serious about understanding who they are. Example of an easy question: "I see you have grown quite a bit over the past few years, or I see the demand for this service or product is at an all-time hight, how does 'company' plan to continue success in this area?" Example of a tough/ risk oriented question: "Due to the popularity of this service or product, are you concerned many competitors might emerge? How does 'company' plan to maintain or create competitive advantage?" For HR interviews, I will ask people oriented questions like "what is retention like (how long do people normally stay here)?" I ask about benefits. I ask why people love working there. Also, I usually ask to interview with someone who would be my peer at the company, so I can get their point of view and figure out if I'd fit in with the culture. I am of the opinion that, especially early in your career, culture and opportunity are probably better than a higher salary. While the goal is to always get the offer, remember based on their answers you may not want to work there. For whatever it's worth, I think it is a good sign to walk out of interviews feeling like I really want to work there, as opposed to just really wanting a job. To be truthful, I've taken positions because I needed a job before, you do what you've got to do, but those don't usually end up being my favority places to work. Good luck!

Ron’s Answer

Updated Phoenix, Arizona
Ask these: 1) What are the goals and expectations of the candidate for this position? 2) When do you expect to make a decision to fill the position? 3) What kind of growth opportunities are available? 4) Who is making the hiring decision? If possible, may I meet with them? 5) Share with the interviewer some details you know about the company that may relate to the position being hired for. 6) What kind of growth is the company looking for in 5 years? Don't ask: 1) How much money will I make. 2) When can I start taking vacation days. 3) How many sick days do I get? 4) If I have complaint, who can I talk to?

Matthew’s Answer

Updated Oakland, California

Hi Elsa. Great question! I want to be as direct and succinct as I can here, without sounding too vague. Don't overthink this. There is often very little time at the end of the interview (perhaps it shouldn't be this way, but it is usually the case) so I would keep it very brief, positive and make the interviewer think a bit too. As much as you are being interviewed, this is your brief window of time to interview the company and be sure it is the best choice for you.


I have always asked, at the end of every interview "What do you not like about working here?" . The interviewer will likely not be expecting this and you will get a very authentic, and unique response. This will speak volumes about the company's culture, as well as the personalities that make up the group.


Additionally, Darlene's comment above is a wonderful question that I would for sure ask:


"How will you know, say six months or a year from now, that you hired the right person?" They usually respond with, "Wow, great question." 


I hope this helps!

Ask a question