Questions to Ask Your Interviewer

interview tips Sep 09, 2021

Your interviewer is going to ask you a lot of questions to see if you are an ideal candidate for the position. As a candidate, you need to ask questions! Ideally, if your interviewer saves time for questions, you want to be prepared. Questions will help you establish interest/likability, and provide more clarity on whether or not the role and organization are a good fit for you.

There are 5 items we will discuss today. In addition, we will cover some specific questions you should be asking different interviewers in the hiring process.

Item #1 – Always Ask Questions

This item is critical. You should always be ready and willing to ask questions throughout any point of the interview when needed. You do not always have to wait until the end of the interview to ask questions. Asking questions throughout the interview shows you are engaged and interested in the process. Staying engaged and making the interview process interactive will be critical to your success. 

Item #2 – Write Down Your Questions

It is okay to pre-plan your questions and when you are in person, to actually pull out the piece of paper with your questions. It shows you are prepared and that you are interested in the role and the company. It also takes the pressure off you to have some questions prepared. This way, you are not scrambling to think of things at the moment. Just make sure when you do ask a pre-planned question that it is natural to the flow of the conversation. Don’t force any questions if they aren’t relevant to the topic you are discussing at that moment in the interview, or if they are not relevant to the conversation, in general.

Item #3 – Different Questions for Different Interviewers

The questions you might ask a hiring manager will be different than questions you ask a team member. Learn more about each interviewer and ask questions relevant to their role in the organization. This helps you make stronger personal connections and shows you are interested in learning more about them as individuals.

Item #4 – The Questions

There are also some questions you will want to ask before you even step foot in an interview. These are details about the job and the company you will want to know as you prepare for the interview.

About the Position:

  • Why is the position open?
  • How long has the position been open?
  • How many people are interviewing?
  • Why do you think my background is a good fit?

Logistics:

  • I see the position is located here. Would it be possible to work out of another location/work remotely?
  • Does the job require travel?
  • What is the salary range?
  • What are the specific employee benefits you offer? (Including, but not limited to, vacation/PTO, holidays, sick time, health, dental, vision, 401(k), tuition reimbursement, free food, free gym, etc.)

Process:

  • What is the interview process and what are the specific steps?
  • How long is the process?
  • How often will I hear back from you?
  • Will you be letting me know if you are out on vacation? (This one is important because there is nothing worse than getting an out-of-office response with no backup contact when you are waiting to hear back after interviewing or at any step in the process.)

Interview:

  • How many interviews will be conducted?
  • What are the stages?
  • Who is the final decision maker?  
  • What topics will the interviewer(s) be covering during my interview(s)?

Lastly:

  • Any questions that I did not ask that are important for me to know?
  • Questions you typically hear from other candidates? 

Here are some specific questions you might ask different interviewers. The goal is to both get to know them and learn how you can have success in the role.

Hiring Manager:

  • What do you like most about working at this company?
  • What do you like most about your position?
  • What is the coolest thing you are working on right now?
  • What is the biggest opportunity for your team this year, in the upcoming months, etc.?
  • What does success look like in this position? Can you break that down over the first 3-6 months, the first year and after two years?
  • How do you measure success?
  • What is the typical career path for someone in this type of position?
  • How does this role fit into the overall strategy of the organization?
  • What do you see as the core function of this role as part of the larger organization?
  • How would you describe a typical day in this role?
  • Are there any questions from my background or anything that I can clarify from my answers today regarding my fit for this role?
  • What is the most important skill you need today?
  • What are the next steps?
  • Any additional information you would like from me?

Team Member:

  • What do you like best about your role and the company?
  • What do you look for in a team member?
  • How do you foster a collaborative team?
  • How will hiring this position help you?
  • What is a specific pain point you are facing now because this position is not hired?
  • Does the team tend to work on projects together or alone?

Cross-Functional:

  • What do you like best about your role and the company?
  • How does your team interact with the team I would be supporting?
  • How often would we be working together?
  • How does this role help your team have success?  

Item #5 – Use These Answers to Your Benefit

The goal of asking questions starts by showing interest and engagement. And, you can use the answers to your questions to benefit you in many ways throughout your interview(s). In addition, questions asked prior to any interviews will help you better prepare for the process. Questions you ask during the interviews will give you a better understanding of the role and their expectations, while also helping you provide better answers to any questions during and in future interviews. 

Watch my full video about this topic here:

For help with all your interview preparation, be sure to subscribe to my YouTube channel for new content every week. You can also sign up on the Practice Interviews website for access to more information about our personal interview coaching programs.


Jeff H. Sipe

Jeff has interviewed over 1000 people in his career and previously spent five years working at Google headquarters in Silicon Valley. You likely found Jeff through YouTube and you will find the same level of dedication in his one on one practice interview sessions.

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