13 Killer Questions to Ask in a Job Interview (And Benefits)
By Indeed Editorial Team
Updated 22 January 2023
Published 30 April 2022
The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.
At the end of interviews, hiring managers often ask if the candidate has any questions about the role, interview, company or work environment. This is a helpful opportunity for candidates who want to learn more about the position they're applying for and offers the chance to make a memorable impression on the hiring manager. If you're in the process of interviewing for a new job, it's helpful to prepare questions ahead of time. In this article, we list 13 killer questions to ask in a job interview.
13 killer questions to ask in a job interview
Preparing a list of killer questions to ask in a job interview can help you decide what to ask when the opportunity arises. This can help you make a good first impression on interviewers and allow you to learn more about the position and the company you're interviewing for. Consider the following questions when preparing for your interview:
1. What are the characteristics of someone who can succeed in this role?
Ask this question to the hiring manager or others on the interview panel who you might work with if you accept the job. Their answers can quickly give you an idea of the qualities they hope to see in the person they hire. This allows you to compare your performance to their answers. It also sets a good impression as it shows the interviewer that you're already aiming for success through the preparation for the role. This is because they may assume you're asking the question, so you can later develop these characteristics, which displays strong work ethic and motivational skills.
2. What's the most important thing I could do to help within the first 90 days of employment?
With this question, you're showcasing your desire and ability to contribute from day one. It's a good one to ask the hiring manager, as they may likely appreciate your early dedication to the role. This question can also be helpful, as you can learn more ways to succeed in your role soon after you begin working. Success within the training period may be important for some roles, as many companies consider an employee's first 90 days to be the probationary period. Starting the role with this knowledge may also help you feel more comfortable and productive.
3. What do you like best about working here?
This question can be a casual way to engage your interviewer on a personal level while gaining valuable insights into their experiences within the company. If appropriate, be sure to respond to their answer with examples of why you believe this type of environment is a great fit for your personality and working style. This can help you build a positive relationship with the interviewer. Setting a memorable impression may be especially helpful when you're interviewing for a competitive position.
4. How would you describe the company culture?
This is a great, straightforward question to hear about how the interviewer would describe the company culture. This can help you understand the company values and the common personality traits of the professionals who work there. A company's culture can greatly influence your work environment, so it's important that you understand this to best fit in. Interviewers often speak to what they like most about the culture. Asking this question to multiple people throughout the interview process can help you get a holistic view.
5. How would you describe the office environment?
Similar to the previous question, you might ask this to gain a better understanding of the physical work environment. You can learn about the culture of a company by knowing how employees describe the office setting. For example, an open seating floor plan and areas to congregate and hang out indicate a more casual atmosphere. You can also learn if the company invests in special office supplies or equipment, which may influence your opinion. It might also be helpful to request clarification of the workplace rules for dressing and embellishing your workstation, as this affects the environment too.
6. Do you have any employee resource groups?
This is a good question to ask if you're interviewing with a company that promotes diversity and inclusion. If a company has resource groups or councils for underrepresented populations, it might be a sign that they value diversity and inclusion. A good follow-up question would be 'What influence do the resource groups have on decision-making in the company?'. This can help you understand whether the company values the opinions and recommendations of the resource groups. You might also learn about programmes regarding mental health counselling or other social causes.
7. What other functions or departments does this team work with? What are the characteristics of a successful collaboration?
This is an important question to ask if the company you're interviewing with is a large or mid-sized business. Knowing how to collaborate may be a crucial aspect of the job. Asking this question can also help you understand more about the role and the types of people you may encounter on a daily basis. If the role you're applying for entails interacting with several others often, you might consider how this job function fits with your communication and interpersonal skills.
8. What does the career path for someone in this role look like?
This question can signal your interest in growing at your company of choice, which may influence the interviewer's hiring decision. It's often less expensive and more beneficial for companies to promote within their organisation. For this reason, many hiring managers prefer to interview candidates who show an interest in staying with the company for an extended period. Asking this question can also help you decide if your goals fit with the position you're applying for.
9. What challenges has this company faced in the last few years? What challenges do you anticipate in the coming years?
This is a great question if you're interviewing with managers or senior leaders. It shows your interest in the performance of the company and can give you insight into the issues they experience. If applicable, you can follow up their response with the relevant experience you possess that might, in turn, help with these challenges. This gives you the opportunity to demonstrate your value to the company and allows you to further establish your skill set.
10. Is there anything about me as a candidate for this role that concerns you?
Though this may seem like a negative question to ask, it can give you the opportunity to address doubts the interviewer may have about your candidacy. For example, you might get to explain gaps in your resume or elaborate on the amount of experience you have. Asking this question can also demonstrate emotional maturity, as you're asking for feedback about your candidacy. This may express your willingness to develop yourself further, which interviewers often value.
11. What type of benefits does this company offer?
You might want to wait during the second interview or after receiving a job offer to ask this question, as it might leave a better impression. Asking about benefits and salary can help you understand if the role is right for you, too. It's important to know if you can still manage your personal budget after accepting the job. Asking about the benefits can also allow you to gain additional insight into the company values. For example, if they value employee growth, they may offer development opportunities.
12. Can you elaborate on the day-to-day responsibilities this job entails?
You might ask this question if you have any specific concerns about the job duties or if you want more clarification on what's involved in an average work day. The answer to this question is important for you to take into consideration as you determine whether this job is the right fit for you. It can also allow you to prepare for certain duties and understand what skills you might potentially need to develop. This can help you during your training period if you receive an offer for the role.
13. How would my supervisor measure my performance in this role?
In your interview with the hiring manager, ask this question to get more specific details about how you can succeed in the job. The answer to this question may be helpful to you even if you don't get the job, as you can use the shared insights to identify new areas of professional development. Asking this question can also allow you to learn more about your potential supervisor too. Additionally, understanding how the company measures employee performance can give you better insight into the culture and help you decide if the performance evaluation method fits your preferences, abilities and values.
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