Guide: Best Questions to Ask at a Job Interview


The prospect of being evaluated during a job interview is often an intimidating one. After all, an interview is where first impressions are made and careers are started.

When it comes to succeeding in a job interview, applicants can no longer depend on qualifications alone.  The best way to shine in an interview is to demonstrate that you are actively listening, engaged, and genuinely interested in the task at hand.

One way to stand apart from the rest is to come prepared with questions to ask the interviewer. Not only should you be looking for good questions to ask in a job interview, but you should be striving for the best questions to ask the interviewer.  

Questions To Ask Your Interviewer

Image Source: Pixabay

Having a few good questions to ask in a job interview will demonstrate that you are prepared, knowledgeable, and genuinely interested — all traits that lend an extra edge to any qualifications you may have.

Categories of Best Questions to Ask the Interviewer

In response to hundreds of queries and requests, we have performed diligent research on questions to ask at an interview, providing a list of the best questions to ask the interviewer.

Instead of focusing on singular questions, our review will cover six categories of related questions to ask at an interview. Each category contains questions to ask an interviewer to fulfill a specific goal, like clarifying uncertainty or creating a connection.

Not only does this provide more options, but it also makes for a much more effective analysis of the best questions to ask the interviewer.  

By looking at these top questions to ask in an interview, any potential job-seeker can use the best questions to ask at a job interview to ace the interview process and get one step closer to the career of their dreams.

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Top 6 Best Questions to Ask the Interviewer | Brief Comparison

Top Categories of Questions to Ask Your Interviewer

Do:

Don’t:

Clarify UncertaintyRefer to earlier segments of the interviewDiscuss salary or benefits
Remove Their DoubtsLook to highlight your strengthsProvide too much personal information
Find Red FlagsUse a tactful & respectful approachSpeak negatively about your current/past employer
Look Toward the FutureShow a genuine interest in the company’s progressionForget to demonstrate your knowledge of the company
Create a ConnectionShow an interest in the interviewer’s career pathAsk questions that are too personal
 End on a Positive NoteAsk about the next stepsProlong the interview any longer than necessary

Table: Top 6 Best Questions to Ask at a Job Interview | Above list is sorted alphabetically



Importance of Having Questions to Ask the Interviewer

It’s easy to underestimate the importance of having questions to ask at an interview. Because we are being closely evaluated, we tend to focus purely on ourselves, and we completely forget to have good questions to ask in a job interview.

Instead of having questions to ask your interviewer, it feels as though you should be solely preparing to fine-tune your responses to their questions. After all, the interview process is focused primarily on evaluating your skills, prior experience, and references, right?

Unfortunately, these common pitfalls will work against you in the interview process. Aside from typical components listed above, an interviewer is also gauging your interaction, passion, and listening skills.

In fact, 55 percent of hiring managers list appearing disinterested or non-engaged as deal-breakers in the interview process.

A great way to combat this is by knowing what questions to ask in a job interview. Being prepared with questions for the interviewer demonstrates three crucial things: that you are informed, interested, and engaged.

Recruiter Angela Smith explains this effect, saying: “[I]f an applicant doesn’t have any questions for me, that’s a red flag. I’m thinking that they either don’t care or can’t be bothered to do research about my company.”

Having a list of questions to ask an interviewer during the interview process demonstrates that you are genuinely engaged in what that person is saying.

With high tension and stress that interviews tend to bring, it can be difficult to try to come up with a set of questions for the interviewer in real time.

Instead of putting additional pressure on yourself during the interview process, it can be helpful to research and create a list of questions to ask your interviewer before you walk into the room.

No matter what job you are interviewing for, these top questions to ask in a job interview will demonstrate that you are prepared, engaged, and ready to tackle new challenges.

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Detailed Review – Best Questions to Ask the Interviewer

Below, please find a detailed review of each question on our list of top questions to ask in an interview. We have highlighted some of the factors that allowed these questions to ask the interviewer to score so highly in our selection ranking.



