Questions To Ask Your Interviewer
The questions you ask at the end of your interview say more about you than you might think!
5 Jul 2023
The questions you ask at the end of your interview are more than just a formality – they speak volumes about you. Of course, you need to ask some questions to find out if this job is the right fit for you. But by asking engaging and well-prepared questions, you’ll also show the interviewer that you’re serious about this job and have given it a lot of thought. Your questions are an opportunity to showcase your passion, enthusiasm, and dedication. However, you need to be mindful of what you ask, because some questions can inadvertently create a negative impression. Some questions need to be avoided completely and others can be saved for a later date (because timing is everything). So, if you’re wondering which questions to ask your interviewer and how to make them count, keep reading.
Questions to ask your interviewer
Let’s start with the questions you should ask when the tables are turned in your interview. We’ve put together some potential questions, broken down into 5 key areas. We’re not suggesting you ask all of these questions because you’d be in your interview all day! These are just to give you some inspiration. In our opinion, you should aim to select 3-5 good questions. Of course, if you need to ask more, that’s fine – but be conscious of the interviewer’s time.
Questions about company culture
Finding the right job goes beyond just the job description. You’re looking for a workplace where you’ll feel comfortable, motivated, and valued. So, this is your chance to get a sense of the (often intangible) things that will make or break your happiness at work – things like how people are treated, company values, and the general work environment. Get the interviewer’s unique perspective by asking questions like:
What do you like about working here?
How would you describe the company culture?
Can you tell me about the team dynamics?
What are the core values of the company?
Any questions that help bring the company culture to life will help you make a decision on whether or not you’d be happy working there.
Questions about the company
This is your chance to (subtly) show the interviewer that you’ve done your research on the company. Ask them well-informed and tailored questions to show that you’ve taken the time to learn about their goals and mission. If you’ve not done some research before your interview, here’s a reminder to do it now!
Any questions about the company’s challenges, goals, and future initiatives will show your desire to understand the bigger picture. Here are a couple of examples:
Where do you see the company in the next 5 years?
What are the current priorities and focus areas?
What are the biggest challenges or opportunities facing the company right now?
Questions about the role
By this point, you should already have a solid overview of the job itself. But this is your chance to dive a little deeper into the responsibilities, expectations and impact of the role. This might be your best chance to find out whether this job is the right fit for you and to get any clarification you need. Questions about the job aren’t just for your benefit though. If you’re savvy, you can use this as an opportunity to showcase your genuine curiosity and your suitability for the position. According to the UK Careers Fair, most companies will invite 6 people to an interview – so use this as an extra chance to sell yourself and to stand out from the 5 other people you’re likely up against. Ask questions like:
Can you share some recent examples of projects the team has been working on?
Who would I be reporting to if I got the job?
What’s the team structure?
Why does this opportunity exist?
What results would you like to see from me in the first 6 months, if I get the job?
What does success look like in this role?
Where would I be able to add the most value?
Questions about development opportunities
You need to find out if this job fits your career path, so don’t leave without getting some information on the growth opportunities. Plus, by asking about learning and development, you’ll show your desire to progress. Employers value a willingness to learn, so they should appreciate your questions on this topic and be open to a discussion. If you’re not sure what questions to ask, here are some examples:
Are there opportunities for training and progression?
How do you support professional development and growth?
What’s the typical career trajectory for a person in this position?
Questions about next steps
You’ll no doubt want to leave the interview with an idea of timelines (for your own sanity), so end the interview with a question about next steps. This will also show the interviewer that you’re really invested in the role and keen to move forward. For example, you could ask:
What are the next steps in the hiring process?
Do you have an idea of hiring timescales and when I’m likely to hear from you?
When are you hoping to make a decision?
Questions you shouldn’t ask in an interview
We’ve covered some of the key questions to ask your interviewer, so now it’s time to dive into the questions you need to steer clear of. In our opinion, asking a bad question is worse than asking none at all! Here are some examples of questions that you need to avoid:
Questions about salary
While we all care about salary, it’s best to hold off on asking about it during the early stages of your interview process. Otherwise, you might give the impression that you’re only interested in the job for the money. Focus on your qualifications, skills, and the job fit to show your genuine interest in the job. Then you can discuss salary at a later stage or when the employer brings it up themselves.
Questions about special arrangements
Unless the job description implies that working from home, flexible hours, special arrangements, changes to the job description, etc. are on offer, don’t ask. Because this could cost you the job. You don’t want to look like you’re not committed to this opportunity.
Questions about time off and benefits
It’s best to wait until you’re further into the process to ask about this. Timing is key! Unless of course, the interviewer brings it up themselves.
Questions that you can easily find the answers to yourself
Basic questions like ‘what does this company do?’ fall into this category. Remember, you’re here to impress the interviewer!
The significance of not asking questions
Hopefully, by this point, we’re all on the same page here – you need to prepare some well-thought out questions to ask your interviewer. If you don’t ask anything, you’ll show a lack of engagement or curiosity, which won’t go down well. You might even come across as uninterested. Of course, if you’ve realised that this isn’t the job for you, it’s perfectly acceptable not to ask any final questions. There’s no point in prolonging the interview if you’re not interested in the opportunity.
Our final thoughts
Your questions will ultimately help you decide whether this is the job for you. So, in our eyes, you shouldn’t pass up this opportunity to dig a little deeper. If you’re in the midst of interview-prep, you might also want to check out our interview presentation tips.