Good Questions to Ask in an Interview – The Informative Guide

Best questions to ask an interviewer

Good Questions To Ask In An Interview

Preparing for an interview has to be one of the most daunting tasks, regardless of the simplicity of the job or your level of intelligence. Asking questions is as important to the Interviewer as it is for you landing the job, that’s why you should never fail to ask questions. You’ve probably heard this notion countless times, especially if you have been hunting for jobs devotedly.

But why must you ask a question? Better yet, what are the ideal questions to ask in an interview? These and many more queries will be covered in our comprehensive guide. The intensity of this matter goes beyond your thinking. Failure to ask relevant questions at the end of an interview automatically tarnishes the impression you have built all through.

Rest assured, this piece will provide everything you need to know, give you eye-opening insights, examples, and tips to get your A-game on during this understated session.

Here’s to acing all future interviews!

Importance of Asking Relevant Questions After an Interview

Before getting to the actual questions, it is essential to understand the implication therein when you ask or fail to ask questions in any given interview.

Hiring managers and prospective employers find to expect you to be enthusiastic and willing to learn as much as possible before getting into the job. Therefore, you should always take some time to prepare as many relevant questions as possible.

There is so much more to learn about a given role, the company in question, and the team members. Basic Google searches and research won’t suffice- trust us!

Here are some of the key benefits of asking genuine questions:

  • Shows how interested you are in the job and demonstrates how well you would fit in
  • Sheds some light regarding your potential supervisors and teammates and the dynamics of the company
  • It helps you understand the company culture, implementation of processes, company rules, and set values.
  • Shows how intelligent and motivated you are- Any employer would find this impressive.
  • It helps inform your final decision if a job offer is extended to you.

With that in mind, let’s take a deep dive into some of the best questions, as well as their suitability and applicability.

Questions about the company

1: What are the traits needed to fit into your company’s culture?

Understanding a company’s customs, social attributes, and how it fits into society should be a must-ask question for any enthusiastic candidate. It should help you understand whether the environment will harbor or prevent personal growth.

2: What is it like working in this organization every day?

Believe it or not, most employers anticipate hearing this question from you. If they haven’t already explained it in the job description, take the initiative and ask away. Most of your day is spent at work, so you would like to know what you’re getting yourself into, wouldn’t you?

3: Can you share some of the challenges you are currently facing as an organization and how you’re working towards a solution?

Brilliance at its peak. You wouldn’t expect to find the answer to this on any site, so it would make total sense of asking your employer. It is also an opportunity to gauge how strategic and forward-thinking the company is.

4: What appeals to you most about this company?

Note this question should be directed to the hiring manager or recruiter, hence they will have to answer in their capacity, regardless of what the other panelists think. Take note of the answer and the general appearance of the one answering; it should help you identify any red flags.

5: Could you give me a brief overview or perspective of the company culture as portrayed by most clients and customers?

Before you ask this, make sure you understand the industry and key players fully. Above all, keep an open mind because this might result in a discussion where you are prompted to answer an added question.

6: How much do you value work-life balance in this company?

A great question since it helps you understand whether the company encourages workaholism or values a healthy balance. Just be careful not to make the question sound so personal or have selfish gain.

7: Is the leadership team in the organization inclusive and appreciative?

If you are the kind of person that seeks constant compliments and validation, you would want to know this. However, you should always be ready to let your boss take credit for some of the work you’ve done. Such is life!

8: As a recruiter or hiring manager, you are constantly selling the positives of the organization. What are some of the biggest concerns of new employees when starting in any role?

There must be one or two challenges faced by new employees in your post or department. The sooner you are aware of this, the better. Your employer would highly regard you for asking this.

9: How has new leadership in the company affected or impacted the different departments? (Assuming there is a new leadership team)

If there is no new leader around, you could always come up with a relevant question about some of the things the company has or hasn’t done through the existing leadership.

10: What are some of the short term and long terms goals of the company?

Ideally, you can deduce some of this from the company’s mission and vision, but it doesn’t hurt diving into specifics. You would be better off getting the whole picture to be effective if hired.

11: What kind of management/leadership style do you encourage/promote in the company?

