Our Top 10 Questions to Ask in an Interview
You’re in a job interview, you feel like it’s going smoothly, you’re well prepared, you’ve done your research and are thanking yourself for all of those hours you spent preparing your carefully thought-out answers as you’ve fielded a couple dozen questions from your interviewer. After what feels like a lifetime, the interview seems to be drawing to a close, and you are getting ready to shake their hand and thank them for their time and now they ask, “Have you any questions for me?” to which you both endure a painful 5 seconds of silence whilst you desperately search your brain for something intelligent to ask
To be fair, many people worry about which questions are okay to ask. They’re afraid of seeming demanding or nitpicky or they’re concerned that their interviewer will draw unflattering conclusions from the questions they ask, (like “What are you really like as a manager?” and “Does everyone secretly hate it here?”) while still being reasonably tactful. It’s vital that you utilise these questions as a chance to suss out whether the job is really right for you, as mentioned in our previous post, the interview is a two-way street.
We’ve put together some interview question inspiration so you can use it as a chance to impress the employer and score some serious brownie points because asking the hiring manager questions is like bringing flowers and chocolates with you. Not only are you getting more information about the job, but you’re also showing the interviewer that you genuinely care about the position, the company, and your role should you get hired.
1. “What does the onboarding process look like?” / “How long do you think it would take someone to be up and running in this position?”
Asking about the onboarding process will signal to the interviewer(s) that you’re already thinking about digging in and how you’ll establish a productive workload from the get-go. Depending on how detailed of an answer they give you (or don’t give), you also may be able to gauge how serious they are about you or if they seem to have any reservations (which you can, in turn, address).
2. “Thinking back to people you’ve seen do this work previously, what differentiated the ones who were good from the ones who were really great at it?” / “What kind of person do you think makes the ideal “colleague” here?”
This question goes straight to the heart of what the hiring manager is looking for. Hiring managers aren’t interviewing candidates in the hopes of finding someone who will do an average job; they’re hoping to find someone who will excel.
This question shows the interviewer(s) that you’re considering their perspective as well, and that you’re genuinely concerned about being a good fit for their team or organisation.
3. “What are some of the challenges you expect the person in this position to face?”
This shows awareness; you understand that the role will have obstacles, but you are also willing to acknowledge these and are prepared to tackle them head-on.
4. “Can you describe a typical day or week in the job?”
Some interviewers will respond to this question with, “Oh, every day is different.” If that happens, try asking, “Can you tell me what the last month looked like for the person in the job currently? What took up most of their time?”
5. “What are you hoping this person will accomplish in their first six months and in their first year?”
This question can give you a sense of what kind of learning curve you’re supposed to meet and the pace of the team and organisation.
6. “Would there be an opportunity to progress further down the line?”
This will show the employer your ambition to succeed; it showcases that you are conscious about your future career and that you intend to stay in the company.
7. “What is the office culture/ social side of the company like?”
You should be able to get a good grasp of the company’s values and working culture. This is a chance for the employer to demonstrate that the company values its staff and their well-being.
8. “What is your favourite thing about working for the company?”
This gives the interviewer a chance to show off the organisation whilst providing insight into their working life.
9. “If I am in this position, how can I make the transition as smooth as possible for the team?”
This question is especially relevant if you will be in a management or leadership role and responsible for other team members. This lets the interviewer know that you’re already thinking about how to lead the team and are concerned about their own well-being and performance during your onboarding process.
10. “After 3/6 months what would success look like in this position?”
This gets right to the point of what you need to know about the job: what does it mean to do well, and what will you need to achieve in order for the manager to be happy with your performance?
Make the interaction memorable, people love to talk about themselves, after all, what does anyone know better than themselves? If you know who is going to be interviewing you, do your RESEARCH! Look up their professional profile and ask them about themselves, i.e., their progression in their career, show them you’ve done your research.