“Do you have any questions for me?” It’s a common query hiring managers ask during the interview process. Employers want to gauge your interest in the position and better understand how your goals align with the job’s requirements.
You also want to make sure you’re a fit for the role, and this process can help. By asking the right combination of questions, you can determine whether the position is one you’re interested in and how the job might impact your career trajectory.
It’s recommended you jot down at least five questions in case a few of them are answered earlier in the conversation. To keep you covered, here are 10 questions to ask at the end of your next job interview.
How Would You Describe the Ideal Candidate for This Position?
This is one of the easiest ways to determine whether you’re the right candidate for the role. As the hiring manager lists off the traits he or she is looking for, start making a mental checklist. Do you fit the qualifications and, if not, are the skills the company needs ones you’re interested in pursuing? For example, if you’re interviewing for a marketing role and discover it requires a deeper analytics background but you were hoping to boost your branding skills instead, then you’ll need to reevaluate what matters most in your next position.
How Has This Position Evolved?
If you want to learn more about how your career could evolve, this is the question to ask. Has the company prioritized the position or department? Is there an opportunity to advance or does the path ahead sound more like a dead-end? If you’re trying to change careers or break into a new industry, the job could prove to be a strong stepping stone. But if you’re looking to move higher in an organization, then you might want to reconsider the role.
How Would You Describe the Company’s Culture?
If you want to know more about the company’s vision, values, and work environment, ask about culture. This question is important, because culture can affect your every day—from how the office is laid out to how employees are expected to perform their jobs. You want to make sure the company is a proper fit before saying “yes” to the role. If your needs and values don’t align, it’s likely your happiness and productivity will suffer, so find a company with a culture you admire and respect.
What Do You Like Most About Working Here?
This question can also help you better understand the company’s culture, depending on the employee’s answer. He or she might dive deeper into the work environment or describe more in-depth how the team operates. At the very least, you’ll get an inside view of what it is like to work for the company.
How Do You Evaluate Success?
By asking about success metrics early, you can learn more about the company’s priorities and how your performance would be judged if you were to land the role. From there, it will be up to you to determine whether the goals sound realistic and if you can sustainably meet the company’s demands.
What Would the First 30 Days of This Role Look Like?
This question can help highlight the company’s immediate needs and challenges. An added benefit is that, if you are the candidate chosen, you will know exactly where your focus should be within your first 30 days—enabling you to brainstorm strategies and tactics before starting the job, so actually starting feels a little less stressful.
Who Would I Be Working for? How Is the Team Constructed?
Before saying “yes” to any potential job offers, you should speak with whomever you will be working most closely with to learn more about his or her leadership style and background. Will your skill sets complement each other?
By learning more about the organizational structure, you can also gain a better sense of how much support you’ll be receiving in the role, as well as what opportunities there are for growth.
What Challenges Is the Company Facing?
This is a bold question that can feel awkward to address, but asking it shows you are interested in the future of the company and are eager to learn more about how your role can make an immediate impact. The question can also reveal any red flags you should be aware of before accepting the role.
Do You Have Any Hesitations About My Qualifications?
Weaknesses—or perceived weaknesses—can be uncomfortable to bring up. By introducing them, though, you’re giving yourself the opportunity to address any concerns the hiring manager might have before he or she makes a final decision, as well as highlight any key traits or skills you forgot to discuss earlier in the interview. This question also shows that you’re confident; that you can acknowledge your weaknesses, while still advocating that you’re the right fit for the role.
What Are Next Steps?
By asking this question, the rest of the post-interview waiting game can seem a little less stressful. The hiring manager will likely provide a timeframe of when you can expect to hear from him or her, which will let you know when you should be following up. If the response is, “We plan to make a decision within the next week,” it’s acceptable to reach out on day 10 asking for updates. How you continue to follow up with the hiring manager will then trickle down from that initial question.
Are you looking for more interview advice? Check out additional content from “The Employer Perspective,” including “Interview Etiquette 101: How to Impress Employers” and “How to Ace 7 of the Most Common Interview Questions.”