If this has not been mentioned by the recruiter during the interview, make sure it comes first. You wouldn’t want to fall victim to a toxic leadership/management style. Better safe than sorry!

12: What are the transparency levels in the company regarding plans, operations, and revenue?

How often are the employees included in general decision making or notification of major changes? Knowing this could prepare you psychologically. Nothing should get you by surprise.

13: How does strategic management in the organization take an idea from inception to completion?

Any employer would give you a thumbs up for this question, especially if the company deals with a lot of production and manufacturing. Strive to ask questions that offer insights into how things work.

14: What are some of the general challenges most staff in the company face?

Most times, employers won’t tell you this straight-up. It is up to you to find out and start formulating your mitigation strategies. It should also act as an eye-opener in the company in general.

15: How does the company measure success and what are some of the expectations when it comes to managing workflow?

Your employer would be more than glad to answer this in all sincerity. It not only shows them how willing you are to meet the expectations but will also give you an upper hand if offered the position.

Questions about the Role

1: In what ways does this role collaborate with other key roles in the organization?

You have to understand who you would get to work with on most days. It not only shows your depth of insight into the job but also assures the employer you have the right kind of thinking

2: If hired, who will I report to, and is there anyone reporting to me?

This mostly applies to managerial or similar positions that have a leadership role attached to them. Only ask if relevant to the kind of job you are applying for.

3: What are the primary tasks or goals I would be assigned at the very beginning or in the first few months?

Another ambitious question if you want to impress your employer-to-be. Every employer looks forward to getting a candidate who is willing to start right away or even show some sign of motivation to get into the job. A major plus!

4: How do you envision the person in this role progressing in the next few years?

It is important to get a clear picture of what the hiring manager foresees for the ideal candidate in this job. This could serve as a nice way of knowing whether the successful candidate has a chance of getting a promotion as the years go by.

5: What are your key expectations for the person rewarded with this role?

If anything, this should be the first question to ask. It’s often good to compare expectations with reality. Are you up to the task to live up to the standards? The answer to this should help you determine whether you do qualify for the position or not.

6: What are some of the career progression paths for this role in this particular company?

This is way much better than asking for promotions and other job benefits. You should always stop to wonder where the success of the role at hand will take you in life. It should help you understand where your future lies.

7: What kind of training and induction does this role require at the start?

You never know what to expect. If you are quick to learn, then you would have no problem getting things by yourself. If you can’t get on your feet without some training, then you better have this question in mind.

8: Is this a new supporting position or did someone hold this position previously?

Your employer would expect you to ask what happened to the person who previously held the position. Chances are, they already have a solid answer prepared for this. Knowing what happened to the person who held the position before helps keep your head in the game and take the job a bit more seriously.

9: Where is the last person occupying this role moving to and what were the circumstances of their shift?

Similar to the previous question but this hits the nail on the head. Your employer would be impressed to know that you don’t hesitate to speak your mind.

10: What is one challenge any person in this role is guaranteed to face?

What better way to get ready for a job than to understand all that it entails? Enquiring about mishaps shows you are a solution-giver, so the recruiter would be very much interested to see your work there.

11: Is there any traveling needed for this position? If there is, how far?

Not highly recommended to ask, unless the industry is known to have travel needs for employees in that role, for example, a sales and marketing position. If not applicable, keep off because the employer could be tempted to think you are only interested in travel benefits.

12: What is it like during the busiest and most flexible times as far as this role is concerned?

You would like to get a clear picture of the hiring desk straight on. Many candidates wait until hiring to clearly understand how busy the position could get. Well, the earlier the better.

13: Where have most of the successful employees in a similar position moved or progressed?

This should tell you a lot about the company. Watch out for sketchy or dodgy answers. You should always walk into a job that provides career opportunities in the long run.

14: Does this role allow or require any external representation at industry conferences and events?

This may not seem important but anyone working in a corporate environment knows the importance of networking. If you like interacting with people from different organizations and environments, you might want to ask this.

15: Apart from what is stated in the job description, what else can you tell me about this role?