Clarify Uncertainty

This category of questions to ask an interviewer refers to clarifying two types of uncertainty: any aspects that the interviewer is unsure of and anything that you may be unsure of.

It’s a good opportunity to discuss components of the position that have not been touched upon yet in the interview. The key is to make sure that these questions for the interviewer have depth and meaning; they shouldn’t be answers that can be found by simply going on the company’s website.

Using questions to ask your interviewer that focus on clarifying uncertainty can also help pave the way to highlighting relevant skills or experiences that have not been discussed organically yet.

Sample Questions to Ask Your Interviewer

Questions for the interviewer that clarify things are an important piece of the interview process.

When looking for these types of questions to ask your interviewer, keep in mind that they should be thoughtful, relevant to the position, and add value to the discussion.

Some of the best questions to ask the interviewer to clarify uncertainty may include:

  • What are the greatest challenges that someone in this position might face?
  • What are the most immediate projects that someone in this position would be taking on?
  • What does the training process look like?
  • How is someone in this position evaluated?
  • What performance expectations would be held for the first 30-60 days?
  • What performance expectations would be held for the first 12 months?
  • What are the day-to-day responsibilities of this role?


Remove Their Doubts

It’s very common for the interview process to feel rushed, and many interviewees get so caught up in the process that they forget to highlight their most important skills.

The interviewer won’t always have time to touch upon everything listed in your resume or application. Questions from this category are good questions to ask the interviewer if an important skill or trait has been glossed over.

These types of questions to ask the interviewer are primarily focused on reinforcing that you have the necessary qualities and skills for the job at hand.

Questions To Ask Your Interviewer

Image Source: Pixabay

Think of these questions to ask your interviewer as opportunities to take a moment and highlight your strengths. Make sure that you aren’t providing too much personal information in the process, as 20 percent of hiring managers cite oversharing as undesirable.

Removing doubts should be done in a friendly and approachable manner, but it should also be succinct and cover work-related topics.  

Sample Questions to Ask Your Interviewer

As these questions to ask the interviewer are presented and answered, you can take the opportunity to highlight a specific skill or characteristic to remove potential doubts and effectively reinforce that you are a good fit for the job.

These are good questions to ask in a job interview because they directly pave the way to discuss specific skills and positive characteristics.

Some of the best questions to ask the interviewer to remove their doubts may include:

  • What specific skills and characteristics are you looking for in this position?
  • What types of past work experience is the best qualification for this job?
  • What attributes does someone need to truly be successful in this role?
  • What type of person is your ideal candidate to fill this role?
  • Is there anything in my background that concerns you about my abilities to fulfill this role?

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Find Red Flags

Just as an interviewer sees certain characteristics as red flags — like appearing disinterested, acting arrogant, or over-sharing — there are a few good questions to ask the interviewer that could uncover red flags for you as a potential employee.

These questions to ask an interviewer during the interview process are focused mainly on company policies, values, and procedures. Because they could potentially unveil a company weakness, these questions to ask an interviewer can be challenging.

When discussing a potentially sensitive subject, it’s important to do so tactfully and respectfully. These questions to ask in a job interview focus on turnover rates, company culture, and opportunities for future growth.

Sample Questions to Ask Your Interviewer

When presented in a respectful manner, these are good questions to ask the interviewer to gain insight into what potential issues you may experience later on.

It might help to have a clear picture of what you expect from your role regarding growth, the relationship between company and employee, and company values.

Some examples of the best questions to ask the interviewer to uncover red flags are:

  • What is the last person who held this job doing now?
  • What sort of progression have past people from this role experienced?
  • What types of career paths within the department/company are available from this role?
  • Can you describe the company culture?
  • What is the supporting team like?


Look Toward the Future

Posing questions for the interviewer that demonstrate consideration for the future is a great way to show that you are invested in the role and in the company. They show that you are committed and are looking forward to learning more.

