Why Asking Questions In An Interview Is Important
When you are being interviewed, you probably think the focus is on your qualifications or technical expertise. But it may not be. Ive talked with hundreds of executives actually doing the interviewing and this is what they tell me they are really interested in:
The questions interviewers ask are as much about who you are as what you can do.
In the same way, the questions you ask in the interview can tell you what you really want to know about the company and the job:
Knowing who the company and your potential boss are gives you the opportunity to make an informed decision about whether or not you want to invest in them. But you have to ask the right questions to find that out.
Good Questions To Ask During An Interview
If appropriate, try to weave these questions in as the interview is progressing. It demonstrates to the interviewer that youre proactive and engaged in the process. Alternatively, wait until the end – but if the question has already been answered during the course of the interview, dont ask it.
And dont ask a question that can easily be answered by researching the company website or completing a simple Google search.
Outline The Process On How You Set Goals
Your best employees are generally driven and goal-oriented. This question will help ensure they have the ability to not only reach goals you would set for them but set their own goals to achieve as well.
The top candidates will be able to explain their goal-setting process in detail, how they set up their goals, break goals into smaller tasks, and measure their success once completing them.
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Questions Not To Ask The Interviewer
Make sure you dont ask a question that could be found in the job description, on the company website or via a quick google search.
For example, if youre going to ask, Does your company have a mission statement and core values?, make sure its not on their homepage first.
Also if you want to get hired, avoid asking the interviewer questions about salary, benefits, vacation, dress code, etc. Why? The company is focused on finding the person who is the best fit and will be able to come in and solve their problems. How is it going to look if you seem more focused on vacation time and benefits?
Interview Question #: What Career Development Opportunities Would I Have With The Company
Entry-level interviewers may not be as concerned as mid-level or senior interviewers with developmental and growth opportunities, depending on your career goals. How the company answers this question will tell you how much value is placed on employees. Asking this question will show recruiters and hiring managers you are interested in a long-term position where you can not only help the company grow, but work on your skills, as well.
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Essential Questions To Ask Your Interviewer
So, youve given thoughtful, well-considered answers to your interviewers questions well done. Thats the hard part complete but the interview isnt over yet. As things start to wind up and youre asked if you have any questions, dont say no! This is your time to shine. Asking the right kinds of questions in an interview not only shows that youre genuinely interested in the role, its also a great opportunity for you to get a sense of what it might be like working in it.
Dont try to simply wing it by asking the first question that pops into your mind. Prepare for this part of the interview as you would for the other questions t. That means not asking for information about something that is mentioned on the companys website, such as when it was established. That will show you havent done your homework.
We asked Catalina Consultants Senior HR Consultant Stephanie Moffitt about the best questions shes been asked in interviews and why.
Heres what she had to say.
You Dont Have To Worry About Logistics
It sounds fairly straightforward, but how often have you got stressed out before an interview because you didnt know how to find the office, or you didnt know where to park? Or you werent aware of the rigorous security process youd have to follow when entering a building? Literally ALL of these situations, which can massively contribute to stress and anxiety are nonexistent because youre already in the building!
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Questions To Ask About The Position
When interviewing for a position, clearly understand the role’s duties and responsibilities and ensure that you’ve read over the job posting or job description. Now is your opportunity to gain further insight into the details and nuances of the role. You can ask several questions at the end of an interview to clarify your understanding of the job.
Getting Valuable Employee Feedback
Without data, youre just another person with an opinion is an often-heard quote. And for a good reason, since it holds true for so many things, including your employee experience.
You may think that you know exactly why people love working for your company their awesome colleagues, challenging projects, great culture, or maybe even all of the above.
But in reality, your employees want to stay because of the flexibility they get, the autonomy to make decisions, and the opportunities the company gives them for professional development.
The fact of the matter is, you simply dont know until you ask them. So before you start doubling down on something you think people want, its best to gather their feedback during a stay interview.
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Great Questions To Ask In An Interview
You probably already know that an interview isnt just a chance for the hiring manager to grill you with interview questionsits your opportunity to sniff out whether a job is the right fit for you.
Which means: Its important to go in with some questions to ask of your own. What do you want to know about the position? The company? The department? The team?
To get you thinking, weve put together a list of key questions to ask in an interview. We definitely dont suggest asking all of them rapid-firesome of this stuff will certainly be covered during the course of your discussion, and you can weave in other questions as you go.
But when the inevitable, So, do you have any questions for us? part of the interview comes? Use this list to make sure youve covered all your bases.
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 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.
Questions About The Company
7. How would you describe the culture here? What type of people tend to really thrive here, and what type dont do as well?
Sometimes hiring managers are pretty bad at accurately describing the culture on their teams in part because they have a vested interest in seeing it a certain way and in part because they have an inherently different vantage point than their staff members do. For example, Ive heard incorrigible micromanagers tell candidates that they like to give people a lot of independence and autonomy and they probably really believed that about themselves. So take managers descriptions of culture with a heavy grain of salt , but theres still value in hearing what they do and dont emphasize.
But asking about what types of people tend to thrive versus those who tend to struggle can get you more revealing information. Youll often learn what that manager really cares about in their employees, or which traits will set you up to clash with them, or whos likely to bristle at their management style.
8. What do you like about working here?
You can learn a lot by the way interviewers respond to this question. People who genuinely enjoy their jobs and the company will usually have several things they can tell you that they like about working there and will usually sound sincere. But if you get a blank stare or a long silence before your interviewer answers, or the answer is something like the paycheck, consider that a red flag.
