Interviews are always a crucial step in the job hunting process, and asking questions can help you stand out from other candidates. It’s not just about impressing the interviewer, but it’s also about determining whether the job is a good fit for your interests, goals, and professional development.
Asking questions is an essential part of the interview process because it provides an opportunity to showcase your curiosity, intelligence, and interest in the job. It also helps the interviewer learn more about you and your skills, as well as your level of preparation and enthusiasm for the job.
Benefits of asking the right questions
Asking the right questions can give you a better understanding of the company’s culture, expectations, and goals. It can also help you clarify any doubts or concerns you may have about the job description or the organization. Moreover, it demonstrates your engagement in the conversation and your interest in being an active participant in the decision-making process.
How to prepare for an interview
Preparation is key when it comes to interviews. Researching the company, its industry, and the job description is the starting point. The next step is to create a list of thoughtful and relevant questions. This process will help you demonstrate your knowledge, as well as give you an opportunity to learn more about the job, the organization, and the interview process.
In this article, we will provide you with the 75 best questions to ask an interviewer and land a job. From behavioral questions to situation-based inquiries, we have gathered a comprehensive list of questions that will help you prepare for your next interview and increase your chances of getting hired. So, let’s get started!
Before going to an interview, it’s essential to prepare yourself with some questions that will help give you a better understanding of the interviewer, the company, and the position. The following are some pre-interview questions that you can ask the interviewer:
A. Questions about the Interviewer
- Can you tell me a little about your background, how long you have been with the company, and what drew you to this company?
- What is your role in the company, and what do you like most about it?
- How do you see me fit into the company culture?
- Can you describe your management style?
- Is there anything specific that you are looking for in a candidate to fill this position?
B. Questions about the Company
- Can you tell me about the company’s mission and vision?
- What sets this company apart from your competitors?
- What do you think the company’s biggest accomplishment has been so far?
- Can you describe the company culture?
- Can you tell me about the company’s growth plans?
C. Questions about the Position
- Can you describe the day-to-day responsibilities of this position?
- What are the biggest challenges that someone in this position might face?
- What skills and experience are required to excel in this role?
- How does this position fit into the overall company structure?
- Are there opportunities for professional development or growth within this position?
By asking these questions, you not only gain a better understanding of what the interviewer is looking for, but it also shows that you have done your research and are genuinely interested in the company and the position. These questions will also help you determine if this company and position are a good fit for your skills and career goals. Always remember to come prepared with your own questions, as it shows initiative and curiosity, which are desirable qualities in any candidate.
Questions to Ask During the Interview
During an interview, it’s not just the interviewer who asks questions. As a job seeker, you should also use this opportunity to ask thoughtful questions that will help you make informed decisions about the position and the company.
Here are some of the best questions to ask during an interview, categorized by topic:
A. Questions about the Company
- Can you tell me more about the company’s mission and values?
- What are the company’s growth plans for the next few years?
- How does the company differentiate itself from its competitors?
- How does the company embrace diversity and inclusion in its culture and practices?
- What recent achievements or milestones has the company accomplished?
B. Questions about the Role
- Can you describe a typical day in this role?
- What are the primary responsibilities and duties of this role?
- How does this position fit into the overall strategy and goals of the company?
- What are the key performance indicators I will be judged on in this role?
- How does the company support employees in achieving their goals in this role?
C. Questions about the Team
- Can you tell me more about the team I will be working with?
- How does the team collaborate and communicate?
- What is the team’s leadership style and philosophy?
- How does the company foster a positive team culture?
- What opportunities are there for team members to grow and develop professionally?
D. Questions about Skills and Qualifications
- Are there any specific technical skills or software knowledge required for this role?
- What level of proficiency is required for each technical skill?
- How does the company support employees in developing technical skills?
- Are there any upcoming projects or initiatives that will require additional technical skillsets?
- How will my technical skills be assessed and evaluated in this role?
- What soft skills are particularly important for this role?
- How does the company measure and evaluate soft skills?
- Can you provide examples of how soft skills are critical to success in this role?
- How does the company foster and encourage the development of soft skills?
- How will collaborative and leadership skills be evaluated in this role?
E. Questions about Performance and Expectations
- What are the expectations for my performance in this role?
- How will my progress be evaluated and measured in this role?
- How often do performance evaluations occur?
- What opportunities are there for career advancement within the company?
- How does the company reward high-performing employees?
F. Questions about Culture and Fit
- Can you describe the company culture?
- How does the company recognize and value diversity in its culture?
- How does the company support work-life balance for its employees?
