Questions You Should Not Ask In A Job Interview
Ok, now that you have some surefire questions you can ask that will impress hiring manager lets go over the types of questions you should avoid asking. As youll see, these questions reflect poorly on you and paint you as a less than ideal candidate
What Does Growth And Career Development Look Like
If youre the type of employee who wants to grow with your role, youre likely interested in companies that invest in that growth. While many people can be happy excelling in the role they are in, if youre focused on upward mobility you may want an office culture that invests in training, conferences or enrichment opportunities. Theres nothing less motivating than a job that has no opportunities for growth, so pay special attention to the interviewers answer.
Has The Company Ever Made A Decision That Prioritized Its Values Over Revenue
Most companies have a list of values but whether those values actually leap off the webpage and are reflected in the day-to-day work can be a whole different story. Sean Byrnes, CEO of Outlier, gets down to brass tacks and separates hand-waving from harsh reality with this question.
Jiaona Zhang, VP of Product at Webflow, also wants to learn more about the companys values in action. It’s definitely true that most companies have core values and that it is often hard to know what they really mean and whether they are upheld, she says. To get a better signal, I ask about the history of the core values specially, I ask for how the core values have been interpreted, whether they’ve had to be revisited over time, and if there have been situations where they’ve been weaponized.
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How Do You Handle It When An Employee Makes A Mistake
Everybody makes mistakes now and then. Its important that a company values its employees, also when they make a mistake. Knowing how they usually handle this will let you know if you think youll thrive there or not. It doesnt matter if you rarely make any mistakes. Its good to know how its handled.
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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What Common Attributes Have You Found Among People Who Join And Are Successful Versus Those Who Aren’t
The answers to this question give you a lens into the types of behaviors and attitudes that are most valued sometimes reinforcing published company values, but other times giving you insight into unstated norms, says Michael Leibovich, Senior Director of Product Marketing at AppFolio.
Cristina Cordova of Notion also hits on this same idea with her version of this question: Can you describe someone who you think has been very successful here and share what you believe made them successful? Strong examples here can often highlight opportunities for upward mobility and detail what qualities are revered within an organization, she says.
Another powerful way to learn which stars shine brightest and uncover what the interviewer personally values comes courtesy of a submission from a First Round community member: Who is the most under-recognized person in the company, and why are they under-recognized?
What Are The Next Steps And Expected Timeline
Asking this question will give you an understanding of what you can expect next from the company. There may be more interviews in the process or assessments you’ll need to take, and the response will give you insight into the next steps. You’ll also gain a sense of how long the steps will take so that you can plan accordingly. By asking this question, you are also showing your interest in continuing the interviewing process.
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First Know What Youre Looking For
We cant start talking about how to conduct an interview or interview questions if we dont know the specific skills we want to assess. Interview questions will determine whether youll get enough useful insight to judge candidates suitability for the job. This means that your questions must be directly related to the job requirements. Otherwise, it will be challenging to compare one candidate to another on the criteria that really matter.
To do this, first determine what qualities you want to see in your new hire. Start with the job description . Ask yourself:
- Which requirements do I want to assess during the interview? Make a comprehensive list and select those qualities you can assess through interview questions. Some of your requirements can be evaluated more effectively at previous stages .
- What requirements carry the most weight? For example, you definitely want your salespeople to have great communication skills, but they might not need to have extroverted personalities. So, your interview questions should focus on communication skills, instead of extroversion.
For example, lets look at the complete list of requirements for the role of Content Writer. These exclude experience and education, which can vary considerably depending on the role and are elements you can evaluate directly from the job application phase.
What’s Your Management Style
Obviously this question is only applicable to people that you’re interviewing for senior or management roles.
Bad management techniques can kill company culture and employee happiness in the blink of an eye, you need to know that anyone you hire isn’t going to f*ck up the culture
Ask candidates about specific examples of times when they feel like the displayed positive a positive management style, as well as times when they got things wrong.
Good traits to look out for include a willingness to take feedback and make time for employees, a clear indicator of this are a manager running monthly one-on-one sessions with their team.
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What Are The Next Steps In The Job Process
Asking about the next steps shows you are optimistic and want the job. Hiring managers appreciate a good sense of self-esteem. Just don’t seem too eager, as over-confidence may translate as arrogance. Asking about the next steps also helps with determining the follow-up protocols and prevents you from worrying whether it’s too soon to check back in.
How Long Have You Been With The Company
Asking the interviewer how long they’ve been with the company provides insight into employee retention and turnover. If the interviewer has been with the company for a considerable period, it can indicate a positive and supportive working environment. If the interviewer has only been with the company a short while, you can ask a follow-up question about why they joined the company.
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Questions To Ask The Interviewer
- How does this position fit within your organizational structure?
- What are you looking for in the ideal candidate?
- What skills are most important to succeed in this company or position?
- What is the culture like in the organization? What types of people tend to thrive?
- What do you like about working here?
- What are the key goals for the person working in this position?
- What is the vision for the organization in the next 6 to 12 months and how do you see the person in this position impacting the success of the organization?
- What are the biggest challenges the person in this position will face?
- What is a typical day or week like in this position?
- Based on my research, I see your company goals are.. Could you tell me a little bit more about how this position will directly impact the success of those goals?
- What type of career path does someone in this position typically follow? If I do well in this position, what is the next logical step?
- What do you see as the most important opportunities for improvement in the department?
- What are the departments goals and how do they align with the companys mission?
- What are the primary metrics the company uses to assess performance results?
How Do You Set Goals Outline The Process
Most of your best employees will be highly goal-oriented and results driven, hardly surprising then that hiring managers want more of the same!
