Asking the right questions when interviewing for a position fulfills a multitude of essential career goals—from proving your interest in the company to ensuring the company culture is a good fit. These 7 types of questions are a great place to start.
When it comes to landing in your next great destination along your career journey, the all-important interview is an essential element in the process. It shows the company why you’re a good fit for them—as well as helping you find out whether the position makes good sense for you.
Nailing the interview process will make you stand out from the crowd, and you’ll also have the chance to discover all you can about the day-to-day activities, coworkers, professional development, and a whole lot more—especially if you’re strategic about the interview conversation.
Use questions from these 7 key areas so you make the most of your time with the interviewer and give yourself the best chance to shine as a candidate.
1. Dive into the Specifics of the Job
You’ve already read a job description or talked with the talent specialist for a big picture view of the role. That’s what led you to apply in the first place. But now that you’re at the interview, it’s time to dig into the details and learn as much as you can about what the position entails.
To get to the heart of this, ask about the daily to-dos:
- What does a typical day look like for this role?
- Can you provide some examples of the projects I’d be working on?
- What traits and skills does a person need to succeed in this role?
- What will I need to bring to the table to help the team achieve greater success?
- Do you expect this role’s responsibilities to change in the next year? If so, how?
2. Learn How Your Performance Will Be Evaluated
When you take on a new role in a new place of work, you want to be clear on how to achieve success. Remember, every company defines success differently. There are many ways they might assess your performance, so find out how to show you’ve nailed the role.
To dive deeper here, you can ask:
- What does success in this role look like?
- Are there specific metrics or benchmarks you use to measure this role’s performance?
- How is the performance review process conducted?
- How often are performance reviews given?
3. Find Out about Opportunities to Grow
Great employers offer ways for their staff to grow, and it’s wise for you to be future-minded as well. To explore how open a company is to providing growth opportunities as well as ensuring success from the moment you’re hired, ask about education and the future so you can choose a position you can build on.
- What kind of training and onboarding activities will I receive?
- Are there opportunities for professional development, ongoing training or classes I can take to grow in my role?
- What have successful past employees in this role gone on to do next?
- Where does the company see itself going or evolving to in the next few years?
- What excites you about the company’s future?
4. Create Rapport with the Interviewer
Successful interviewing includes making an authentic connection with the people you meet with. By developing rapport, you can stand out among the other candidates. And it also gives you a better feel for the type of people you’d be on the team with—which helps you decide how well you’d fit there.
Consider asking the interviewer and other staff you meet:
- How long have you worked here?
- How did you land at this company?
- What do you appreciate about working here?
5. Dive into the Company Culture
An effective interview reveals much about the type of company you are considering, and the overall work atmosphere you can expect. This is important because you’ll be spending a lot of your time in that environment, and you want to know you’ll enjoy it. Contentment with the company’s culture plays a vital role in your overall job satisfaction.
To suss out the company culture, find out:
- What is the work environment like here?
- What are the most important company values that staff exemplify on a daily basis?
- What are some common office traditions you enjoy here?
6. Get to Know about the Team You’ll Be Joining
The people you work with can make or break your joy on the job. They can make it easier for you to succeed, or make it harder. Find out about your fellow coworkers before you accept the role.
Include some of these questions:
- Who will I be working most closely with, and what can you tell me about them?
- What are the team’s strengths, and what challenges do they face?
- What do team members usually do for lunch?
- How often are company-wide, inter-departmental or team-building activities held?
7. Determine Next Steps
Before you end the interview and walk out the door (or hop off the Zoom call!), be sure to nail down what to expect next. This not only signals to your interviewer that you’re really interested in the position, but it also gives you a clear path for how to get closer to that potential job offer you’re after.
To nail down what’s next, you can ask:
- What comes next in your company’s job search process?
- When should I expect to hear back from you?
And you can also use these last moments to offer any final input that will cause you to stand out successfully from other candidates. So, make sure you also ask questions like these:
- Are there any final questions I can answer for you?
- Is there any additional information I can provide you?
- Is there anything else I can share with you to prove I’m right for this role?
Summing It All Up
The interview process is as much to help you find your perfect fit in terms of position, company and team as it is about proving you’re a good hire for the company. Remember, being armed with the right questions will equip you to do all that so you can land your next position successfully.
Use this list to have some questions at the ready when you have your next interview, and you’re sure to experience success!