You probably already know that an interview isn’t just a chance for the hiring manager to grill you with interview questions — it’s your opportunity to sniff out whether a job is the right fit for you.
Which means: It’s important to go in with some questions to ask of your own. What do you want to know about the position? The company? The department? The team?
If you don’t prepare smart questions to ask in an interview, you run the risk of the hiring manager assuming you aren’t interested or haven’t prepared.
Your opportunity to ask these questions typically comes at the end of the interview. It’s a chance to learn more about the company culture, the challenges and opportunities the organization is facing, and what being in this job is really like.
Job Questions to Ask in an Interview
1. Why is this position available?
Why ask it: The answer from this question can tell you a few helpful things including whether this is a new position (which comes with its own challenges), or whether someone left the position because they were promoted, moved laterally at the company, quit, or were fired.
Whatever the answer, you will learn something valuable about the job and team you might join.
2. Can you elaborate on the day-to-day responsibilities this job entails?
This is a good question to ask the hiring manager. The answer will be important for you to take into consideration as you determine whether or not this job is the right fit for you.
3. What are the characteristics of someone who would succeed in this role?
Ask this question to the hiring manager or others on the interview panel who you might work with if you accept the job. Their answers will quickly give you an idea of the qualities they hope to see in the person they hire.
4. What’s the most important thing I could do to help within the first 90 days of employment?
With this question, you’re showcasing your desire and ability to contribute from day one. It’s a good one to ask of the hiring manager.
5. What are some of the challenges you’ve seen people in this role or on this team encounter?
During your interviews, you want to get a clear-eyed view of what this job is like — why it’s hard and rewarding at the same time. Getting your interviewers’ perspectives on potential hurdles will give you a holistic picture.
6. If I were in this job, how would my performance be measured?
In your interview with the hiring manager, ask this question to get more specific about how you can succeed in this job. The answer to this question will be helpful to you even if you don’t get the job — you may be able to use the insights they share to identify new areas of professional development.
7. What does the career path for someone in this role look like?
Another one for the hiring manager. This question can signal your interest in growing at this company.
8. What other functions or departments does this teamwork with most often? What are the characteristics of a successful collaboration?
This is an important question if the company you’re interviewing with is a large or mid-sized business. Knowing how to collaborate will be a crucial part of your ability to do the job.
More questions to ask your interviewer about the job:
9. What would my first week at work look like?
10. How does this role contribute to your organization’s success?
11. Are there any job shadowing opportunities available for this role?
12. Can you tell me about the team I’d be working with?