Almost every interview will end with an opportunity for you to ask your questions. You should always have questions ready that show you are prepared and understand the position. This will further convince the hiring manager that 1) you want the job; 2) you care about the company; and 3) you are eager to learn more. Interviewers make hiring decisions as much from the questions you ask (or don’t ask) them as from the answers you give. The worst answer to “do you have any questions for me” is “no”.
Before your interview, write down at least three questions for your interviewer. Try to include questions about what you’ve learned by researching the company and its culture. Make sure you’re listening throughout the interview, though, so try not to ask questions that have been completely answered during the conversation.
The best approach is to ask three types of questions:
- One question about the company in general – either current events, culture changes, or major changes
- One question about the interviewer’s experience as an employee of the company
- One question about how you personally can make sure you are successful in the role
To help you out, I’ve listed some great questions below to ask your interviewer when given the chance. I’ve also listed some topics that you should avoid at all costs. Remember that your questions are your opportunity to sell yourself by showing how thoughtful you are and how well you prepared for your interview.
15 Winning Questions to Ask Your Interviewer
Great questions about the company
- How has the company/team changed since you joined?
- How would you describe the overall company culture, as well as the culture of the team I’d be working with directly?
- How would you describe the work environment/style of the team?
Great questions about the interviewer’s experience as an employee
- What’s your favorite part about working at _______?
- What gets you most excited about coming to work every day?
- Tell me about your best and worst days working at this company.
Great questions about how you personally can make sure you are successful
- What would you say are the most important qualities of a _______ at _______?
- What would you say are the biggest challenges that someone in this position faces?
- What advice would you offer me to be successful from day one?
And finally: What are the next steps?
Questions NOT to Ask Your Interviewer
Always avoid questions that deal with promotions, benefits, vacation, or job security. We all, of course, want to know these things. However, these questions make the interviewer think you are more concerned about what’s in it for you than what you can offer the company. No matter how badly you need the job, that’s not what your interviewer wants to hear. And, this information should have come from your Skills recruiter or the job description, so reach out only to your Skills recruiter for any clarification.
- What are the hours?
- Could I work from home?
- What is the salary, and what benefits do I get?
- When will I get a raise?
- When can I take time off? (If you already have upcoming travel plans, don’t mention it at this point. Wait until you get an offer to mention any time off you need.)
Christopher Hoover, Jr. Talent Acquisition Lead, Skills for Chicagoland’s Future