When you’re preparing for a job interview, you have a lot of work to do. Although you already invested hours in the résumé and cover letter that landed you the interview, you still need to research the company, think about your appearance, plan your travel time, practice answering interview questions and more. That’s already a lot to think about, but we need to add something else to your list: Prepare questions for the interviewer.
It’s common practice for an interviewer to give you the chance to ask questions as the interview wraps up. Be prepared ahead of time or you risk damaging the good impression you tried so hard to make all during the meeting. When only 2 percent of applicants actually get an interview, you must make every minute count—including the wrap-up.
When you go into the interview prepared with questions to ask when it’s your turn, you convey your seriousness as a job candidate, your professionalism, and your genuine interest in the company and the job. In addition, the answers can help you decide if you really want the job—or not.
Top Questions to Ask After An Interview
To help you prepare, we’ve made a list of some of the best interview questions to ask an employer at the end of the meeting. We’ve also included a few questions not to ask. Also note that if any of these questions have already been addressed during the interview, do not ask them because it will then seem as if you weren’t listening earlier!
1. Is this a new position or is someone leaving? Why are they leaving?
If it’s a new position, it will come with some unknowns and you want to know that up front. If someone is leaving or left, it might be useful for you to know why. If they were promoted, that’s a promising sign for you. If they left to take another job elsewhere, you might wonder why.
2. In what way does this role contribute to the team, and to the organization as a whole?
Knowing the dynamics you’d be walking into—if you got the job—will help you decide if it’s a good fit or not. Plus you’re showing the interviewer that you’re thinking this through and that you care about the bigger picture.
3. What will be the hardest part about starting in this position? What kind of support will the new hire have?
If it’s a brand-new role, you’ll want to know if you’ll be left to flounder and figure it out or if someone will be mentoring to you. Even if you’re stepping into an existing role, you want to know how much guidance you’ll get as you learn the job. As with question 2, it shows the interviewer that you’re giving the job opening serious consideration, even without getting an offer.
4. Does the company offer learning and development opportunities?
This might seem like a self-serving question on the surface, but it’s not. Asking this question indicates you’re thinking long-term and it shows your desire to grow in your skills and field, which can increase your contributions to the company. For you as the job seeker, you’ll learn what might be offered, because that will probably factor into your decision about whether or not you want to accept a job offer, should you get on.
5. How will you measure my performance, should you decide to hire me, and at what point?
It’s not a paranoid question, but a valid one. It shows you care about your performance and want to measure up. It’s also information you’ll want to know.
6. Does this job offer opportunities for advancement?
Asking this question shows the interviewer you’re thinking about the long term and might be more likely to stick around. And—as with the other questions on this list—you need to know the answer, so you can make an informed decision if they want to hire you.
7. What is your job like? How long have you worked here?
This is a nice opportunity to get the interviewer talking and possibly to let down his or her guard. It shows you’re interested in learning more about the person and company, and the answer will give you some insight into the company’s culture.
Top Questions to Ask At The End of an Interview
1. Can you tell me more about the day-to-day responsibilities of this role?
This question helps you gain a clear understanding of what your job would entail on a daily basis. During the interview, express your genuine interest in understanding your potential responsibilities and how they align with your skills and career goals.
2. What are the company's values and how do they influence daily operations?
Understanding the company's values provides insights into its culture and how your personal values align with the organization. Showcase your commitment to aligning with the company's values and contributing positively to its culture.
3. What does success look like for this position, and how is it measured?
This question clarifies expectations and performance metrics, ensuring you know what it takes to excel in the role. Highlight your eagerness to meet and exceed performance expectations and to contribute effectively to the team's goals.
4. Can you describe the company culture?
Company culture impacts your work environment, job satisfaction, and overall fit with the organization. Express your desire to thrive within the company's culture and your adaptability to different workplace environments.
