You ask questions in an interview. Nice. Here are the ones you should be asking.

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At some point, after you've been asked all those interview questions, you finally get this question: "What questions do you have for me?"

Unfortunately, a lot of people ask some basic questions:

  • Tell me a little more about the position (open ended, but for what purpose?)
  • Tell me about the benefits of the company (please don't ask this; it is for when the offer is made.
  • The recruiter was a little vague about the position -- what program is this with? (a needed question, but still not the right focus)

When you get your chance to ask questions, make sure your questions help you.

Interviews are two-way streets. At least they should be. When you get your chance to ask the questions, you should try and find out a few things for you:

  • Is this job the right fit for your talents?
  • Is the manager the right fit for the way you work?
  • Is the corporate culture one that fits your needs?
  • How much chaos are you walking into?
  • What will your unique contribution be to the team?

To get to those answers, you need to change the questions you ask during the interview. Without changing the questions, you'll walk away -- no matter how well the interview went -- still wondering whether the position is the right one for you.

What are some questions you should be asking?


?"Preparing job interview questions to ask the interviewer is just as important as preparing to answer the questions they'll ask you. Take your time and be thoughtful with your answers and questions. Use good judgment as to how many interview questions to ask, as well. If time feels like it's flying by and the interviewer is engaged in your discussion, then keep asking questions until you feel it's time to stop. It's best to go in with at least three to five questions to ask in an interview and take it from there."

- ?Ronda Suder @ Top Resumes -


What challenges are your team facing and how will this role help with those challenges?

This will help you determine what problems need solving -- and allow you to show how you've solved similar problems in the past.


How would you describe your leadership style?

T?his is to solicit from the manager how he or she approaches the team and their work. Does he or she micromanage (won't be admitted, but you can tell)? Give employees plenty of responsibility? All the answers here will help you match your own style of work.


How do you approach ensuring everyone on your team is working on the right stuff?

You'll want a manager that figures out the strength of each team member and then assigning tasks to each person based on their strength.'re inviting failure because you can't work on what your good at doing.


What is your belief about what makes people perform their best?

This is a particularly good question to determine what the manager believes about how people are motivated to do the work. It should match the way you are motivated to do the work for the best fit.


How do you communicate with the team, as a team and with individuals on the team?

Th?is helps lay out the the ongoing communications between the manager and the team. Team meetings? Individual one-on-one's? Email communications? Nothing organized (you'd be surprised at how often that happens...)? You want to ensure that the communications style is something you're willing to work with.


What would you say your teams biggest strengths and weaknesses are?

T?his gets to the team. The answers here can tell you how you could best fit in with the team with your skills -- especially if your strengths counteract one or more of the team's weaknesses.

The questions you ask in a job interview make a big difference in how you see the work

I hope you can see that these questions are far more substantial than how much vacation time is offered. Notice how these questions enable you to get a much better picture of how the team is structured and how the manager operates.

Plus, all of these questions provide a good opportunity to follow-up with the manager based on the answers. This becomes more of a conversation with the manager about how he or she works with the team...and ultimately you.

Of the ~30 interviews I've conducted over the last year and a half, no one has asked these kinds of questions about either myself or the managers. Let me tell you, these types of questions would have significantly improved their chances of an offer. Because it shows a person wanting to understand how the job would be right - for them.

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