Pick and choose from this list of questions to bring to a job interview and learn if the job is right for you.
If an HR manager or recruiter ever asks ‘do you have any questions for me?' after a job interview, you need to be ready.
Asking questions in a job interview is a sign of confidence and shows real interest in the employer and their open role.
Can you bring a list of questions to an interview?
Preparing a list of questions will impress recruiters even more than if you ask off the top of your head, in showing that you're organized, professional and simply cared enough to do your homework in advance.
That said, skip any prepared questions that were answered earlier in the interview.
TIP: Although the list keeps saying ‘company, company, company', the questions are relevant if you're applying for a position at any kind of entity, and it makes no difference whether you ask them in an onsite interview or an interview done over the phone, email or via video chat.
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What Are Good Questions to Ask a Potential Employer?
Ask any question that will help you decide whether to join an organization.
The best questions to ask in a job interview will show off some of your soft skills, especially if you relate to points mentioned earlier in the interview.
Aim in particular to ask questions whose answers you couldn't find on your own, such as while doing pre-interview company research (although it's ok to ask related questions to publicly available information).
It's also a good idea to ask questions covering wide-ranging aspects of being a company employee, which is why I've divided the questions as follows:
Questions 1-71 are about the job itself
Questions 72-111 are about the company
Questions 112-131 are about the boss
Questions 132-162 are about the team
Questions 163-175 are about feedback and next steps
- Why has this job opened up?
- Is this a new position? If not, what did the previous employee go on to do?
- How long has this position existed?
- How would you describe the responsibilities of the position?
- What tools are available to perform the role’s responsibilities?
- What would you consider to be the most important aspects of this job?
- Can you tell me about the competencies necessary to perform this job?
- What types of skills do you NOT already have on board that you're looking to fill with a new hire?
- What improvements or changes do you hope the new candidate will bring to this position?
- What do you think are the most enjoyable or gratifying aspects for someone in this role?
- What would you say are the top personality traits someone needs to do this job well?
- What happened to the last person who held this job?
- Would you want me to do anything different from the previous person(s) in the position?
- What were the major strengths and weaknesses of the last person who held this job?
- May I talk with the last person who held this position?
- How many people have held this position in the last two years?
- How many people will you be interviewing for this position?
- How would you describe the ideal candidate?
- Thinking back to the person who you've seen do this job best, what made their performance so outstanding?
- How would you define “success” for this position?
- What particular aspects about my background and experience interest you?
- What makes you think I will be successful in this job? Does anything cause you concern about my candidacy?
- How can I most quickly become a strong contributor within the organization?
- Are there any useful kinds of experience that I could try to get that may help my progress?
- Will the work be similar most days, or will there be some variety from day to day?
- What kind of authority does this position have?
- Would I manage any employees?
- What sort of budget would I have for running the team?
- While I know this is an entry level position, would I have the chance to participate in strategy or client-oriented meetings?
- Will I have exposure to clients? If so, how much?
- How much opportunity will I have for decision-making in my first assignment?
- What decisions can be made immediately without having to ask permission or get approval (from a higher level, or a committee)?
- How does upper management view the role and importance of this department and this position?
- How important does upper management consider the function of this department/position?
- If I'm offered the job, how soon would you like me to start?
- If I'm offered the job, how should I best prepare before I start?
- Does the position have a probationary/trial period? If so, how long is it?
- If I were to start tomorrow, what would be the top priority on my to-do list?
- What are the most immediate challenges of the position that need to be addressed in the first three months?
- Can you give me a 6-12 month outlook on this position and where you see it going?
- How does this position fit into the company’s long-term plans?
- What kind of induction or training will I complete when I begin the job?
- Will I be given an employee handbook?
- What are typical work hours? Is overtime expected?
- Do employees normally work overtime? What is expected on that front?
- How would you describe a typical week/day in this position?
- What’s the salary range?
- Do you provide any non-financial assistance, e.g. time off for studies?
- What benefits, bonuses or perks come with the job?
- After the initial minimum salary, are increases standard for all associates or is there an “award” system? If there is such a system, on what basis is the “award” made and by whom?
- Are salaries tied to the cost of living index?
- Are salary adjustments geared to the cost of living or job performance?
- How do you envision this position supporting you?
- How will you judge my success? What will have happened six months from now that will demonstrate that I have met your expectations?
- What are the performance expectations of this position over the first 12 months?
- What are the avenues for promotion?
- How does one advance in the company?
- What are the prospects for growth and advancement?
- What are the opportunities for progression and increased responsibility within the organization?
- What are the career paths in this department?
- Where have successful employees previously in this position progressed to within the company?
- Are there any changes coming that will affect the department or role?
- Is relocation a possibility?
- What is your organization's policy on relocation/transfers to other cities?
- How often can I expect to relocate during the initial years of employment with your organization?
- How much travel is expected?
- What is the most challenging thing to get used to in this position?
- What are the hazards of the job?
- Do you have health and safety meetings?
- Is there safety equipment I'll be expected to wear? Will I receive training in how to use it? When?
- What sort of equipment would I be supplied with? Would I get my own desk?
- Tell me some of the reasons people like working here.
- What do you see ahead for the company in the next five years?
- Who do you consider your customers to be?
- What is your company’s market or target demographic?
- What makes your company better than your competitors?
- In what ways is a career with your company better than one with your competitors?
- What are the areas where your competitors are better than your company?
- What is the biggest challenge facing the company today?
