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9 Questions You Should Be Asking in a Job Interview

There comes a time in every job interview where the hiring manager asks, "Do you have any questions for me?" Assuming you've done due diligence before the interview, you should know a little something about the company, the hiring manager, and the scope of the job before you show up. Here's how you can use this inevitable question to your advantage.

There comes a time in every job interview where the hiring manager asks, “Do you have any questions for me?” Assuming you’ve done due diligence before the interview, you should know a little something about the company, the hiring manager, and the scope of the job before you show up. Here’s how you can use this inevitable question to your advantage.

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Do You Know What You're Worth?

Take the temperature of the interviewer and make sure they have no reservations about you.

Sometimes, you’ll get a strong feeling that you’re being seriously considered, but if they’ve got a great poker face, it’s a good idea to ask questions that help better define what they’re thinking:

  • “What skills and experiences would make an ideal candidate for this position?”
  • “Do you have any hesitations about me or my qualifications?”
  • “Could you give me an example of some challenges the person who takes on this role would face?”

Show you’re knowledgeable about the position and interested in the job. Ask questions that demonstrate you’ve really been listening during the interview. Make sure you don’t ask simple things that were listed in the initial job listing:

  • “Can you tell me about the person who previously held this position?”
  • “What does success in this role look like to you and how will it be measured?”

Make sure the company is the right fit for you. Don’t discount how much company culture can affect your job performance. Ask things that help you figure out if you’ll mesh well.

  • “Why did you join this company, and what keeps you here?”
  • “Can you tell me about the team I’ll be working with?”
  • “What are your favorite and least favorite things about working here?”
  • “Do you offer continuing education and professional training?”

And don’t forget to ask what the next steps are before you shake their hand goodbye. That last simple question can keep you from pulling your hair out and waiting by the phone for hours, days, or even weeks.

Tell Us What You Think

What questions do you think you should ask at the end of a job interview? We want to hear from you! Leave a comment or join the discussion on Twitter.


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23 Comments on "9 Questions You Should Be Asking in a Job Interview"

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John
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As a hiring manager in a large non-profit organization, here is my response to this somewhat silly post: Q.”What skills and experiences would make an ideal candidate for this position?” A. If you are asking this question, I question why on earth you bothered applying for the position – i.e., you’re clearly not the top candidate, and you’ve pretty much lost any chance of getting the job. Q. Do you have any hesitations about me or my qualifications?” A. Stupid question #2. If I had any hesitations about you, I surely wouldn’t share that information. If I had any hesitation… Read more »
Ed
Guest

I asked a version of question #2 regarding hesitation based on my resume. It was actually asked at my 2nd and 3rd interview and the 3rd interviewer was actually stumped. When he finally did answer my question, it gave me an opportunity to address what he thought was a short coming. It’s not so stupid a question as one poster pointed out if you know when to ask it (or a version of it).

Daniel
Guest

No critiques or kudos. Just sharing a VERY STUPID THING that I did at an interview. Things were going well and I asked the interviewer if she still got adolescent questions about the fact that she looked EXACTLY like Angelina Jolie. Which she did! Interviews NEVER get that comfortable. I didn’t get the job but I learned how to shut up. Peace.

Crystal
Guest
I have been told numerous times not to ask about the salary and benefits. I’m sorry but let’s be real, why not ask? I personally always ask about their benefits and if I’m the selected canidate (because I don’t want to waste your time as I’m sure you would not want to waste mine)could you tell me what kind of salary range would you be offering me. Here is the way I see it.. In actuality when a company brings in a new person it costs them a large amount of money to hire you. This isn’t including the time… Read more »
Zuri
Guest

@Robyn:
I definitely think it is acceptable to come to an interview prepared with a notepad. I did so with my previous employer with my questions written down ahead of time so I was sure not to forget any important talking points and my interviewers were impressed that I was really showing attention to the information they had to share with me and so eager to learn from the jump. Just be mindful to still make eye contact often while he/she is answering your Qs rather than keeping your eyes glued to your paper! =)

Robyn
Guest

Is it wrong to go into an interview with note paper and pen? I know the panel is always writing down the answers to the questions they ask. Can I that too? I have 2 important interviews coming up and am always tongue tied when they ask, “do you have any questions for us?”

mchrisman5
Guest
First of all, I don’t agree with all the questions that the article says you should ask, but, I’m not going to sit here and analyze every single question. It’s unprofessional to do so. I will say this, I’m a middle aged man and I’ve learned over the years that depending on the interviewer depends on the questions you should ask. Each interviewer is different and you should get a strong sense of the person before you start asking any personal questions. I do believe that you should find out as much about the business and team you’ll be working… Read more »
Flowergirl
Guest

