Questions To Ask The Hiring Manager
If the person who is interviewing you is the hiring manager, ask these questions to learn more about this part of the organization, how he organization works together, and this persons management style:
- How many people report directly to you? OR How large is your organization?
- Who is your boss?
- When did you join this organization?
- How would you describe your management style?
- How do you provide feedback for employees?
- Why are you successful here?
- What do you enjoy most about working here?
- What makes your most successful employees succeed?
- Can you give me an example of a great employee success?
- What skills and experience would make someone successful in this job?
- What is the biggest challenge someone will face in this job in the first 6 months?
Who Was The Most Difficult Person You Ever Worked With
Approach this question with an abundance of caution. Youre going to be working with a lot of people in your new role, and you wont get along with everyone. But youll still need to work together productively.
The who here isnt importantand no matter what, do not give a specific name. Rather, the interviewer wants to know how you managed to work with this person despite the difficulty. After all, if you worked through a challenging work relationship in the past, you can do it again. Dont be petty and be sure to end on a positive note.
I had a challenging lab partner last year. He was disorganized, and we kept missing deadlines because he didnt update me on his progress. Eventually, I insisted on weekly, in-person check-ins to stay on track. He found it annoying at first, but we got the work done, and in the end, we walked away on good terms.
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Questions About Your Strengths
The strengths employers look for will depend on the job role. You may be asked questions like:
- what are your main strengths?
- why should we hire you?
Along with specific examples, you can also highlight your personal qualities as strengths, for instance:
- communication shows you get on with others
- problem solving shows you can find solutions
- enthusiasm shows you have a positive attitude to work
- flexibility shows you can adapt to different ways of working
Plan your answers around 2 or 3 examples that are relevant to the job. You can back these up with qualifications or training you’ve done.
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Questions About The Next Stage Of The Interview Process
You’ll want to be clear and concise with your questioning here since you’re looking for a set answer on the next steps of the hiring process. These questions should be reserved until you’re asked for additional questions by the hiring manager.
Do you have further questions to ask about my background or experience?
Can you explain the next steps of the interview process at this time?
Is there any additional information you need that would be beneficial to the hiring process?
Can I answer any final questions that are on your mind?
Prepare Your Questions To Ask During An Interview In Advance
Read through the list below to get ideas about questions that are typically asked and choose the ones that seem to be most important to you. Choose at least 10 good questions that are the most important to you and relevant to the opportunity. Write your questions on a list you take with you to the interview.
You will likely not ask even half of the questions listed below, but they are a good starting point for developing your own, depending on what is most important to you.
The best way to avoid taking a job you will hate is to learn as much as you can about the job, the organization, your boss, your coworkers, and the environment before you accept the job offer.
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Other Potential Questions Could Include
Why did you leave your previous position?
Right answer: Avoid the temptation to criticise your employer. Stay positive, but try not to lie. Always avoid saying that youre simply looking for a new challenge if you cant back it up, because the recruiter will dig deeper. If all else fails, explaining that there were no opportunities for career progression sounds a lot better.
Why is there a gap in your work history?
Right answer: Wherever possible, be honest. If it was for personal reasons, then say that. Otherwise, something along the lines of taking a break whilst looking for a new career direction should be enough to move the interview along.
Why did you apply for this position?
Right answer: Very similar answer to why you want the job, but focus more heavily on why the position and company excite you, rather than why you should excite them. Demonstrate what you know about the company .
Whats your dream job?
Right answer: You can be relatively honest here, but use your common sense. Because its unlikely anyone one grew up dreaming of the day theyd become a Transaction Banking Systems Migration Specialist.
What Do You Think We Could Do Better Or Differently
This question can really do a number on you. How do you give a meaty answer without insulting the company or, worse, the person youre speaking with? Well first, take a deep breath. Then start your response with something positive about the company or specific product youve been asked to discuss. When youre ready to give your constructive feedback, give some background on the perspective youre bringing to the table and explain why youd make the change youre suggesting . And if you end with a question, you can show them youre curious about the company or product and open to other points of view. Try: Did you consider that approach here? Id love to know more about your process.
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B Teamwork Interview Questions
- Describe a group project you worked on. What was your role and what did you achieve?