You have probably heard most of the things about the job, but you could ask this as a last thought, to see if you can get some “off-the-books” advice regarding the same. You never know It might come in handy!

Questions about the team

1: How do other teams in the department collaborate or support the person in this role?

You wouldn’t want to get into a job that is too burdensome. At the same time, you should be open to collaborating with other teams. This will show how good a team player you are.

2: What are some of the key team virtues or principles upheld by the organization?

Before you add this to the list of questions, make sure you have scanned through the company’s site to ensure this information is not easily found. Employers want you to ask daunting if not challenging questions.

3: As far as this role is concerned, are there gaps from the past you need to be addressed in the team?

Understanding the team you would be involved in is equal to understanding how your home operates. The people there have the potential to make or break your career. Ask as much as possible, but don’t dwell on the topic too much.

4: Tell me more about the team I’ll be working with

How many people would you be working with? What are some of the motivating factors within the team? These and many more, show how prepared you are for the job.

5: Who is in charge of the team this role is associated with and is that the person who gets reports?

There are high chances that the person in charge is sited in the panel, so it would be better to meet him as soon as you get the chance. Make the moment as light as possible.

6: What are some of the common career paths or opportunities in the given department?

Another alternative for this would be asking about previous post-holders and how they have progressed in their careers. Just don’t sound selfish or purely interested in self-growth only. Let this be a last by the way.

7: Who is the one person who works closely with the person in this role?

Not only would this help you understand how things work, but it also gives you the chance to know your soon-to-be workmate or even future best friend.

8: How vital is this team in the development and implementation of the company’s strategies?

You have to understand your team’s worth to the organization at large. Even though most companies treat all departments the same, there has to be a way of telling which team is vital to the growth of the company.

9: What are the strengths and weaknesses of the teams in this company?

I hope you will get an honest, straight forward answer for this one. If you are applying for a managerial or team-leadership position, this should be your first question to the interviewer.

10: How often do you do joint operations or events with teams from other companies?

Most employers would think of this as a question regarding co-curricular and networking opportunities, so you better reserve it for the last remarks. Based on how the interview goes, you will know whether to ask it or not.

11: Is there anyone in the team working outside the building?

It’s important to get all the dynamics in mind. You could be sent to work from a different location. But then again, this entirely depends on the kind of job.

12: How do you ensure that all teams have enough resources to perform their tasks effectively at all times?

Distribution and allocation of resources affect every organization. If you are a high performer, you should want to know whether the resources available will accommodate or depreciate your potential.

13: What are some of the co-curricular activities that take part in the team?

Work without play makes everyone dull. If the hiring manager doesn’t have a clear answer to this, then you might be in the wrong place. The right company will have team building and self-help strategies to keep their employees at bay.

14: Are you anticipating hiring more people in the department in the next year?

If not, you should be able to gauge the organization’s production size and how they operate in terms of job retention. You might want to stick around long enough to ask this.

15: What are some of the office traditions that have been upheld over the years?

It is said that you should always be ready to adapt or do as the Romans do. This is no different. However, this should help you gauge and compare some of the traditions with your values and beliefs.

Questions about processes

1: What is the general onboarding process when it comes to new hires?

This should purely act as a foreshadow or a heads up on what to expect if you do proceed to the next step of the interview or even landing the job. Every candidate should be willing to pre-empt their near future.

2: How is feedback mostly relayed to employees in the company?

How discreet is the company when calling out people who have made mistakes? It might seem a bit hard to ask this, but remember, the harder it is to answer, the better for you.

3: Are there any set projects that happen periodically as far as this role is concerned?

There could be special projects lined up on particular occasions depending on the industry, so you might want to know how it affects the person in that position.

4: What criteria are used to determine the most successful people here?

Methods of measuring success should help you manage your expectations on the role. Furthermore, no one knows you better than yourself.

5: What are the next phases or steps in the interview process?

If the interview goes as expected or if the recruitment team seems impressed by your presentation, by all means, ask away. It might seem over-ambitious but will help you prepare for the next phase.

6: Is overtime allowed or expected in this organization?

