During an employment interview, the opportunity for the job candidate to ask questions is a goldmine that should not be squandered. When the interviewer asks, “Do you have any questions for me?” The worst response you can give is “No.” Smart interview questions not only allow job seekers to glean meaningful insights and company intelligence that can give them an edge over their peers, but they also offer the final opportunity to win over the employer and demonstrate that they are the best job candidate.
Thoroughly research the company so that you do not ask questions that you can easily find the answers to, this does not present you in a good light. It makes you appear lazy, and not sufficiently interested in the company. Weave your company research findings into your interview questions. Here are 15 interview questions that will show prospective employers that you are enthusiastic about their company. Because of time constraints, you will not be able to ask all the questions, so choose a few that are most meaningful to you from the list, and customize them for your situation.
- How would you characterize the organization? What are its principal values? What are its greatest challenges?
- What is the organization’s plan for the next five years, and how does this department or division fit in?
- What do you expect me to accomplish in the first six to 12 months on the job? What is the one thing I cannot fail at in the first year?”
- What particular achievements would equate to success at this job? What would success look like?
- What are three key things that really drive results for the company?
- How does this position contribute to the company’s goals, productivity, or profits?
- What is the most pressing business issue or problem for the company or department?
- Can you give me some examples of the types of projects I may be working on?
- What do you think are the most difficult aspects of the job I’m interviewing for?
- Based on the interview, do you have any concerns about my ability to perform the job that would prevent you from selecting me?
- Work-life balance is an issue of retention as well as productivity. Can you talk about your own view of how to navigate the tensions between getting work done and encouraging healthy lives outside the office?
- How does the company support and promote personal and professional growth?
- Corporate culture is very important, but it’s usually hard to define until one violates it. What is one thing an employee might do here that would be perceived as a violation of the company’s culture?
- In the recent past, how has the company acknowledged and rewarded outstanding performance?
- What is the next step in the process? When do you think you will be making a decision?
This is by no means an exhaustive list of possible interview questions for job candidates to ask hiring managers, but they are questions that demonstrate to the employer that the job seeker is confident, prepared, and interested in the organization.