What Questions Should You Be Asking
As we said earlier, there are specific categories you want to stick to when thinking about questions to ask an interviewer.
What are you getting hired to do? Sure, you know what the job posting said, but is there anything about the position youre trying to get that wasnt in the posting? What are you going to be doing exactly? How long will you be doing that job and will the job evolve as you continue to work there?
Speaking of doing a job, are you fully prepared to start if you are hired? Is there anything you need to know in order to do the job? Is there any special training or any classes youre going to be required to take if youre hired?
How you do your job is also equally importantand what they expect from you as you do it! The best way to meet the goals of your employer is to know up front what they are. What do they expect from someone who is hired for this position? How do they evaluate that performance? Are there reviews?
By the way, who are you actually working for? Not just your supervisor, but the company overall. Yes, you should already have a good base of knowledgeyou got that information during your fact finding and research phase of the job huntbut there are things you cant get from research that can only come from someone on the insideand the hiring manager is a great resource!
THE WAITING GAME
What Church Do You Attend
Unless you’re hiring for a faith-based organization, this question is a no-go. Again, it often comes up in small talk and seems harmless, but you cannot discriminate on the basis of religion unless it’s pertinent to the job.
The only time religion is relevant in a secular interview is if the person needs an accommodation, in which case it is their responsibility to bring it up after you’ve made an offer. Then, you can decide together if an accommodation is possible.
When you’re conducting job interviews, keep your focus on the actual job, and the skills you need the new employee to possess and you won’t go wrong or off-track with your interview questions. These are ten examples of questions you don’t want to ask and why you don’t want to ask them.
Suzanne Lucas is a freelance journalist specializing in Human Resources. Suzanne’s work has been featured on notes publications including Forbes, CBS, Business Insider and Yahoo.
Interview Process Related Questions For The Interviewer
Asking questions about the interview process will let you know what to expect during the next steps of the process.
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Q: Why Have You Applied For This Particular Job
A: The employer is looking for evidence that the job suits you, fits in with your general aptitudes, coincides with your long-term goals and involves doing things you enjoy. Make sure you have a good understanding of the role and the organisation, and describe the attributes of the organisation that interest you most.
Other common interview questions to consider:
Tell Me About Yourself
This question is probably one of the most common interview questions that recruiters ask to start the interview for any type of role.
This may seem like a straightforward question, but it can be a little tricky to answer.
Instead of providing a lengthy answer focused on your personal journey, focus on talking about your professional experience in a concise way.
You need to answer the 3 Ws:
- Who are you?
- What are your qualifications?
- Why are you here?
Sample Answer: Im an HR coordinator with 4 years of experience in managing all aspects of the recruitment function, from sorting resumes to calling candidates for interviews. During my tenure of 4 years at XYZ firm, I won several performance awards and have been promoted twice for strategizing innovative ways to slash recruitment costs and reduce the time taken for the onboarding process of recruits. Although I love my current position, I want to be a part of something bigger. And since I love your companys work culture that provides ample room for growth, Im looking forward to being a part of your team.
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Ask About The Company
Dont just assume you know the company. Read about its history. Check out its financials. Are there any press releases related to leadership changes, new products, litigation, or community service? Read those, too. The most you know, the more educated questions you can ask.
Here are a few sample questions to get you started. Remember that there will be both positives and negatives with any company. Your job is to determine if the positives outweigh the negatives.
- What will the onboarding and training process look like?
- What sort of development and/or learning opportunities does the company offer?
- Where does see itself five years from now?
- What are some of the departments long-term goals?
- Tell me about the biggest challenges facing the company/department.
- Whats your favorite part about working here?
What Interview Questions Are Illegal
Off-limits interview questions center on unchangeable or highly personal aspects of a candidates identity.
Illegal interview questions include those pertaining to:
- Sex, Gender Identity, or Sexual Orientation
- Race, Color, or National Origin
If a candidate brings these topics up, then it is advisable to steer the conversation onto other subjects. A candidate may inquire about reasonable accommodations and the inclusivity of your work culture, at which point it may be pertinent to outline your organizations benefits, diversity efforts, and willingness to support underrepresented employees. However, as a rule, you should never pose interview questions related to these topics, and should defer these discussions if the candidate initiates them.
