You’ve rehearsed your answers to common interview questions over and over again. You’ve gone over your resume ten times to make sure it reads perfectly. And you’ve told your references to expect a call from a potential employer. While it might seem like you’re ready to ace your interview, you aren’t completely prepared until you have a list of questions to ask a job interviewer at the ready.
Hiring managers will commonly end an interview by asking if you have any questions for them about the company or the position. If you don’t have any at the ready, you’ll look like you aren’t truly interested in the position, but if you have a great question, you can set yourself apart from other applicants.
The job interview process is your chance to interview the company to see if they’re just as much a fit for you as you are for them. Here are some ideas of go-to questions to ask your interviewer.
Questions to Ask a Job Interviewer
What Is Your Favorite Part Of Working For This Company?
Follow-Ups: What do you like most about your job?
What makes this company unique?
You can immediately tell when an interviewer’s answer to this question is disingenuous. If they give a cookie-cutter corporate answer about the company’s culture, or worse, struggle to come up with an answer at all, this might not be the job for you.
If the interviewer answers this question passionately and really seems to believe in their answer, it’s a good sign that people genuinely enjoy working here.
However, if the person they chose to be the face of the company for your interview doesn’t actually like the company, there’s a good chance that no one else likes working there either.
What Quality Are You Most Interested in Seeing in Applicants?
Follow-Ups: What is the most important skill you need for this position?
What traits do you need to excel in this position?
While job descriptions might have a laundry list of qualifications posted for their dream applicant, chances are there are a few key components they need from their employee. The rest are just a bonus.
To see if you’re truly the right one for the position, it’s important to know what the most important elements of the job are. They might have posted saying they need a copy editor who can edit videos. If they say that being a strong writer is the most important part, you can learn video editing on the job.
On the other hand, if you applied for this job because of your extensive background in video editing and really don’t enjoy writing, chances are you won’t be the right fit for this role.
What Does a Typical Day in This Role Look Like?
Follow-Ups: What are the most common day-to-day responsibilities I’ll be accountable for?
Who in the company will I work with to succeed in this role?
As a job seeker, it’s hard to get a real feel for the job from a generic job description. Ask the interviewer directly what the job actually looks like from day to day.
Show you’ve done some research on the company by asking questions specific to the role:
- When working on email campaigns, will I be connecting with the copy editing team?
- About how many reports are expected per quarter from my department?
- How often will I be expected to travel for meetings?
Showing that you’ve looked into the role and the company will set you apart from others in the hiring process. By asking about how much you’ll be working with other departments, you’ll get an idea of the work environment you’ll be entering.
Look towards the future and ask about what the role will look like in 5 years. What sort of professional development can you expect? Does this role set you up for upward growth in the company? This shows that you want your career path to stay within this company, as you want to grow with it, rather than using it as a launching pad for another role in another company.
When Can I Expect to Hear From You?
Follow-Ups: Is there anything else you need on my end?
What are the next steps in the process?
We all know what it feels like to get ghosted by an employer: it sucks. Especially after you feel like you aced the interview.
Remove some of that uncertainty by asking directly when you can expect a decision to be made. If you think there might be more steps in the process, ask what the next steps are. To show that you’re willing to do everything you can to ensure you get the job, ask if there’s anything else they need from you: references, work samples, or further documentation.
This question is a good test to see how reliable and organized the company is. If they say they’re not sure and don’t give a reason why? Red flag.
If they say 2 weeks and you hear nothing for 4? Red flag. You want an employer that’s as organized, trustworthy, and responsible as you.
Whether or not they make important decisions on time gives you insight into the work culture you’ll be entering.
Prepare a Few Questions to Ask a Job Interviewer
While you’re getting ready to answer their questions, don’t forget to come up with questions of your own. Getting to control the interview for a few minutes gives them the opportunity to see how well you hold your own in a meeting and gives you insight into whether you and the company would be a good fit for each other.
The job interview gives you the opportunity to get direct insight into the company; you should be evaluating the interviewer, hiring manager, and the company just as closely as they will be evaluating you. It’s important to find a job that fits your skill set and your priorities, and that isn’t something you can glean from the job description alone.
Struggling to come up with questions to ask a job interviewer? Nervous about the job search process in general? Join WBD! We have the tools to help you ace your next interview and take the steps to further your career. Check out our membership tiers and download our IOS app today!
Author, Artist, Photographer.
Sarah Margaret is an artist who expresses her love for feminism, equality, and justice through a variety of mediums: photography, filmmaking, poetry, illustration, song, acting, and of course, writing.
She owns Still Poetry Photography, a company that showcases her passion for capturing poetic moments in time. Instead of poetry in motion, she captures visual poetry in fractions of a second, making cherished keepsakes of unforgettable moments.
She is the artist behind the Still Poetry Etsy shop, which houses her illustrations and bespoke, handmade items. She is the author of intricacies are just cracks in the wall, a narrative poetry anthology that follows a young woman discovering herself as she emerges from an abusive relationship.