Preparing for your interview probably went something like this: you researched the company, dissected the job description, searched common interview questions and answers, and practiced the STAR method.
But there’s an essential final step before you can consider yourself ready: you need to prepare a few questions for the interviewer so you come across as engaged and motivated.
Should you always ask questions in a job interview?
Yes, you should always ask the employer a few questions at the end of an interview. Once you have the floor, use this opportunity to show them you’re interested in the job opportunity.
Asking good questions after an interview helps you:
- Get clarification: If there’s anything from the interview you’d like to follow up on, now is your time to ask for more details. Building on the conversation will also show the interviewer that you were actively listening during the interview.
- Evaluate whether the company is a good fit for you: Interviewees tend to focus their energy on proving they’re the best candidate for the job. But you should also ask yourself whether the company aligns with your values and provides you the best opportunity to grow.
If you struggle to come up with thoughtful questions to ask the interviewer, you’ll come off unprepared or disinterested in the role, which isn’t a great impression to leave employers.
So, what are some good questions to ask in an interview?
Questions about the role
Before you proceed with the new position, you need to know exactly what responsibilities you’re taking on if hired. Every company is different, so even if the role is the same, you may not have the same duties.
The following questions can help you learn more about the day-to-day of the role:
- What will a typical day at the company look like for me?
- What will my day-to-day responsibilities be?
- What are the biggest challenges of this role?
- What is the typical career path of someone in this role?
- What is the most challenging part of this position?
- What are a few essential character traits required to succeed in this role?
- What staff or teams will I work most closely with?
- Who will I report to directly?
- Can you tell me about some of the first few projects I’ll be working on?
Questions about the company
When thinking about whether you want to pursue a job, consider the type of company you’d be working for and the principles driving it.
Referencing something you discovered about the company in your research and asking for more information is a great starting point, and it shows the interviewer that you’re passionate about landing the position.
Here are some of the best questions to ask during an interview about the company overall:
- What are a few of the company’s core values?
- What is your favorite part of working at this company?
- What does the company do to give back to its community?
- Are there any company-wide initiatives I should know about?
- What employee benefits does the company offer?
- Is there a high or low turnover rate?
- In what ways has the company changed since you started working here?
- What sets this company apart from other companies in the industry?
- How will my work contribute to the company’s overall goals?
- Will I be expected to work overtime?
- Do you offer a hybrid or flexible remote work schedule?
- How do teams stay connected when working remote?
Questions about advancement and professional development
During an interview, most people are only focused on securing the job, but it’s important to think about your future career.
Can you see yourself happily working at this company for the next few years of your life? Will working there advance your career?
The following questions will help give you the information you need to decide whether the job you’re interviewing for supports for your long-term goals:
- What opportunities for professional development or growth are available?
- Can you see my role expanding in the future?
- Where is the company going in the next 5 years?
- Are there opportunities for advancement within the company?
- Do you offer training opportunities?
- How does your staff keep up with emerging industry trends?
- Will this role provide me with opportunities to grow and learn new skills?
- Will my manager provide me with stretch assignments as I progress?
Questions about training and evaluation
Before you start a new job, it’s a good idea to learn more about the training process and how your performance as an employee will be judged.
Here are some questions you can ask in an interview to learn more about the onboarding and evaluation process:
- What will the onboarding process look like?
- What is your review process like?
- What characteristics do your most successful employees possess?
- How often will my work be evaluated?
- How independently do you expect me to work?
- How will I know I’m on track in my first few months?
- What expectations do you have of me for the next 30 days, 90 days, or year?
- What metrics will be used to measure my success in this role?
- Has remote work posed any challenges when it comes to evaluating employees?
- How do managers track productivity day-to-day when working remotely?
Questions about company culture
When looking for a job, you should think about more than just the salary or benefits package. You should also think about the people working there, and whether you can see yourself coexisting in the same office.
Asking the following questions will help you learn more about the office culture at the company you’re interviewing for:
- What is the company culture or work environment like?
- What is the team like?
- Would you describe the company culture as competitive?
- Who will I work with most closely?
- Does the team tend to work more collaboratively or independently?
- Are there team building activities or company trips?
- Does the team often have lunch together?
- Do different departments have opportunities to interact?
- What’s your favorite part about working for this company?
- Why did you choose this company?
Questions about next steps after the interview
One way to indicate you’re serious about the role is to ask questions that demonstrate your interest in the hiring process. This shows that you care about the outcome, and prompts the interviewer to follow up about the result.
- What are the next steps in the interview process?
- What’s the timeline for your decision about this position?
- If I’m offered the position, how soon would you expect me to start?
- Is there anything else I can provide you with?
- Is there anything I can clarify for you from our discussion?
- Do you have any final questions for me?
Other interview resources
Interviews are challenging, but becoming an effective interviewer is key to impressing employers and landing your next job. We’ve got you covered with must-read interview advice, like:
- Tips for your first job interview
- The 35 most common behavioral interview questions
- Tips for preparing for a job interview
- How to ask for feedback after an interview
We also help you through some of the toughest questions hiring managers might throw at you in an interview, such as: