Best Questions to Ask the Hiring Manager in a Job Interview
As your job interview comes to a close, one of the final questions you may be asked is "Do you have any questions for me?" Your interviewer will expect you to have some inquiries. If you don't ask any questions, you could seem unprepared or disinterested. So it's always wise to have some questions prepared.
Responding with very specific questions will allow you to impress your potential employer with your knowledge and interest in the industry while also determining if this is the right job for you.
Preparing a List of Questions to Ask
Plan ahead and have interview questions of your own ready to ask. You aren't simply trying to get this job—you are also interviewing the employer to assess whether this company and the position are a good fit for you.
Asking questions is a great way to dig into the company culture and the specific day-to-day responsibilities of the job so that, should you be hired, your first week or so in the position won't be accompanied by any major surprises. Asking questions can also give you the opportunity to further highlight some of your qualities, skills, and experience, and show the employer why you're a terrific match for the job.
Sample Questions to Ask an Interviewer
Here's a list of suggested questions to ask the interviewer so you can ensure the company is a good match for your qualifications and interests.
- How would you describe the responsibilities of the position?
- How would you describe a typical day in this position?
- Is this a new position? If not, what did the previous employee go on to do?
- What is the company's management style?
- Who does this position report to? If I am offered the position, can I meet him or her before making my final acceptance decision?
- Why is this job available?
- How many people work in this office/department?
- How much travel is expected?
- Is relocation a possibility?
- What is the typical work week? Is overtime expected?
- What are the prospects for growth and advancement?
- How does one advance in the company?
- Are there any examples of a career path beginning with this position?
- Is there anything I clarify for you about my qualifications?
- Do you provide professional development opportunities?
- Do you have any reservations about my qualifications?
- Do you have a policy for helping new members of the team get on board?
- What are the biggest challenges of this job?
- What's the most important thing I should accomplish in the first ninety days?
- How would you describe this company's values?
- How has the company changed over the last few years?
- What are the company's plans for growth and development?
- What are the biggest rewards of the job and working for this company?
- What is the best part of working for this company?
- What's your least favorite part of working here?
- What type of background do you feel would be best suited for success in this position?
- If I am extended a job offer, how soon would you like me to start?
- When can I expect to hear from you?
Watch Now: 7 Questions You Should Ask Employers
Guidelines for Asking Questions in an Interview
While you don’t have to ask every question on the list above, having a few good questions ready will help you look like an informed and prepared candidate for the job. Here are some other things to keep in mind when preparing your own list of questions.
- Avoid "Me" Questions: "Me" questions are those that put yourself ahead of the employer. These include questions about salary, health insurance, vacation time, work hours per week, and other concessions. During an interview, you are trying to demonstrate to the employer how you can benefit the company, not the other way around. Once you are offered a position, you can begin to ask what the company can do for you.
- Ask One Question at a Time: Avoid multi-part questions; they will only overwhelm the employer. Each question should have one specific point.
- Avoid "Yes" or "No" Questions: Most questions with a "yes," "no," or another one-word answer could likely be answered by searching the company's website. Instead, stick to questions that will create a dialogue between yourself and the employer.
- Ask Questions About Multiple Topics: Avoid asking questions about just one subject. For example, if you only ask questions about your manager and his managerial style, the interviewer may assume you have an issue with authority figures. Ask questions about a variety of topics to demonstrate your curiosity and interest in all aspects of the position.
- Don't Ask Anything Too Personal: While it is a good idea to try to establish a rapport with your interviewer, do not ask personal questions that are not public information. For example, if you see a college banner on the employer's wall, you can certainly ask if he went to that college. However, avoid overly personal questions about the interviewer's family, race, gender, etc.
Questions to Avoid Asking During a Job Interview
There are some questions that you should avoid asking since they won't present you in a positive light.
- What does this company do? (Do your research ahead of time!)
- If I get the job, when can I take time off for vacation? (Wait until you get the offer to mention prior commitments.)
- Can I change my schedule if I get the job? (If you need to figure out the logistics of getting to work, don't mention it now.)
- Did I get the job? (Don't be impatient. They'll let you know.)
More Questions to Ask Listed By Type of Job
Depending on the type of job for which you're interviewing, there are specific questions you may want to ask your interviewer.
Interview Questions You Will Be Asked
In addition to preparing a list of questions to ask the hiring manager, it's also important to review the most common interview questions you'll likely be asked so you can think about how you will answer.
Interview Questions Employers Should Not Ask
There are some interview questions, typically known as illegal interview questions, that employers should not ask during a job interview. Asking about your race, age, or any disability are some examples of questions that are illegal for potential employers to ask you.