Artwork by: Alexandra Shevchenko
Indira Gandhi said, “The power to question is the basis of all human progress.” The same can be said for a job interview. Asking the right questions can show the interviewer you’re the best person for the job. In this article, we’ll give you over 25 examples of questions you can ask that are professional, thoughtful, and helpful.
Picture this: you're sitting in front of your interviewer, tugging on your suit jacket, trying very hard to remember the answers to the behavioral interview questions you've prepared, and hoping that your palm isn't too sweaty when you shake hands when the interview is over. And then, the interviewer asks the questions just about everyone dreads at the very end of the whole process: “So, do you have any questions for me?” It’s so easy (and common!) for your mind to go blank — wasn’t everything you need to know already covered?
While you might feel like the interviewer holds the fate of your professional life in his or her hands, this is actually a great opportunity to make sure you really want the job, so it’s important to have some questions ready. What do you need to know that you haven’t already discussed about the position, the company, or even the team you’ll be working on (and what’s the coffee situation there, anyway)?
In this article, we’ll list 25 of the best questions you can ask during an interview. You don’t have to ask all of them — just the ones that are appropriate to your situation. And if you think of any more, feel free to add them to your list:
What are the top 5 questions to ask an interviewer about the position?
Questions to ask about professional training and career development
Top 3 questions to ask about the evaluation process
What can you ask the interviewer about themselves?
What questions can you ask about the company?
Questions to ask about the next steps of the interview process
What not to ask during an interview
What are some challenges someone in this role might face?
What does a typical day or week look like?
How long did the person who most recently performed this job hold it? What’s the turnover in this position?
What are the most pressing tasks that need to be focused on?
Will the primary responsibilities for this position be basically the same in the foreseeable future?
What can I expect during the onboarding process?
Are there opportunities to advance in this company?
What opportunities for additional training do you offer?
Is there a typical career path for someone in this position?
Does the company offer tuition reimbursement or provide opportunities to take job-related courses outside of work?
Can you tell me about the performance evaluation process? How often are reviews conducted?
What expectations do you have for this position over the next calendar year?
How do you measure success in this role?
How long have you been with the company?
What do you like best about working here?
Are there any impending programs or projects you’re looking forward to?
What job did you hold before this one?
It’s good to ask questions
In his 1936 book "How to Win Friends and Influence People," Dale Carnegie advised, “Be a good listener…ask questions the other person will enjoy answering.” Sadly, many people in interviews come up short. Perhaps they think they already know everything, or, conversely, worry that they'll ask a "stupid question" and lose the job. But remember – questions are usually welcomed, and help you stand out in a positive way.
How would you describe the culture here?
What steps does the company take to make sure it’s supporting its values?
Where do you see the company headed in the next five to ten years?
Can you tell me anything about new products or initiatives coming down the pipeline?
Has the company changed since you started here? In what way?
What are the next steps in the interview process?
Is there anything you need to know that would help you to make a hiring decision?
What is the anticipated starting date for this position?
There’s an old saying: “There’s no such thing as a stupid question.” That might be true most of the time, but in an interview situation, there are a few questions you’ll probably want to keep to yourself:
So, what do you do here, anyway?
How much vacation time would I get?
Is this place super PC?
March Madness — is there a company betting pool?
Are you really strict about being on time?
Are you guys cool with employee fraternization, or…?
It can be challenging to ask questions in an interview situation. After all, you might be afraid of coming off as insecure or uninformed. But it’s actually the opposite. You want to ask intelligent, thoughtful questions that show the interviewer that you’ve taken the time to find out about the position and the company and understand the field in which you’ll be working. You won’t look weak — you’ll look professional and competent. And if you think about it, the answers to these questions can also help you avoid a possible “bad fit” job. Asking questions in an interview shows that you understand any challenges the company might face, highlight how you can add value, and demonstrate your interest in the position.
Need more help getting ready for your interview? Check out our Interview Prep service to ensure you ace it!
Asking questions of the interviewer is expected, and shows the interviewer that you’re interested in the job.
Asking questions can also highlight any red flags that might mean the job is not a good fit for you.
When coming up with questions, decide what you need to know that you haven’t already discussed about the position, the company, or the team you’ll be working on.
Jennifer Inglis is a freelance writer and content creator with extensive professional expertise in advertising, media analysis, teaching, writing, and literature. Prior to working for Career.io, Jennifer was a public school teacher, teaching courses in college and career readiness, writing, and public speaking. Jennifer has a master’s degree in Teaching, and is the author of two published novels.