- Has your team ever failed to reach a goal? If so, what went wrong and what did you learn from that experience?
- Tell me about a time you had to work with a colleague you didnt get along with.
- Imagine you have submitted a piece of work that you thought was finished, but a colleague returns it to you with multiple corrections and comments that would take you hours to address. What would you do?
- Your manager hates your latest work. What do you do?
- Describe a time you were assigned new tasks How did you adapt?
Questions To Learn About The Job
Ask questions that will help you determine if you would actually like the job, and be able to do it well.
- Why is this position open? Is it a new position? Or is it a replacement for someone?
- How long does someone typically stay in this job?
- How many hours a week does someone in this job typically work? Is overtime accepted or expected?
- Do most employees check email over the weekends and stay in touch while on vacation? Is that required for this job?
- Do employees sometimes work from home or telecommute in this job? How many people telecommute? How many hours a week?
- Who does the person in this job report to? What is the bosss job title, and where are they located?
- What is the salary grade for this job? Where does this job salary grade rank in your salary grades?
- What can you tell me about this job that isnt in the description?
- What are your future plans for this job?
- What are the prospects for growth for the person in this job?
- How long do people stay in this job?
- How often is this job open?
- Who does the person in this job report to?
- How often are performance reviews provided? Do employees receive feedback from their managers?
- Is travel to meet with clients or suppliers or to represent this organization required for this job? If so, where, how long, how far, and how often?
- Where is this job located?
Ask about anything else in your preparation that raised questions for you. Read for leveraging Google before the interview.
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Why Have You Switched Jobs So Many Times
If youve switched jobs in a very short period of time , the interviewer is bound to ask about it.
After all, job-hopping is one of the biggest red flags for HR managers.
True, you might have had a reasonable cause. Maybe the second company you got hired in just wasnt a good culture fit for you.
Well, youll have to communicate that.
Companies tend to be skeptical because of the following reasons
- You might be a job hopper. Some people tend to switch jobs the moment they get a better salary offer.
- You might be unqualified for the job and you quit because you couldnt deliver.
- You get bored easily and your solution to that is quitting.
So, your job here is to convince the interviewer that you dont belong to any of those 3 categories.
You need to make them realize that you will not jump ship a few months after getting hired just because some recruiter PMd you on LinkedIn with a better offer.
The best way to answer this question is to explain the reason you switched jobs. It could be one of the following:
- The company culture wasnt a good fit. This happens to the best of us – sometimes, the company just isnt the right one.
- The job description was misleading and you ended up doing something you either didnt enjoy, or were not qualified for.
- You learned that you simply didnt enjoy the job, and are not willing to try out something different. While this isnt the best potential answer, its honest and chances are, the HR manager will understand.
Why Are You Filling This Position Now
Its not unreasonable to want to know why the company is hiring for this job. One way to find out is to ask, Is this a new position? If the answer is yes, that opens the way for more questions and discussion. Youll want to know why the position is being created. Does it involve a new initiative? Is an existing position being duplicated or divided? Who has defined the job and its responsibilities? How will success be measured, if theres no precedent?
A no answer also raises more questions. Why did the previous person in the job leave? How long do people typically stay in this job? Are there usually chances for advancement?
Some other good questions also tend to raise more questions. Read on.
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What Is Your Greatest Weakness
What They Want to Know: There are different ways to tackle questions about weaknesses. One is to turn a negative into a positive by sharing an example of how something you considered to be a weakness actually helped you on the job. The other is to speak about additional skills you now have because you worked on those that needed an upgrade.
Im an introvert, which I used to regard as being a weakness because I was always shy about reaching out to people. However, part of being an introvert is that Im a great listener, and I find this has really helped me as a Help Desk Technician. Im able to focus on our customers issues, ask the right questions to elicit information, and resolve their tech issues.
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What Are The Pros And Cons Of Failing On The Job
Many hiring managers ask you to discuss an on-the-job failure and how you handled it. This question is a bit trickier. Instead of focusing on a misstep, you actually have to cover not just its value as a learning experience a classic way for tackling the more common version of the question but also the less pleasant aspects.
Failing on the job can create an opportunity. In my last position, we had a project get overrun with scoop creep. I failed to speak up about the challenges the extra features were causing to the timeline, and we missed a key deadline.
