You’ve learned how to build a resume and cover letter. And you’ve built both docs to smashing success. Then, you jumped over the next big hurdle, which is landing the interview.
The interview is going swimmingly. As it comes to a close, you sit there quietly patting yourself on the back. But then the interviewer drops a bomb by asking the one question that you are unprepared for:
“Do you have any other questions for me about the company or the role?”
Your mind goes blank, and you start to panic because you can’t think of anything to ask the interviewer. Suddenly, it feels like you’ve gone from hero to zero in the course of a single question.
The reason that this occurrence is so relatable is this: most jobseekers prepare for every possible question in an interview except for this one. In a job interview, we all want to sound competent in our skills, informed about our industry, and well-suited for the role.
What we as job seekers often forget is that a job interview is also our chance to decide whether or not the role is the right fit for us. We, as job seekers, get to take a place in the interviewer chair too.
Because the aforementioned question above is one that job seekers frequently space on, they often end up walking away with a ton of unanswered questions.
Take the time to prepare your questions
Before you go into an interview, it’s critical that you take the time to review the job ad and review the job duties and the skills the employer is seeking in a candidate. Having these skills and duties fresh in your mind will help you to formulate questions about the role itself that might not have been laid bare in the job ad.
Next, look at the company’s website. Go to the About Us page and study it. Here, you will find information about the company’s projects, values, and company culture. This page will provide inspiration for other questions you can ask at your interview.
Since interviews can be nerve-wracking, don’t be afraid to write out your questions and bring them with you. It’ll show the interviewer that you have taken the time to prepare for the interview.
Not sure what to ask? Below, we have compiled a list of 25 questions to ask in your next interview. Don’t ask them all – you’ll be in the interview room for hours if you do – but do select three to five questions to take with you.
- Is this a new role, or was there someone in the job previously? If the role was previously filled, why did that person move on?
- What would a typical day or week look like for your new hire?
- What are the working hours, and your expectations for overtime?
- How does this position help your department and the larger organization achieve their goals?
- Does your department collaborate with other departments? If so, how?
- What kind of training will your new hire receive?
- What technology will your new employee use on the job?
- How will expectations and assignments be communicated in this role?
- What do you hope your new hire will be able to accomplish in the first three months?
- Over the course of a year, how is success measured in this role?
- How would you describe your management style?
- How will you as a manager interact with your new hire? Will it be through a weekly one-on-one check-in, or do you have another system?
- How do employees receive feedback on their performance?
- In your opinion, what is the most fun or creative part of this role?
- What would you say are the top three most useful soft skills a person needs to be successful in this role?
- What is your background? How did you land in your current role?
- How accessible are the company’s senior leaders? In what context do they interact with employees who aren’t their direct reports?
- When would you like your new hire to start?
- How would you describe the work-life balance for members of your team?
- Is there a dress code in your department?
- Is there travel involved in this role? If so, how often?
- Does the company offer employees any professional development opportunities?
- What are the company’s policies on working remotely?
- What time do people in this department typically arrive at work?
- How would you describe your company culture?
Don’t forget about off-the-cuff questions
While it’s critical to have some questions prepped in advance, sometimes the best questions you can ask during an interview are the ones that occur naturally during the conversation. If you really listen to what the interviewer is saying, you’ll find opportunities to ask impressive follow-up questions.
Since these questions will be contextual, it’s not possible to list them here, but they will present themselves clearly during your discussion. It’s a good idea to bring a pen and paper to the interview so that you can jot them down as you think of them.
If the interview is conversational and you have the opportunity to ask your questions during the discussion without derailing the process, do so. Be careful to stay on topic and not to monopolize the interview with irrelevant questions.
LiveCareer offers assistance to jobseekers at every step of the journey. Access free resume templates and resume examples, plus a cover letter builder and advice on how to answer interview questions of all stripes.
Want More Content Like This?
Get TheJobNetwork's Latest Career Advice &
Job Seeking Tips straight to your inbox