Questions to Avoid in an Interview
When preparing for a job interview, it is important to carefully consider the questions you plan to ask the interviewer. While asking thoughtful and well-researched questions can demonstrate your interest in the company and the position, asking inappropriate or unprofessional questions can leave a negative impression and harm your chances of landing the job.
Here are the top types of questions to avoid:
A. Inappropriate Questions
Inappropriate questions can range from those that are simply in poor taste to those that could be considered discriminatory. As a general rule, it is best to stay away from any questions that could be viewed as offensive, even if you believe they are harmless. Examples of inappropriate questions include:
- Questions related to the interviewer’s personal life or appearance (e.g. “Are you married?,” “How old are you?,” “What’s your ethnicity?”)
- Questions related to the company’s policies on controversial topics such as politics or religion
- Questions related to an individual’s membership in a protected class (e.g. “Do you have any disabilities?” “What is your sexual orientation?”, “What religion do you practice?” )
B. Questions that Suggest Lack of Preparation
Asking questions that could have been answered with a quick internet search or by reading the job description suggests to the interviewer that you did not put in the effort to prepare for the interview. Avoid coming across as unprepared by making sure you have a solid understanding of the company’s history, mission, and values, as well as the responsibilities of the position you are applying for. Examples of questions that suggest a lack of preparation include:
- Questions about basic information that could have been found on the company’s website (e.g. “What does your company do?”, “How long have you been in business?”)
- Questions about the responsibilities of the job that were already discussed during the interview (e.g. “What would be my day-to-day tasks in this role?”)
C. Questions that Sound Entitled
It’s wise to ask about compensation and benefits, however, questions that come across as entitled should be avoided. Some questions could give the impression that you are only interested in the job for self-serving reasons rather than being genuinely interested in how you can contribute to the company. Examples of questions that sound entitled include:
- Questions about time off or work hours when the interview has not even discussed how the job is incentivised
- Questions about promotions or opportunities for advancement before proving excellence in performance
It is essential to prepare well for an interview and understand the kinds of questions that could leave a negative impression. To ace the interview and land your dream job, stick to thoughtful and insightful questions!
Best Practices for Asking Questions
Asking insightful and thought-provoking questions during job interviews can have a significant impact on the hiring decision, and it also serves as an excellent opportunity to demonstrate one’s expertise and interest in the position. Below are some best practices to follow when asking questions in a job interview.
A. Active Listening
Active listening is a critical component of effective communication, whether it is a job interview or any other conversation. To ask meaningful and relevant questions, one must listen attentively to the interviewer’s responses to gain insight into what they are looking for in a potential candidate. Paying close attention to the interviewer’s body language, tone, and verbal cues can also provide valuable information and help tailor the question to the interviewer’s preferences.
B. Follow-up Questions
Asking follow-up questions is an excellent way to dive deeper into a topic and demonstrate interest and curiosity. It also helps clarify any confusion about the interviewer’s response and showcase the applicant’s ability to comprehend complex information. Follow-up questions can vary from asking for specifics or further elaboration to inquiring about previous experiences or examples. By doing so, one can also create a more engaging and interactive conversation with the interviewer.
C. Honest and Authentic Questions
It is essential to ask honest and authentic questions during a job interview to establish credibility and demonstrate a genuine interest in the position. Avoid asking generic or superficial questions that do not relate to the job responsibilities or the company’s culture. Instead, ask questions that reflect your knowledge of the role and the industry, and highlight your enthusiasm for working with the company.
D. Questions that Showcase Expertise and Interest
In addition to asking questions that demonstrate authenticity and active listening, it is essential to prepare questions that showcase one’s expertise and interest in the field. For example, if the position requires specific technical skills, asking a detailed question about a particular tool or software used can highlight the applicant’s proficiency in the area. Similarly, asking about the company’s current projects or future plans can showcase their interest in the business and its progress.
To sum up, asking well-crafted questions during a job interview can significantly impact the hiring decision and help the applicant stand out from other candidates. By following the best practices of active listening, asking follow-up questions, posing authentic questions, and demonstrating expertise and interest, one can increase their chances of landing the job they desire.
Questions for Remote and Virtual Interviews
During remote and virtual interviews, it’s important to ask questions that will help you understand the company’s remote work setup, the interview process, and communication and collaboration standards. Here are some questions to consider:
A. Questions about the Company’s Remote Work Setup
How long has the company been working remotely, and how has it adapted to this setup?
What tools and technologies does the company use to facilitate remote work?
Does the company have an established set of guidelines or policies for remote workers?