This interview question is great at ensuring that candidates are going to match up to the goals that you set them, and should show you whether they have sufficient initiative to set their own targets.
The best candidates will articulate their exact goal setting process. This should involve: how they select goals, how they split these lofty goals up into smaller tasks, how they plan to tackle these tasks, and ultimately how they measure success.
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What Are Your Salary Expectations
At this point in the interview process, the candidate shouldnt answer with a specific number. Rather, you want to hear that the individual is focused on finding the best fit for their skills and abilities.
Talking dollars should come at the end of the face-to-face interview or even in a second interview if thats what it takes.
This kind of trick question can tell you a lot about whether the candidate is right for your company.
What’s The Biggest Issue Facing The Tech Industry Today
A nice follow-up to the softball of asking about where they get industry news, this interview question gets at whether they put all that reading and thinking to good use.
Are they a passive information sponge, or does their problem-solving brain come alive when considering tech’s existential dilemmas? You want someone who views problems as projects.
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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.
Do You Have Any Hesitancy In Hiring Me
Why ask it: This offers a chance to immediately address anything they might say, and hopefully help the interview move past whatever is making them hesitant about hiring you for the role. Plus, it can provide solid information for how to improve for future interviews.
Will you need a bit of nerve to ask some of these questions? Absolutely. But when you approach them with a positive mindset and see them as a chance to gain a much deeper understanding of a team before youre a part of it, theyre worth it.
Not all of these questions will be helpful for every interview you have, but consider asking some of these to glean more nuanced and helpful information to better inform your next professional move.
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Questions To Ask In An Interview: Final Thoughts
When youre thinking about questions to ask an interviewer, remember that your goal is to appear like someone who has done their research on the company, is enthusiastic about the position, and eager to get started.
You dont want to raise any red flags or sow seeds of doubt or negativity about your qualifications or professionalism.
To help avoid this, when it comes to questions to ask in an interview, you should not ask about salary and benefits just yet.
Wait until you are in the final steps of the interview process to negotiate your compensation package with the hiring manager or HR representative.
Now that you are prepared with strong questions to ask in an interview, dont forget to practice aloud to help build confidence when the big day rolls around.
Good Questions To Ask During An Interview
There are different types of good questions to ask during your interview that may help you learn more about the organization or build your relationship with the interviewer. For example, you may ask questions about the specific role to determine if you have the experience required or if it’s something you would enjoy. You may ask questions about company culture to gauge how well you would fit within the organization. Asking questions about your interviewer’s interests and experience may help you make a better impression.
Here are some examples of good interview questions to ask:
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If Hired What Would You Do In The First 30
This is a good question to ask to get a sense of how well the candidate understands the responsibilities of a manager.
The successful candidate will explain what they need to get started and what parts of the company they would need to get familiar with. They might even give a specific example of where they would start .
In the end, you, the interviewer, might do things differently and the candidate, if hired, might as well but being prepared to answer this question reveals that the prospective manager knows your business, knows their job, is able to get to work on day one, and is excited to start.
How Is Your Company Better Than Your Competition
Asking this question shows you’re using critical thinking and analytical skills to assess the interviewing company. The answer provides you with inside knowledge about how the company thinks and speaks about its competitors. The interviewer’s response also shows how the company positions itself in the market and their point of difference.
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What Are The Advantages And Disadvantages Of Working In An Agile Environment
Agile is currently the most popular Software Development Life Cycle method in IT. That means lots of meetings, lots of feedback, and demand for smooth communication on all projects.
But the method is highly malleable and open to change. This is a great tech interview question for a second or third interview. Don’t just ask it as a question. Strike up a conversation around Agile to get a sense of the candidate’s attitude toward communication and collaboration.
Questions To Ask About The Company
In addition to those questions about the specific job, you can leverage the research youve done beforehand to ask questions that showcase your interest in the company and industry. Here are some examples:
Question 13: What do you like best about working here?
This question can be a casual way to engage your interviewer on a personal level while gaining valuable insights into their experience with the company. If appropriate, be sure to respond to their answer with examples of why you believe this type of environment is a great fit for your personality and working style.
Question 14: Who do you see as your biggest competitor and why?
This question can show that you have an interest in the bigger picture of the company and industry. It can also be an opportunity for you to share that you did research on the company by following up the interviewer’s response with what you found when you looked into this before the interview.
Question 15: What challenges has this company faced in the last few years? What challenges do you anticipate in the coming years?
This is a great question if youre interviewing with managers or senior leadership. It shows your interest in the performance of the company and can give you insight into the pain points they experience. If applicable, you can follow up their response by any experience you bring to the table that can help with these pain points/challenges.
Question 16: What changes or innovations in the industry are you most excited about?
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What Unique Skills Do You Bring To The Position
This is your opportunity to test the prospective employee’s genuine interest in your company by assessing how closely they read the original posting.
Some will paper the industry in resumes during a job search. You can’t blame folks for being desperate, but a desperate willingness to work anywhere does not a dedicated, passionate employee make.
Check to see how closely they describe their skills in comparison to the skills asked for in the posting.
Why Do You Want To Work With Us
This question is an ideal follow-up to, What do you know about our business? because it goes directly to the candidates motivation for applying for the job.
Asking this question and the answer the individual provides gives you insight into the benefits they perceive theyll gain by working for your company.
If they reply with something about your stellar customer service or your business strategy, thats a good sign. If they indicate that their interest is because your business pays the highest wage of all your competitors, thats a bad sign.
If the candidates answer is vague, ask a follow-up question or two to get to the heart of the matter.
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