However, that experience taught me the value of being open about the impact of such changes in the future. That made me a better project manager down the line, as I wasnt just more aware, but also more willing to discuss my concerns earlier in the process.
It is true that failing on the job has drawbacks. As I mentioned before, we missed a deadline on that project. Speaking with the customer about the timeline issue was difficult, and it harmed the companys and my reputation. Luckily, by being transparent, diligent, and working quickly, we were able to deliver an excellent product in the end, and that allowed me and the company to recover.
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Tell Me Something About Yourself
How hard can it be to talk about yourself? We do it on a daily basis without much thought to it.
However, recruitment managers are not looking for your whole life story, your third-grade achievements, or what you had for dinner last night. Instead, they are looking for a pitch.
This is usually the first question asked in an interview, so it acts as your introduction. Make sure your answer is relevant to the position you are applying for. What you should be aiming for here is to present yourself as the ideal candidate for the job.
A good rule of thumb is to structure your talking points as follows:
- Briefly introduce yourself: Whats your name? How long have you been working as ?
- What do you love about your job?
- What are your top 2-3 achievements that are relevant to the job youre applying for?
Now, lets go through some examples:
Possible Answers for “Tell me About Yourself”:
- Sample Answer 1:
Hey! So, my name is John Doe and Ive worked as a business analyst for 5+ years in Company X and Company Y.
I have some background in data analysis, having studied Information Systems at University.
Throughout my career, Ive done some pretty impressive stuff .
For example, at Company X, I led a project for migrating all operations data to a new data warehousing system to cut down on costs. The new solution was a much better fit for our business, which eventually led to savings of up to $200,000 annually.
- Sample Answer 2:
Where Do You See Yourself In 5 Years
This question catches a lot of job seekers off guard because on the surface it seems simple enough but when you dig a little deeper youll see that there are a couple of traps you could fall into.
You DO want to show that you are an ambitious person BUT you need to show that you dont have your head in the clouds and are focused on the job at hand. For more in depth info on this question check out our blog post: Where do you see yourself in 5 years.
- Demonstrate when you answer the question your level of commitment to the position they are interviewing you for.
- After you have demonstrated your commitment to the role you are interviewing for, outline a realistic growth strategy that is directly tied to the role youre in and the needs and values of the company.
- Stress your interest in a long-term career at the company
- Dont exhibit ambition to the point of seeming like this particular job is just a brief stepping stone for you. You need to show commitment.
- Dont say you want to be CEO of the company in 5 years.
- Dont say Actually I want to be in YOUR seat within the next 5 years. to the hiring manager.
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What Was Your Salary In Your Last Job
This is a tough one. You want to be open and honest, but frankly, some companies ask the question as the opening move in salary negotiations.
Try an approach recommended by Liz Ryan. When asked, say, “I’m focusing on jobs in the $50K range. Is this position in that range?”
Maybe the interviewer will answer maybe she won’t. If she presses you for an answer, you’ll have to decide whether you want to share or demur. Ultimately your answer won’t matter too much, because you’ll either accept the salary offered or you won’t, depending on what you think is fair.
Why Did You Decide To Leave Your Previous/current Job
When asking this question, the interviewer wants to learn:
- Did you have a good reason for leaving your last job? The HR manager doesnt want someone that just jumps ship the moment things go bad.
Oh, well, the company started bleeding cash and was on its way to bankruptcy.
I felt like it was time – I got to a point where everything I was doing felt monotonous. I learned as much as I could at this position while delivering amazing results. It was, however, time to switch to something new.
- Did you leave on good terms? Meaning, did you go through the offboarding process, instructing your coworkers on how to take up your responsibilities? Or did you just say Adios and stopped showing up at work?
Things started to get really boring, and the boss man was kind of mean. I totally deserve better, so I just ghosted them and now Im looking for a new company. Hi!
I didnt feel like the companys values coincide with mine. The management was too controlling and micromanaging. I prefer to have some control over my work, and being able to contribute by going above and beyond my requirements.
Of course, I went through the off-boarding properly. Meaning, gave a timely resignation notice, and transferred all the essential company knowledge to my replacement.
- Did you leave voluntarily, or were you fired?
I got fired for missing work for a week without an excuse.
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