Even though you may be nervous during a job interview, you still want to make sure you want to work at the company you are interviewing with. A job interview is not all about the hiring managers grilling you with questions. It’s totally a two-way street. You heard me – you get to interview the company as much as the company is interviewing you. In this post, we review the 12 best questions to ask during a job interview – and what NOT to ask during a job interview.
Most likely, at the end of a job interview, the interviewer will say, “Now, do you have any questions for me?” It’s huge (yes, huge!!!) red flag if you don’t have any questions to ask. This is an amazing chance to show the interviewer and the company how interested you are in working there.
Asking questions at the end of an interview is important for those two reasons: you want to make sure that you want to work at the company (company culture is important!) and show the company that you are interested in working there.
Below I listed a ton of questions you can ask at the end of the job interview. If you only have a few minutes left, pick a couple! Don’t feel like you need to ask every one of these questions. It’s merely to get you brainstorming about the type of questions you should be asking when you have the opportunity at the end. You need to phrase your questions well at the end of an interview, simply asking about salary or working hours could come off in a poor light. Use this time to sell the interviewer on the fact that you want the job (and that you deserve it) while confirming it’s a place you want to work.
My best advice? Make a list of questions prior to the interview. I like the write them down on a notepad so I don’t forget them at the end of the interview.
If you need more interview help, check out my entire interview section – here!
12 Best Questions To Ask During A Job Interview To Get Hired
What is your ideal candidate for a role?
This is one of the best questions to ask during a job interview. It allows the interviewer to fully describe what they are looking for in a candidate. You can easily find out if there are gaps in your experience or resume. TBH, when I interview, this is ALWAYS the first thing I ask.
Here’s what I would recommend: As your interviewer answers this question, take note of the different skills and qualities they are looking for. Respond by explaining how you fit into those qualities, and how you can learn the ones you haven’t already demonstrated. It’s one of the best ways to ‘close’ the interviewer on why you are a great fit for the role.
What does the day to day look like in this role?
If this isn’t already explained during the interview process, you always need to ask what the day to day will be like in this role. This question is so important to ask your interviewer because you want to make sure you actually want to do the job.
If you hate sitting at a desk all day in spreadsheets, and the job turns out to be majorly data entry – that’s important to know. If you hate ambiguity in a job, and the interviewer says – you choose how to spend your time, that’s all important to understand. It’s also good to think about what type of job (what type of day to day activities) you will enjoy in a role – that will majorly help you feel more confident going into this question in an interview.
When is the ideal start date for this role?
This is a pretty basic question – but important for you to know. If an employer wants someone to start immediately, and you have to give two weeks notice – that’s important to get out in the open. In the same vein, if you are unemployed, and the employer wants you to start in 6 months – that could also be an issue.
What is your management style like?
If you are speaking directly to the hiring manager, understanding their management style will be vital when it comes to your future happiness. Some managers are extremely hands on – which is great if you prefer a collaborative environment. Others will leave you alone, doing their own projects or work. Depending on how much support you expect or want could make or break your office experience.
Your manager wants to hire someone that will make them shine. Understanding how you will fit into their management style will definitely help you succeed long term.
What are the company values?
Every company is different. Some are competitive, some are laxer – before stepping into a new company, I would highly recommend understanding this.
If there’s a company value of high feedback, competition, and rankings – that’s important to know (and lots of sales/startup organizations have that culture). If that is going to give you anxiety and make you stress about your day to day, you want to go after a different type of company.
How do you measure success in this role? How often are employees reevaluated for these metrics?
I’ve been at companies that never measure success and other’s that do it constantly. Similar to understanding company values, try and understand what metrics will make you successful in this role. If the success metric is someone you WON’T have control over, that’s really important to know. If it’s something like sales – where you will be measured on one number – you will need to decide if that’s for you.
Some companies also don’t have ‘success metrics’, which could be considered a red flag as well. How will you grow to be the boss babe I know you want to be if you don’t know how you can be successful?
What are opportunities at the company for personal & professional development?
When I go into an interview, I always hope I can stay at the company for a long time. Sometimes you walk into a position that has absolutely no mobility. That is not ideal if you want to stay at the company for a while. The worst feeling is being stuck. Understanding the career path of the role you are in, and what the hiring manager sees as mobility is extremely important.
Who will I be working with for this job?
Similar to understanding success metrics and hiring manager style’s for the role, having a great sense of who you will be collaborating within a role will help you understand if you want the position.
This will also indicate if you will be traveling for this position!
What is your favorite part about working at the company?
I love this question during an interview. If the interviewer literally can’t name their favorite part of working at the company – run!! You want to be with someone who loves working there. This question is often indicative of the culture, company values, and mobility at the company – so overall a great question to ask during a job interview.
What are the next steps to ask in the interview process?
Similar to understanding when a company wants you to start, having a solid sense of the next steps in the interview process will help you be more prepared for the next steps. Some companies want you to interview more people, do a case study – and more!
Do you have any reservations based on what I’ve shared with you today about me moving forward in the interview process?
If I’m being honest, this is one of my favorite questions. I almost always ask this at the end of the interview process after I’ve asked about the company. I like to get a solid read on how the interview went. This question can come with two answers. The first, the interview wants you to move forward and you are good to go! The second – they have reservations about you. If they have any worries about your experience, I would either take that moment to say how you will learn the skills you don’t currently have in the role – OR, email them after with a class or something that will show you can learn to be in the role.
What kind of challenges does someone in this position often deal with?
Lastly, understanding what headaches you will face in this role is so important. No job is perfect and every role has challenges (some more than others). Asking this question will give you a good sense of what might make you stressed during a job interview – which could totally define your happiness.
Three Things Not To Do While Asking Questions During An Interview
Don’t Ask Yes or No Questions
When asking an interview question, try not to ask a yes or no questions! Leave it open-ended so your questions sound more like a conversation, rather than like you are grilling the interviewer. This will also allow you to come off more engaged.
Don’t Ask Questions About Hours Or Salary
If you have questions about hours you may have to work, phrase the questions about travel or success metrics in this role. This *should* allow the hiring manager to delve into those questions.
Don’t Ask Anything Too Personal That Is Meant for HR
Asking a personal question, like about vacation policy, should be left for HR. Ask that to a recruiter and not a hiring manager.
What other interview help do you need? Comment below and I’ll always help with you the questions you are getting. Asking questions at the end of the job interview is so important! Use this opportunity to show the interviewer how interested you in the company and make sure that you want to work there, too!