How does the company ensure that remote workers feel connected to the team and the company culture?
How does performance evaluation work for remote employees?
B. Questions about the Interview Process
What is the expected timeline for the interview process, and how will it be conducted?
Will there be any additional steps in the process due to the remote nature of the interview?
Who will I be interviewing with, and what roles do they play in the company?
Are there any specific skills or qualities that the company is looking for in a remote worker?
Can you tell me more about the team and the role I would be playing on it?
C. Questions about Collaboration and Communication
How does the company ensure effective communication and collaboration among remote team members?
What tools or platforms does the company use for communication and collaboration?
How frequently does the company hold check-ins or team meetings, and what is the format for these meetings?
How does the company handle time zone differences among remote team members?
How does the company handle potential communication or collaboration issues among remote workers?
By asking these questions, you can gain a deeper understanding of the company’s remote work setup and determine whether it’s a good fit for you. Additionally, by asking about the interview process and communication and collaboration standards, you can position yourself as a proactive and engaged candidate who is invested in the company culture and success.
Example Questions for Specific Industries
As a job seeker, asking the right questions during your job interview is essential in obtaining the job you desire. Here are some examples of industry-specific questions you can ask during your interview:
A. Information Technology
- Can you tell me about the company’s approach to cybersecurity?
- What technologies does the company currently use, and how do they integrate with one another?
- Can you describe the company’s development cycle?
- How do you stay updated with the latest trends and advancements in technology?
- Can you provide an example of how the company has implemented emerging technologies in its operations?
B. Marketing and Advertising
- Can you explain how the company measures the success of marketing campaigns?
- What is your approach to designing successful marketing strategies?
- How does the company keep up with changes in consumer behavior and market trends?
- Can you describe the company’s branding strategy?
- How does the company target specific demographics and markets with its advertising?
- Can you tell me about the company’s approach to patient care?
- In what ways does the company use technology to improve patient outcomes?
- How does the company ensure the privacy and confidentiality of patient information?
- Can you describe the company’s standard practices for handling medical emergencies?
- What actions does the company take to prevent medical errors?
D. Finance and Accounting
- Can you tell me about the company’s approach to financial reporting and compliance?
- How does the company manage risk?
- Can you describe the company’s strategic planning process?
- How does the company measure financial performance?
- In what ways does the company support and encourage continued education and professional development for its finance and accounting employees?
Asking thoughtful and relevant questions during your job interview can help demonstrate your passion and interest in your potential employer’s industry. Use these examples as a starting point to generate industry-specific questions that will make a good impression and help you stand out from other job candidates.
Sample Questions for Different Levels of Experience
As a job seeker, it is important to prepare for an interview by researching the company and the position, as well as practicing how to answer common interview questions. However, it is also helpful to come up with a few questions to ask the interviewer to show your interest in the job and the company. Here are some sample questions for different levels of experience:
A. Entry-Level Job Seekers
- Can you tell me more about the company culture and what it’s like to work here?
- What kind of training and support do you provide for new employees?
- Can you walk me through a day in the life of someone in this position?
- How do you measure success in this role?
- Are there any growth opportunities within the company over time?
As an entry-level job seeker, you want to show the interviewer that you are eager to learn and grow within the company. Ask questions that demonstrate your interest in the company culture and the job itself, as well as potential career advancement opportunities.
B. Mid-Level Job Seekers
- What do you see as the biggest challenges facing the company right now?
- How do you see this position contributing to the overall success of the company?
- Can you tell me about a time when an employee in this role went above and beyond expectations?
- What kind of leadership style do you think is most effective for this position?
- How do you measure the performance and success of the team?
As a mid-level job seeker, you want to show the interviewer that you have experience and are ready to take on a leadership position within the company. Ask questions that show your interest in the company’s success and demonstrate your experience and leadership abilities.
C. Senior-Level Job Seekers
- How do you see this position contributing to the company’s long-term success and growth?
- Can you tell me about a time when the company had to pivot and how it was handled?
- How do you see this position working with other departments within the company?
- What kind of management style do you think is most effective for this position?
- Can you tell me about a major project that the company is currently working on and how this position would contribute to its success?
As a senior-level job seeker, you want to show the interviewer that you have extensive experience and are interested in contributing to the company’s long-term success. Ask questions that demonstrate your knowledge of the company’s goals and show how you can use your experience to benefit the company.
Asking thoughtful questions during an interview can help you stand out and demonstrate your interest in the job and the company. Use the sample questions above as a starting point to prepare for your next interview, and tailor them to your specific situation and experience level.
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