I agree that one needs to be prepared when they go for interviews. I also believe that when you ask questions you feel at ease after that and this makes the atmosphere more comfortable for yourself and the interviewer. Also one must keep the eye contact as I believe this will make you win some points as it makes you appear to be confident

john abbas
Guest

yes

Linda
Guest
I once interviewed for a OT assistant position at a large hospital in front of a 12 person panel of therapists that had BA & Masters degrees ( I have an Associates Degree) They kept firing one ? After another at me for what seemed like an hour. Finally someone asked me if I had any ? For them. I looked around the room and noticed they all had a little smirk on their faces so I was honestly a little worried that these ladies were more interested in hiring someone they could boss around than in someone with my… Read more »
mike
Guest

If ‘John’ worked for my company ‘he’ would certainly be looking for another post! Comes over as an aggressive type ,with no place in today’s workplace.Where is this world going?These people need a good lesson in proper manners.

RC
Guest
Someone posted here “What’s it like to work for you?” Never ask it that way. It’s important to note that you don’t work for an individual, unless it’s currently a one person operation. You work for the company, the business, the division, and a whole host of chain of command that works for the same. A much better way to pose the question is “How are the working dynamics between the team members? What are type of skills are you looking for to help add to the team?” I found the 1st and 3rd question appropriate. However some of these… Read more »
devinder
Guest

Although these Question is too generic in nature, but nonetheless well enough to pass a mediocre idea to see the willingness of employers. In my feeling one should ask Question but they can’t be Generic in nature.

Jim
Guest

I have been hiring for more than 20 years, this is good advice.

Christine
Guest

It’s a good article. I have at one point (1st, 2nd and even 3rd interview) asked all of these questions.

jan
Guest

Good to read

Jim D.
Guest

If I’m interviewing with the person I’ll be working for – and I always like to do that unless there’s some real issue the company has – I like to ask, “What’s it like to work for you?” Definitely a question they don’t expect – and it’s generally opened a dialog path that provides me with really useful information on whether or not the job is a goot fit.

Karen
Guest

A career coach told me that a great question to ask is this. “Is there anything else you need to know to make me the number one candidate for this position?”

TLT
Guest
Instead of asking what are hesitations etc. i would ask is there something that I have said that I can elaborate or give better clarity on. Also I hate when people say, “When do I start”? I would ask the person “Do you see me as a good fit for this company? “If it’s yes great you’ll most likely get a second interview; if it’s no, then great you got your answer up front. I think it’s ok to ask what drew that person to the company, it’s nice to hear what they were striving for maybe you can add… Read more »
Toby Hilden
Guest
I agree to never ask do you have any hesitations about one’s skills and qualification, it shows lack of confidence. I made the mistake of asking this at round five of a three panel interview two years ago, thinking it would make me set apart from others. It caught them by surprise and it did set me apart by planting the seed of doubt in why I looked good on paper, interviewed well, and didn’t sell myself enough. I also agree to not ask what they dont like about where they work. When you’re on a date you don’t air… Read more »
Lee
Guest
It’s amazing how effective it can be to have a prepared list of questions when you go into an interview. I make sure the interviewer sees I have questions for them. I’m happy to wait to the end to ask my questions, but that rarely happens. First, I believe strongly that an interview can and should be a conversation, not a grilling.Second, I have noticed that it is not unusual for interviewers, especially those who do not interview full time, to allow me to go through my list of questions. More than once an interviewer, on seeing how well thought… Read more »
Pearl of Wisdom
Guest
It’s great and even necessary to come prepared to ask questions. With interviewer questions they want to see how you are going to answer tough questions and what priority is to you. Everyone has least favourite tasks or characteristics about their job. It’s perspective and attitude that makes the difference. Depending how they answer – could provide insight into the company’s culture. I like to know what the company does when the company is just before hitting their goals. When they’re not quite there – what do they do? This answer is very revealing in their operations and if it… Read more »
vittorio
Guest

“Do you have any hesitations about me or my qualifications?”
if you are really senior you should not ask this question, if you do and they answer you should leave on the spot.

“Why did you join this company, and what keeps you here?”
depending on the country culture this is a too personal question.

“What are your favorite and least favorite things about working here?”
no point in asking. they will not answer openly

“Do you offer continuing education and professional training?”
nobody would tell you no. so, unless you got this in writing, no point in asking.

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