The legality of asking about criminal background during interviews is more complex. In most places, it is not illegal to ask candidates about criminal records, but employers may not deny applicants based solely on conviction history without conducting an individualized assessment. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission warns against placing conviction questions on job application forms. Most employers wait to ask about criminal conviction until the late stages of the interview process.
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Where Do You See Yourself In Five Years Time
An interviewer will be impressed if you have considered your short-term and long-term goals. Talk about the kind of job you’d eventually like to do and the various steps you will take to get there.
Show that you have the ambition and determination to make the most of every job you have held to get where you want to be and always relate this back to the position you’re interviewing for. Avoid telling the interviewer that you want their job.
What Is Culture Fit
Culture fit is the alignment of a companys core values and culture with its employees. Often, its easiest to know what culture fit is when there isnt one, like someone who prefers silent concentration joining a company with a shared playlist playing across the office or an extreme extrovert stuck in a silent cubicle all day.
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Ask These Questions To Learn About The Job
These questions are most relevant when you are meeting an interviewer for the first time. You should be introduced to each person interviewing you before an interview begins. Make note of the persons name, and ask for their job title if it isnt provided.
Ideally, you should exchange business cards with each of the interviewers so you have all relevant information, including their job title and contact information.
Questions to Ask the Employer:
First, learn as much as you can about this job, which will help you understand more about the organization and this job:
- How long has this job been open?
- Is this a new job?
- Why is this job open?
- Where would I be working?
- What is your onboarding process here?
During the Coronavirus pandemic, also ask questions related to how the employer is managing the situation, keeping employees safe while continuing to operate successfully.
Do I Need To Ask My Interviewer Questions
Its highly recommended to ask your interviewer relevant, thoughtful questions. Doing so will give you a better understanding of whether the position is the right fit for you. It also shows the interviewer that you have a genuine interest in the position. If the time for you to ask questions comes and you let the interviewer know that you dont have any, it may come across as a sign that you did not prepare or that youre not taking the position seriously.
Consider preparing a list of 5-10 questions to ask ahead of time. Having a written list of pre-prepared questions will help in the instance that you get nervous and dont remember what you wanted to ask, or questions dont arise organically during the interview. With the right questions, youll be able to illustrate your knowledge of the company and industry, along with your drive to excel in the new position.
Questions to ask in an interview:
Can you elaborate on the day-to-day responsibilities this job entails?
What are the characteristics of someone who would succeed in this role?
What’s the most important thing I could do within the first 90 days?
What are some of the challenges people in this role encounter?
How would my performance be measured?
What does the career path for someone in this role look like?
What other functions or departments does this team work with most often?
What does your job look like day-to-day?
What do you like best about working here?
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Tips For Preparing Your Questions And Common Mistakes To Avoid
When preparing your questions for the panel, remember that the interview is a two-way process. Its a chance for a prospective employer to assess your suitability for a role as well as an opportunity for you to find out if the position is a good fit for you.
However, candidates should always be looking for ways to make a good impression, which makes it important to phrase your questions in a way that shows what you can offer to an employer. Always be aware of this when planning your questions and think carefully about the most appropriate way to word them. As a general rule, do not ask about the rate of pay or package at an interview, unless the employer asks you specifically about your expectations.
Questions To Not Ask In An Interview
Here are some questions that you should NOT ask an interviewer.
Note that ideally, a candidate should ask questions to the interviewer at the end of the interview.
Bonus Tip:To prepare more questions, check the company ratings on various different aspects like skill development, company culture, job security, work-life balance, etc. If you find low ratings in any of these aspects, ask specific questions to the interviewer on the same.
Now get ready for your next interview by reading these interview questions and tips from other candidates.
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Work Habits And Working Style Questions To Ask Job Candidates:
- How would you describe your work style?
- What techniques and tools do you use to keep yourself organized?
- If you had to choose one, would you consider yourself a big-picture person or a detail-oriented person?
- What are your strengths as an employee?
- What are your weaknesses as an employee?
- When were you most satisfied in your job?
- What can you do for us that other candidates cant?
- What were the responsibilities of your last position?
- Give me an example of a time that you felt you went above and beyond the call of duty at work.
- What was the last project you led, and what was its outcome?
- Can you describe a time when your work was criticized?
