Questions job seekers should be asking during interviews

Interviews are intended to be a conversation between you and the person holding the interview. You should be asking just as many questions as the employer so that both of you can walk away from it knowing whether you’re a good fit for the company or not. When you’re nearing the end of the interview and the employer asks “Do you have any questions for me?” take the opportunity to show that you’ve prepared and you’re just as interested in learning about them. It’s the easiest way to determine whether you’ll be happy working for them and you’ll know if your goals are in line with their goals.

There’s another reason you should always prepare questions. Amy Hoover, president of TalentZoo, says “It’s expected — and if you don’t ask at least two questions, you will appear disinterested, or worse, less intelligent and engaged than a prospective employer would like.” It’s best to have at least four questions prepared, though, in case your original two are answered through the course of the interview.

Here are 5 great examples of questions you could ask your employer during an interview.

  1. What have you enjoyed most about working here? This question allows the interviewer to connect with you on a more personal level, sharing his or her feelings. The answer will also give you unique insight into how satisfied people are with their jobs there. If the interviewer is pained to come up with an answer to your question, it’s a big red flag.
  2. What can you tell me about your new products or plans for growth? This question should be customized for your particular needs. Do your homework on the employer’s site beforehand and mention a new product or service it’s launching to demonstrate your research and interest. The answer to the question will give you a good idea of where the employer is headed.
  3. What constitutes success with this position and company? This is a great way to demonstrate that you’re interested in succeeding (not just punching a time clock) but it also gives you key insights into the expectations of the position and the culture of the company.
  4. Can you tell me a little about the team I’ll be working with? This is an excellent question to address the culture of the company — without actually asking about the “culture” of the company. You might find you get a very different answer than what’s printed in the company’s mission statement or on their website. It will help you to understand how well you fit in with the company, and psychologically it’s a great question to ask because it gently assumes you’ll be getting the position.
  5. Which of my skills do you see as most important for the challenges that come with the position? You want a job that leverages your key strengths. Answering this question helps you understand whether the company is interested in you because of the key skills you have and want to grow, or maybe for other skills you see as less important to focus on and grow. It also helps you to check whether the challenges they see for the position you are applying for are the same you were expecting.