Increased productivity is a key aspect of many top-level organizations. This is a risky question since employers have a different perception, but if you think you’re on the right track, you might find a way to ask this

7: Do you base your innovation and strategic process more on the style of ‘moving fast’ or ‘precision and artistry?’

Quite the superior question any candidate would ask. Creating a comparison question shows how open your mind is and how prepared you are to scrutiny when choosing solutions.

8: What types of technology has the organization implemented to ensure all processes work collaboratively?

Any tech giant would expect this question from the candidates. Even so, if the role demands anything techie, you should have this on the front line. Impress your employer whilst learning the processes involved.

9: What does it look like to get a good or bad performance review in the company?

One of the most open-ended questions on our list. Depending on the way it is phrased, you might get different answers from this. Whatever the case, take it all positively and objectively.

10: What measures have been put in store to document and share projects and resources across departments?

Understanding the integration processes is vital for anyone in an organization. You might want to know how people in different roles collaborate to share resources.

11: How long is the average tenure of any employee here and how is it determined?

Everyone dreams of a permanent position, but most candidates cower from asking about it. Make the difference by asking boldly. At the end of the day, you are the one who stands to gain or lose.

12: What are some of the steps I would take to exceed your expectations if hired?

Be prepared to get a definitive list of your success guidelines from this. Any recruiter would be glad to offer you a position after asking this.

13: Are there any set structures that help people grow each other or mentor each other in the company?

This is more about the team spirit, but you could have some ideas on the same that could help the organization grow. Your employer would love to hear something outside the box.

14: What criteria do you use to choose employees who take part in self-development programs?

Anyone would want to be part of a free training or development seminar. But not everyone gets the opportunity to attend. You should know where your fate lies beforehand

15: What are some of the processes that have been hard to streamline in the company and how have these issues been mitigated?

You might be asked to offer insights into a certain matter, so you’d better be prepared to give some meaningful input. Striving to understand the problem at hand has always been a big plus.

Mistakes to Avoid and Questions You Should Never Ask

All questions are permissible but not all are beneficial. Asking the wrong question can be deemed equal to not asking a question at all. If anything, it only shows how indifferent and unmotivated you are.

Below are some of the common questions you should avoid at all costs.

  • Avoid asking basic straight-forward questions-

This includes any ‘yes’ or ‘no’ questions or anything that can be easily found on the internet. The employer expects you to have all the general knowledge in mind. Get technical and try being intuitive

  • Avoid asking personal or invasive questions-

This mainly applies when asking the interviewer about their perception of the company. Keep it simple and professional. Think it through beforehand and put yourself in their shoes first.

  • Watch out for confrontational tones-

Assuming there has been some gossip or negative remarks made about your future employer, take extreme caution when asking about the same. Instead of asking, “Why is the company planning to lay off so many people under such short notice,” you could ask the interviewer what their opinion is on job-retention as far as your role is concerned.

  • Never ask about pay raises, promotions and job benefits-

This is one of the biggest mistakes made by candidates all over the world. You have to understand that the sole purpose of the interview is to gauge how suitable you are to the organization and not the other way round. Asking questions about yourself makes the hiring manager thinks otherwise. If given a job offer, you will have a good opportunity to negotiate about salary and other benefits.

  • Avoid asking questions about one topic-

As seen in the sections above, there is a myriad of questions and categories for you to choose from. For example, if you chose to ask about the managerial style only, your employer will assume that you have a problem with authority. Demonstrate curiosity and interest by keeping the questions all-rounded.

Additional Tips and Tricks

Hopefully, the examples and guidelines above have provided a great baseline of what is expected of you. It is worth noting that most of the questions above are generalized. It is up to you to perform extensive research and come up with tailor-made questions for your prospective employer.

To crown it all, here are a few more pointers to help you polish your questions:

  • Always prep ahead of time – This can be done by thorough research and understanding the industry
  • Ask questions that show how insightful and enthusiastic you are for the position – Such include questions about your immediate tasks or special projects
  • Make sure to ask something regarding the company’s future opportunities, challenges, and some of the implemented solutions.
  • Lastly, keep it deep and meaningful – Not only will this prove how intelligent you are but will also show your employer how resourceful and invaluable you would be to the team.