There are two important reasons to prepare your own questions to bring to an interview:
1) Your questions help you collect the vital information you need to know if this job is right for you. Are you clear on the expectations for this position? Do the their goals for the position align with your own goals for your career? Are you comfortable with and supportive of the company’s goals and mission?
2) The interviewer will expect you to have questions and learns more about you from the questions you ask. Well-prepared, relevant questions show that you are motivated, engaged, and genuinely interested in supporting the goals of the organization.
Your questions should demonstrate your interest in the position, your drive to succeed, and show that you have researched the company and the industry. Develop your questions as you prepare for your interview. Focus on open-ended questions, rather than “yes” or “no” ones.
Areas to inquire about:
- the position: specifics beyond what is in the position description; what exact tasks are expected; will the position evolve; will it stay in line with your own career goals
- their expectations: what qualities are they looking for in a candidate; what are the company’s goals for the person who fills this role; how will meeting those exceptions be evaluated and assessed
- the company and its culture: you will have researched the company and the industry before the interview, but it is important to get more information about the company’s challenges, its competitors, the culture and the people who work there
There is not a perfect number of questions to ask. There may be time for only 2 or 3 questions (so prioritize them before you go in for the interview). These 10 questions will guarantee that get the information you need and impress the interviewer with your level of engagement.
10 Killer Questions to Ask Your Interviewer
- What are your expectations for success in this role in the first 30 days, 6 months, a year?
- Can you walk me through a typical week in this position?
- What are the organization’s goals for the next three yeas and how would this position contribute to those?
- What can I do to make my boss’s job easier?
- Can you tell me more about my team and what will make working with them go as smoothly as possible?
- How does the company’s review process work?
- What type of employees tend to succeed here?
- What are the company’s core values and how do you feel it’s living up to them?
- In what ways is this company better than it’s main competitor(s)?
- What are the biggest challenges or opportunities on the horizon for this organization?
Of course, close with clarifying their time line for the next steps in the hiring process. Don’t ask about salary or benefits at the first interview — wait until you further into the process. DO ask: “Do you have any other questions or need any other information from me?”
As you conduct your interview research, place just as much importance on developing these questions as you do on the rest of your preparation. As you ask questions, listen closely, be genuinely interested, and be yourself. This is your opportunity to make sure this position is a good fit for you personally, and that it furthers your career in the direction you want.