Best Types of Questions to Ask an Interviewer

The job interview has been going well and you have answered all the interview questions thrown at you with ease because you were so well prepared, and then the interviewer asks:

“Do you have any questions for me?” Do not let this moment stop your forward momentum. Be prepared with plenty of questions ahead of time so you can ask several at the appropriate time. Keep in mind that some of your questions might be answered during the course of the interview, so taking notes throughout the interview is important and coming with many questions will ensure you still have several to ask at this crucial moment.

This point in the interview is your chance to show your interest in getting the job. You can use it as an opportunity to highlight any other skills or attributes that were not already discussed during the interview. You can also use this time to show how much research you did on the company while continuing to learn more about the daily life of employees. Prepare ahead of time, researching and writing down plenty of possible questions to ask so that, when an interviewer asks if you have questions, you can readily jump on the opportunity.

Why ask questions at an interview?

A job interview is your chance to impress a representative of the company to try to get the job offer, but it is also a chance for you to interview this person to learn more about the role and the company to ensure this is the right fit for you. Asking questions at the interview will give you greater insights behind closed doors, beyond what you could learn by researching online. Asking questions helps you to get a better idea of the day-to-day life for staff and the ways in which this position might affect your life. Remember that a job is more than the pay or the job title; you need to weigh all of the pros and cons to decide if this job is right for you and for your chosen career path.

Asking questions also shows your excitement about getting the job. Researching the job before the interview can help you to ask relevant, interesting questions. In turn, you will be more likely to succeed in making a good impression with your interviewer. You can prove that you are excited about the prospect of working there by asking questions that delve into the company’s future. You can ask questions that set yourself up to explain how you would fit into the company and into this particular role to resolve problems and to help the company achieve its long-term goals.

Best Questions to Ask During an Interview

When an interviewer asks if you have any questions to ask, this is your chance to delve deeper into the role and the company, while simultaneously showing your interest in the job and proving that you were prepared for the interview. There are many questions you could ask at this point, but here are some of the best questions you can ask:

  • What made the previous person who held this role successful? This allows the interviewer a chance to explain how to do the job well, which gives you further insight into the position and expectations. You might also learn what the person did not do well or the position is open.
  • What is the management style of this company and department specifically? Your interviewer might be part of that management, so you can cater it specifically to your interviewer to learn from an insider’s perspective. These insights cannot be gleaned from the company website, but if you looked through websites that allow company reviews before the interview, you might have some insight from other employees past and present. Combine all of this information to make a judgment about your fit with the company.
  • What challenge is the company currently facing? You can learn about a problem that you might be able to help resolve, so listen carefully and try to point out where you can contribute should you get the job.
  • What are you most proud of in your work? Giving your interviewer an opportunity to highlight an accomplishment will keep the conversation positive while also showing you what excites workers in this company.
  • What are the expectations for a new employee’s first year in this role? This gives the interviewer a chance to explain the role further and more information on how you could be successful in the position. You can get a better feel for the tasks and milestones you will be expected to achieve, which can offer a clearer picture for you overall.
  • Do you have any concerns about my qualifications or about anything we discussed today that I can try to address? This might seem a little bold, but this could be your last chance to address any doubts and to clarify any issues while you still have the interviewer’s ear. Be sure to ask in a helpful, rather than confrontational, way.

Some Questions to Avoid Best

While it is important to ask questions during your interview, it is equally as important to avoid certain questions. This is not your chance to learn about the extracurricular activities of the staff nor to ask about how much time you can take off from work. The interview is your chance to learn more about the job, the company and your potential fit within both. This is your chance to impress the interviewer with relevant and interesting questions, but you could ruin that momentum by asking the wrong ones.

You should avoid asking questions about activities outside of work, such as happy hour gatherings among coworkers. While it is okay to inquire as to the office culture to get a feel for the staff morale, pushing for details on social outings during an interview can seem unprofessional. Additionally, avoid asking about lunch breaks or vacation time. You will find out details about time off and required work hours if you receive a job offer, which is when you can discuss these details and evaluate if the job is right for you. Asking about them, especially during a first round interview, makes you seem anxious to avoid work rather than excited to get the job.

Avoid asking questions about pay unless or until you reach that point in negotiating a contract. Also, avoid asking if you got the job; give the interviewer time and do not be pushy. Finally, do not ask questions that you could easily find the answers to yourself through simple research. If a Google search or a look around the company’s website could answer the question, then do not waste your interviewer’s time.

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