What Will My First 30 60 And 90 Days Look Like Do You Have An Idea Of The First Problems You Want Me To Help Solve
Folks usually ask something like, What would a typical day look like? but you can also take the opportunity to get much more specific and sketch out a picture of how the early days will work in a new role and the milestones you should hit as you pick up steam. Everyone wants to know what they will be working on, says Alphonso “Fonz” Morris, Lead Product Designer for Global Conversion at Netflix. But this particular question may give you another critical cue: It shows the candidate that the company has thought really clearly about onboarding.
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Who Do You Consider Are Your Companys Main Competitors And How Could I Help You Succeed
Before asking this be sure to do your homework. Research the company both from internal and external sources. From this, you may already have an idea of the companys major competitors, but it can be useful to ask your interviewer for their thoughts. Naturally, this insight is invaluable, and by placing yourself amongst their team, a hiring manager may begin to recognise your value and skill set that sets you apart from other potential candidates.
Stay Interview Questions To Ask
To make the list less overwhelming, weve divided the stay interview questions into 5 bite-sized categories:
- Questions about the employee
- The work environment
- The technology
Some questions may qualify for several categories, while others may not be relevant for your organization. If, for instance, your workforce is fully remote, you wont be asking the office-related questions.
In other words: you can mix and match according to your needs. Here goes!
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If You Were To Hire Me What Might I Expect On A Typical Day
Learning about this can give you an idea of how your life would be like daily. This can help you decide and consider how youll face things and prepare for work.
Getting this example can help with your decision if you would want to pursue this position or not.
11. What type of employee tends to succeed here? What qualities would you say are vital to learning?
Asking this question will show how invested and interested you are in this position and are thinking about your future in the company. At the same time, this can help you gauge if you are an excellent fit for this position if an employers qualities describe you.
Hiring Process Questions To Ask In An Interview
One of the hardest parts of job searching is the constant unknowns. Hiring process questions are good questions to ask in an interview to give you a sense of whats going to happen next, how quickly they are looking to fill the position, and give you an opportunity to finish the interview as strongly as you started.
17. What are the next steps in the interview process?
This question shows that you are eager to move forward in the process. It will also help you gain important information about the timeline for hiring so that you can follow up appropriately.
18. Do you have an ideal start date in mind?
This is another way to get an understanding of their timeline and when you can expect to hear from them.
19. Are there any further details I can provide that will be helpful?
This question allows your interviewer to circle back to anything that concerns them about your experience or resume without phrasing the question negatively such as asking, is there anything that concerns you about my fit for this role? You dont want them to be thinking of reasons not to hire you, but you do want to have the opportunity to explain yourself if the interviewer has doubts about your qualifications.
20. Do you have any further questions to ask me?
This can be a less-detailed alternative question to the above. It leaves the door open for the interviewer to ask for clarification on one last thing before concluding the interview.
What Obstacles Have Been Previously Encountered Within This Role And How Can I Help You Overcome Them
There are two ways to look at this question. If this is a newly created role, it can be great to learn how the company had previously tackled any issues. For example, if you are going for a content management role, how did the company previously handle their content schedule? Were freelancers involved? If so, why the change? Alternatively, if someone has left the role and progressed, it can be great to see how this position has adapted and evolved so that you can continue the existing momentum.
Stay Interview Questions About The Technology
19. Do you have enough tools and resources to do your job properly? If not, what is missing?
Whether or not people feel theyre fully equipped to do their job directly impacts their experience and on how well they do their job.
Therefore, the answers you get to this question are constructive in optimizing the technology your employees use.
20. How satisfied are you with the tools you use to communicate with your colleagues when working remotely?
Especially since remote work is part of the new normal, the tools your employees have to stay in touch with each other need to work smoothly.
21. What software/tool should we stop using right away?
We all have that one system or tool wed rather not use at all . If this is something employees only use once or twice a year, then you might be able to say, well, nobody is perfect.
If, however, this is a system your people need to use on a daily basis, this will for sure have a negative impact on their employee experience, and you should seriously consider other options.
How Does This Departments Culture Differ From My Current Department
Although you work at the same company, departments can vary wildly. If youre interviewing for the same department youre currently working in, this question might not apply to you, but if not, its definitely an important one.
Some departments can be really loud and full of big personalities. Some can be really quiet and barely speak. Some departments might eat lunch together as a team at the local pub every Friday and some departments might eat at their desk every day.
Whilst these arent deal breaker issues, if youre used to working in a loud team environment, and you then move to a super quiet working environment, it can be a huge culture shock. You want to ensure it will fit with your personality type.
What Do You Expect Me To Accomplish In The First 90 Days
If you weren’t asked this question, ask it yourself. Why? Great candidates want to hit the ground running. They don’t want to spend weeks or months “getting to know the organization.” They don’t want to spend huge chunks of time in orientation, in training, or in the futile pursuit of getting their feet wet.
They want to make a difference — and they want to make that difference right now.
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Make Their Questions Your Questions
A good rule of thumb to remember in a job interview is that anything they ask you, you can ask them. Now you have to reword the question so as to not sound like a parrot, but later in the conversation you can use their question to you as a question to them. Here are some examples.
If theyve asked, Tell me about yourself, later on in the conversation you can ask, Ive read about your company, talked with people, and know you have a great reputationbut youre on the inside, tell me about the company from your experience?
If theyve asked, What are your strengths and weaknesses, later on you can ask, What are you proudest of in the organization now.and what are the biggest areas you want to see change in?
If theyve asked, What do you see yourself doing two-three years from now, later on you can ask, Where do you see the company in two to three years?
The thing to remember is that whatever they asked you about, they are interested in. You should be interested in the same about them to better understand what situation you are getting into.