- How do you handle working with people who annoy you?
- Have you ever been on a team where someone was not pulling their own weight? How did you handle it?
- Tell me about a time when you had to give someone difficult feedback. How did you handle it?
- If I were your supervisor and asked you to do something that you disagreed with, what would you do?
- Describe how you would handle a situation if you were required to finish multiple tasks by the end of the day, and there was no possible way that you could finish them.
- What did you dislike about your least favorite former supervisor and/or coworker?
- How would your previous co-workers describe you?
- Can you give me an example of a time you worked through a conflict with a coworker?
Wrapping Up The Interview
- Closing remarks might include: “I have really enjoyed meeting with you and your team, and I am very interested in the opportunity. I feel my skills and experience are a good match for this position. What is the next step in the interview process?
- Ask for a business card from each person you interviewed with so you can follow up with a thank you.
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Can You Tell Me What The Career Paths Are For This Department And What Sort Of Advancements I Could Work Towards
This question can give you a solid idea of the mobility within the company. Again, as weve said over and over again, the ultimate goal of any job you take is to help advance you on your career path and the last thing you want to do is take a dead end job with no hope of ever moving forward or growing.
Questions To Ask About Next Steps
The interviewer’s answers to questions about the next steps in the process will demystify onboarding and give you a picture of how seriously they take you.
36. What’s the timeline for the next step in the interview process?
37. What is the next step in the process?
38. What does the onboarding process look like?
39. Is there any information about myself I haven’t already volunteered that you would like me to share?
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Bonus Interview Questions To Ask
- How long is the average tenure of an employee?
- Where would the company like to be in five years?
- Am I going to be a mentor or will I be mentored?
- How will you judge my success? What will have happened six months from now that will demonstrate that I have met your expectations?
- This job sounds like something Id really like to dois there a fit here?
- Now that weve talked about my qualifications and the job, do you have any concerns about my being successful in this position?
- What is the next step in the hiring process?
- When can I expect to hear back?
- By when do you hope to make someone an offer?
- When is the anticipated starting date for this position?
- Whom should I reach out to if I have any further questions?
Use these questions to ask during an interview as prototypes for questions based on the particulars of the position for which you are being considered. Make them your own and polish them until their shine reflects on you. Asking questions like these is not for the faint of heart but, then again, neither is succeeding in a competitive job market.
Preparing Good Questions To Ask The Interviewer
You can learn a lot about an open position through the basic application process, but to really get the down and dirty about what will be expected of you, you need to make sure you prepare good questions to ask the interviewer as well.
Isnt that awkward? I mean, are hiring managers okay with me asking for more details?
Are you kidding?!?
Asking the hiring manager questions is like bringing flowers and chocolates with you. Not only are you getting more information about the job, youre showing the interviewer that you genuinely care about the position, the company, and your role should you get hired.
Imagine thisyoure a hiring manager and youve just had a potential candidate interview with you. Their answers to your questions are pretty solid and youre wrapping up the interview.
So, you say, giving the eager young candidate a smile. Any questions for me?
The candidate clears their throat, nervous. You can tell by the look in their eye all they want to do is get out of there. No, they stammer. Im good. Thank you!
You shake hands and they leave. You sigh in disappointment. Such a missed opportunity. Maybe the next one will have some questions for you.
In fact, according to a Glassdoor Survey of 750 hiring managers, nine in ten hiring decision makers agree that an informed candidate is a quality candidate. and that an informed candidate is prepared for interview and asks pertinent questions.
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Why Do You Want To Work For Us
Studies show that 47% of applicants get rejected during interviews due to a lack of knowledge about the company.
Recruiters want to hire candidates who are serious about the role and are genuinely interested in working for the company.
And this question is exactly how recruiters probe if you are familiar with the companys products, services, work culture, etc.
While you may get tempted to provide a monetary or a personal reason, you must do ample research about the company before going for the interview and frame your answer strategically.
Sample Answer: Ive read plenty of articles that your company is one of the best places to work and I’ve seen multiple employee testimonials about the positive work environment that your company nurtures to support personal and professional growth of the employees. When I saw a job vacancy in your HR team, I was super excited to apply as coupled with my respect for the companys work culture, I believe that my background in human resources makes me a great fit for the role and the company.