5. What are the biggest challenges facing the company/department right now?
Understanding challenges helps you assess how your skills and expertise can address specific issues. Demonstrate your problem-solving abilities and your readiness to tackle challenges proactively.
6. What opportunities for professional development does the company offer?
Learning and growth opportunities are crucial for career advancement and personal development. Show your commitment to continuous learning and your enthusiasm for expanding your skill set.
7. How would you describe the management style here?
Management style affects your work experience and how you can best collaborate with your superiors. Indicate your adaptability to different management styles and your ability to work effectively with various leadership approaches.
8. What are the team's goals for this year, and how does this role contribute to achieving them?
Team goals provide context for your role and its significance within the organization. Emphasize your willingness to align your efforts with team goals and contribute to the team's success.
9. Can you tell me about the team I would be working with?
Understanding your future team helps gauge the collaborative dynamics and your fit within the group. Express your enthusiasm for teamwork and your ability to collaborate effectively with diverse teams.
10. How does this position contribute to the overall success of the company?
This question connects your role with the company's broader objectives, emphasizing your impact. Convey your commitment to positively influencing the company's growth and success.
11. How does this position interact with other departments within the company?
Understanding inter-departmental interactions helps you gauge the role's collaborative nature and its contribution to organizational cohesion. Emphasize your ability to foster collaboration and effective communication across departments.
12. What types of skills and experiences would make an ideal candidate for this role?
This question helps you understand the competencies and qualifications the company values in potential hires. Highlight your alignment with the desired skills and experiences, showcasing your suitability for the role.
13. Are there opportunities for mentorship or coaching within the company?
Mentorship and coaching programs can enhance your professional development and career growth. Express your eagerness to learn from experienced colleagues and contribute to your own and the company's growth.
14. How has this position evolved over time?
Understanding the role's historical evolution provides context for its current and future responsibilities. Show your adaptability and ability to evolve with changing job requirements.
15. What is the typical work week? Is overtime expected or common?
Work hours and expectations impact your work-life balance and lifestyle. Express your willingness to meet workload demands while ensuring a healthy work-life balance.
16. How does the company handle conflict resolution and decision-making?
Conflict resolution and decision-making processes affect workplace dynamics and effectiveness. Highlight your collaborative and problem-solving skills, emphasizing your ability to navigate conflicts constructively.
17. What are some of the challenges people in this role typically face?
Identifying common challenges helps you prepare for potential obstacles and demonstrate resilience. Show your problem-solving abilities and ability to thrive in challenging situations.
18. How does the company stay current with industry trends and developments?
Staying updated with industry trends is essential for business growth and innovation. Express your commitment to continuous learning and your desire to contribute to the company's competitive edge.
19. What do you see as the most exciting aspect of this company's future?
This question helps you gauge the company's vision and your potential role in shaping its future. Convey your enthusiasm for contributing to the company's exciting journey and achieving its long-term goals.
4 Questions Not To Ask After An Interview
Those seven questions described above are straightforward, and they are some of the best interview questions to ask the employer. But not every question is a good question and some you should avoid! In general, you want to avoid asking questions that indicate you’re not a serious candidate. Those questions include:
- Basic questions you should already know the answers to by doing your research ahead of time, such as what does the company do, when was it founded, are there other locations, etc.
- Questions about pay, vacation time, sick leave, parking, benefits, etc.—anything that makes it seem like you’re more interested in what you get than being a contributing member of the team
- Questions that make you seem untrustworthy, like asking if they check on employees’ Facebook accounts, do background checks or monitor emails
- Any questions that were already addressed during the interview, as per our advice above
Get Ready To Get Hired
Looking for a new job can be stressful, but being prepared can lower that stress level and give you some sense of control. By making sure your résumé is of high quality, preparing to answer questions and make a good impression ahead of time, and ensuring you’ve earned a certification to increase your credibility and skill level, you’re taking positive steps toward success. Knowing which questions to ask after an interview can help too. Because you never get a second chance to make a first impression, but you need to make a lasting impression too.