You’ll typically have the opportunity to ask your employer questions at the end of a job interview. While it can be tempting not to say anything, this is actually the best time to show your employer your passion for the role and can give you more insight into the job role itself.
It’s vital to have a list of questions ready to ask, as this can also show excellent preparation.
In this article, we explore what questions you should ask in a job interview and run through some examples of questions that you can take into your own interviews.
Why should you ask questions in a job interview?
Taking the time to ask questions in a job interview offers two opportunities. First, it helps you better understand the position you’re applying for and what your day-to-day responsibilities may include.
Although you can learn some of this during your prior research, it’s difficult to get a grasp on the businesses’ culture and other specific insights that the interviewer can clear up.
Second, by asking questions, you can demonstrate active listening skills and your passion for the potential position. It’s not extreme to say that asking questions and showing interest can increase your chance of getting the job.
Even if you feel like you have all of the information you need, take the time to ask questions and provide the right impression.
What are good questions to ask in a job interview?
When you’re thinking about questions you might ask in a job interview, make sure that you have a broad range ready to go so that you have options to fall back on. Some example questions are:
What do you like working about the company?
This is a great generic question that applies to every business. It shows that you value the interviewer’s opinion and you’re interested in the company culture.
Depending on the answer that you receive, you can also get a better idea of how you’ll fit into the workplace and the culture that you can expect.
This is a win-win for both parties – the employer understands you have an interest in the working environment and you can understand whether you’d be a good fit.
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What opportunities for career development is there?
It’s always important that you’re identifying opportunities to progress your career, whether that’s in terms of new roles or your own development.
By asking this question, you can understand if a business has a culture of growth and offers the opportunity for training or upskilling.
The indirect benefit of this question is that it also shows the interviewer you’re considering a long-term career at the business – which is a positive attribute for many employers.
Can you tell me more about the team I’ll be working with?
In the majority of professional workplaces, you’ll be operating as part of a larger team. While the way a team may interact can differ from place to place, having a good understanding of team structure and working style is important everywhere.
This question can help you understand the makeup of a team and whether you might see a more collaborative or independent workflow.
You’ll also get a better idea of how your role interacts with other departments, such as marketing, sales, legal or branding teams.
If you want to highlight that you’re a team-player and understand the importance of collaboration, this question is a great choice.
When can I expect to hear back from you?
If the timeline for your application process hasn’t already been established, this is a good question to ask simply for your own benefit.
By asking this question, you have more clarity about the process and you’re not left wondering if you’ve been ghosted by an employer.
From the employer’s perspective, this also reinforces your interest in the position and how invested you are in being successful.
What challenges is the business facing?
This question is a great way of demonstrating initiative and proactivity.
It shows investment in the company, what you might be doing on a day-to-day basis, the challenges that you’ll experience and provide opportunities for you to consider solutions while you wait to hear back from the interviewer.
If you’re successful, you can then get started on the front foot and make a great first impression.
How do you measure performance for this role?
Some roles may have ‘key performance indicators’ that measure your performance in a position. It’s important to establish these immediately, as it gives you an idea of how you’ll be expected to act and targets you need to reach.
Don’t be afraid to explore exactly how the business plans to measure your performance, as you’ll be held accountable in the role.
Always try and ask this question in some form during your interview, as it can help provide context for the position while also contributing to a great relationship between you and your employer.
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What questions should you avoid asking?
While the majority of questions you ask in an interview will provide a positive effect, there are some questions that can offer the wrong impression. These include:
Can I work from home?
This is a highly-circumstantial question that you should ask based on the job description/information that you’ve learned so far.
If the role you’re applying for has remote elements, using this as a way of clarifying what that looks like is fine.
Unfortunately, if the job description doesn’t mention working remotely, asking this question can offer the wrong impression. It may infer that you’ve not properly read the job description or that you’re not invested in working in an office-based position.
What does your company do?
Avoid questions such as this because it shows that you haven’t performed your research properly and don’t have a wider understanding of the business itself.
This question is easy enough to answer yourself – visit the employer’s website beforehand and learn more about the business that way.
How quickly can I get promoted?
While we’ve mentioned that you should ask about career development and upskilling opportunities, try not to simply ask about promotions and salary increases.
Most employers will expect to have this conversation in more established 1-2-1 meetings when you’ve shown an aptitude for the role.
Conversations around how salary and titles fit into your career development are important but save it for when you actually have the position.