- What new product lines/services have been announced recently?
- How does the company attract sales or develop client relationships?
- From your perspective, what are the strengths and weaknesses of this company?
- What are the company's strengths and weaknesses compared to its competition?
- What do you consider to be your firm's most important assets?
- What are the long- and short-term goals of the company?
- What are a few things that really drive results for the company?
- Does the company have a dress code? Is this for everyone or only certain departments?
- How do current employees feel about their jobs and the company?
- Why do you think people leave this company?
- How financially sound is this company?
- What particular computer equipment and software do you use?
- What is the company policy on Internet use?
- What’s your stance on employee involvement in social media?
- Could you describe your company's management style and the type of employee who fits well with it?
- Can you tell me about company culture?
- What would you say is the most important aspect of your company culture?
- Are there any company-sponsored social events such as a company softball or golf league in place?
- What do employees do in their spare time?
- What are the opportunities for training and career advancement?
- How much paid training do you provide to each employee per year? What kind of training is it? Can employees choose or recommend the training they take?
- How do you ensure that the salary of long-term employees stays competitive, especially in a hot job market?
- What is your policy concerning raises? How regularly do you give raises? Do you consider a yearly increase in salary equal to the local inflation rate to be a raise?
- Do you provide share options, profit sharing, retirement savings contributions, or pension? If so, what are the details of the plan(s)?
- What medical benefits do you provide? Do you cover dental work or eyeglasses? Do you cover health preventative measures such as exercise programs, vitamins, or preventative medical exams?
- Does your company encourage further education?
- How does your company's tuition reimbursement program work (if there is one)?
- What is company policy regarding working from home?
- Have you cut your staff in the last three years?
- Is your company environmentally conscious? In what ways?
- What kind of partnerships does your organization have with others in the community?
- I’m anxious to get active in the local [industry name] community. Is this something that you encourage?
- Do you like working here?
- Can you please tell me how your career has developed at this organization? Would someone entering the firm today have similar opportunities?
- What tangible and intangible qualities attracted you to the company?
- What excites you about coming into work?
- What do you appreciate the most about your company/organization?
- If you could change one thing about this company, what would you change?
- Who does this position report to? If I am offered the position, can I meet him/her?
- Is my boss's performance evaluated on how well he/she develops his/her subordinates? On the success of the department?
- Who are the key decision makers that I would need to get along with, and how would you describe each of them?
- Who will be making the hiring decision?
- How often will my immediate supervisor meet with me one on one?
- How would you describe your management style?
- How do you feel about creativity and individuality?
- Can you explain how you let someone take a project and run with it?
- Do most associates achieve their billable hour target? Do most associates exceed that target?
- What are the various ways employees communicate with one another to carry out their work?
- How and by whom will my performance be reviewed? Are there specific criteria upon which I would be evaluated?
- And how frequently is formal and informal review given to new employees?
- Does the company have an internal appeal process involving disciplinary action?
- How do you deal with poorly performing employees?
- How many people work in this office/department?
- With whom will I be working most closely?
- Can you tell me about the key people I would be working with on a daily basis?
- Is there anything I should know about a co-worker in particular?
- Is it possible for me to meet the people I would be working with?
- How is the department (that I would be joining) viewed by the rest of the organization?
- What are the long- and short-term goals of the department?
- What have been the department's successes in the last couple of years?
- What are your department's major projects in the coming year?
- How does the department / team I will be joining relate to the overall organization? How does it support the organization's strategic goals? Is the department a cost or profit center? How is the department perceived politically?
- How are teams assembled? How are team members selected? What are the selection criteria?
- How are your teams structured?
- What kinds of processes are in place to help me work collaboratively?
- How often does my team meet as a group?
- Are teams empowered and self-organizing? Are teams able to choose and tailor a methodology to suit them and their work?
- How much freedom and support is provided to mentor and consult with colleagues, superiors, and customers?
- Have you ever mentored an employee to help achieve their career goals?
- Is there a lot of team/project work?
- In what area could your team use some improvement?
- In what area could your team use a little polishing?
- How do you encourage your employees to keep current with professional developments in the field?
- How do you help ensure that employees are highly motivated?
- How do you plan to provide me with challenging work that makes optimal use of my abilities while providing a supportive environment?
- How do you ensure that each employee is doing quality work?
- How approachable and receptive is management to suggestions and feedback?
- How are resources assigned within the team?
- What opportunities will there be to work with new, interesting technologies?
- What tools and practices are used to manage X or Y?
- What is your process for handling suggestions and ideas from employees? How many suggestions per employee on average were received in the last year? How many were acted on?
- What is involved in moving to another team or changing work assignments?
- How frequently or what portion of the staff is composed of temporary or contract employees?
- Would you like a list of references?
- Is there anything you’d like me to clarify or explain in more detail?
- What additional information can I provide about my qualifications?
- Are there any other questions I can answer for you?
- Is there anything I’ve said today that might hurt my chances of being hired here?
- Is there anything that stands out to you that makes you think I might not be the right fit for this job?
- Do you have any recommendations for how I could improve my interviewing skills?
- What are the next steps in the interview process?
- Who I should follow up with about next steps?
- When can I expect to hear from you?
- How should I follow up?
- If I don’t hear from you by a week from today, may I call you?
- May I contact you if any further questions arise?
Question of the article
Did you prepare in advance a list of questions to ask in your last job interview? If so, which prepared question got the most helpful response from your interviewer? Tell us in the comments.
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