These are also good questions to ask in a job interview because they help you determine how well you will fit in. If you weren’t able to find red flags in the previous category, you may find some with these questions to ask your interviewer.

If you can find the company’s mission statement, this could be a great starting point for questions to ask your interviewer about future endeavors.

With proper preparation, your questions to ask the interviewer can focus on how the company is fulfilling their mission statement, and how they plan to continue to do so in the future.

Sample Questions to Ask Your Interviewer

This category of questions to ask the interviewer will fluctuate between topics of your future and the company’s future. All these are good questions to ask in a job interview since they demonstrate a keen interest and investment in future endeavors, which looks good from an interviewer’s perspective.

Some examples of the best questions to ask the interviewer about the future are:

  • Where do you see the company heading within the next 5-10 years?
  • What can you tell me about plans for growth?
  • What are the biggest challenges facing the company right now?
  • Are there any new products that the company is particularly excited about?
  • Are there any training or support programs for employees?
  • Are there any professional development or advancement opportunities within this company?

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Create a Connection

These questions to ask an interviewer during the interview shift the focus off you and onto the interviewer themselves. There are a couple benefits to choosing these types of questions to ask the interviewer:

  • It creates the opportunity to find similarities between yourself and the interviewer
  • It gives the interviewer a break from directing questions and analyzing your responses
  • We all enjoy talking about ourselves — even interviewers

Using these top questions to ask in an interview can create a personal connection between yourself and the interviewer, either through learning more about their professional experiences or through finding commonalities between the two of you.

Sample Questions to Ask Your Interviewer

While creating a connection can be a great tool, it’s important to note that these questions to ask the interviewer need to avoid personal subject matter. To be effective, pay attention to reactions from the interviewer.

Not every interviewer will want to work toward creating a connection, so it’s important to read social cues and follow their reactions accordingly.

Some examples of the best questions to ask the interviewer when creating a connection are:

  • How long have you worked with the company?
  • What type of work were you doing before this role?
  • What is your favorite aspect of working with this company?
  • What type of workplace experiences with this company helped you grow the most?


End on a Positive Note

Just as you want to start the interview on a positive note, you should strive to end it on an equally positive note.

This creates a lasting impression that solidifies what all the previous good questions to ask in a job interview have been exposing — that you are ready and willing to start a new role.

Before going through this last set of good questions to ask in a job interview, make sure that you reiterate your interest in the position. Then, questions to ask the interviewer that come from the “End on a Positive Note” category can be used to succinctly and pleasantly wrap things up.

Sample Questions to Ask Your Interviewer

After going through the interview process, it can be difficult to determine what happens next. Don’t be afraid of being straightforward and asking about what the next few weeks will entail.

These are good questions to ask in a job interview for you to plan ahead for the second round of interviews, if applicable. They are also some of the best questions to ask the interviewer to reinforce your commitment and interest.

Some examples of the best questions to ask the interviewer when wrapping things up are:

  • What are the next steps within the interview process?
  • What is the anticipated starting date for this position?
  • Who should I reach out to if I have any additional questions?
  • Is there any additional information that I can give you that might be helpful?

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Conclusion – Top 6 Best Questions to Ask the Interviewer

One of the most effective ways to set yourself up for success is to come prepared with good questions to ask in a job interview. Having valuable, productive questions to ask the interviewer is a great way to demonstrate that you are interested, engaged, and well-informed.

When looking for good questions to ask in a job interview, keep in mind that there are six categories to get the best questions to ask the interviewer from.

The questions to ask the interviewer from each category are meant to fulfill a certain goal, so make sure to establish what you want to get from the interview ahead of time. Interviewing is a two-way street, and using good questions to ask in a job interview will benefit you just as much as they will benefit the interviewer.

By preparing yourself with great questions to ask the interviewer, you will find that you are well-prepared to excel in interviews and move closer to your desired career.



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