You've gotten an interview, so you've made the initial cut. Now is the time to think about how you can really wow the interviewer. Every moment of a job interview matters, but most job candidates focus solely on how they're going to answer the interviewer's questions. Don't overlook that part of interview prep, of course, but don't stop there. Make every moment matter by asking some compelling questions at the end of your interview.
Impressive & Unique Interview Questions to Ask Employers
After the interviewer has finished asking their questions, you'll have an opportunity to ask some of your own. Many job seekers prepare a few questions to ask at the end of a job interview, but usually tend to stick with the basics. Their lack of creativity is your opportunity to shine. Don't ask boring questions like when a decision will be made or what the start date will be. Instead, elevate yourself in the eyes of the interviewer by asking a few impressive questions about the job and the company as a whole.
Questions Specific to the Job
It's a good idea to be prepared to ask a question specific to the job for which you are interviewing. This will show that you are truly interested in the position itself rather than simply looking for any job that you can get.
- How can I convince you that I am the right person for this job?
- What is the first thing the person who goes into this role should master?
- How would you describe the management style of the supervisor?
- How will the person who is hired for this job be provided with feedback about their performance?
- How would you describe the team dynamic in the department?
- What are the most important characteristics you look for when deciding who to hire for this job?
- What do people generally find to be the most challenging about this job when they are first hired?
- What factors are most likely to keep someone from being able to succeed in this job?
- What about my background led you to decide to invite me to interview for the position?
- On average, how long have the other people on the team I would be working with been with the company?
- Have you hired other people for this job whose background is similar to mine? How did they do in the role?
- What is the onboarding process like during the first few months of the job?
- Do the job duties typically stay the same over time, or are the requirements updated frequently?
Questions About the Overall Organization
Since companies seek to hire people who will be a good fit for the organizational culture, consider asking a question or two about the company as a whole. This will show that you're thinking beyond the job itself to what it's like to be a part of the overall organization.
- What would your long-term employees say if I asked them to tell me what it's like to work here?
- What characteristics do your company's most successful employees seem to share?
- What is the company's approach to encouraging employees to keep their skills current and sharp?
- How would you describe the overall culture of the organization?
- What companies would you say are the organization's key competitors?
- Does the company encourage team building or employee bonding activities at the company? What types?
- Does the company actively encourage employees to participate in professional organizations?
- Does the company encourage employees to do volunteer work or get involved with charitable organizations?
- What do you find to be the most rewarding aspects of working here?
- To what extent does the company encourage and value creativity?
- How would you describe the organization's overall mission and vision?
- How common is it for leadership roles to be filled by people who already work with the company?
Tips on Asking Questions Like a Pro
You don't have to limit yourself to asking the questions provided here. If there is something else you'd like to know, go ahead and ask. After all, part of the reason for the job interview is for you to figure out if the company is a place where you'd like to work, and if the job is one you'd like to do. When preparing for a job interview and deciding what questions to ask, keep a few key tips in mind.
- Only ask questions for which you are interested in knowing the answer. It will be obvious if you are not interested in the answer. If an interviewer thinks you're wasting their time, that won't reflect positively on you.
- Don't ask so many questions that it starts to seem like you're interrogating the interviewer. It's probably best to stick with two or three questions unless the interviewer really seems to want to continue the discussion.
- Be prepared to ask more questions than you'll actually use. If not, you might find yourself with nothing to ask because the topics that you planned to inquire about were already addressed in the main part of the interview.
- Use your questions to demonstrate a genuine interest in learning more about the job and the company. This will signal to the interviewer that you're sincerely trying to determine whether the opportunity is a good fit for you.
- Don't ask questions that are answered on the company's website or brochures. This would only send a message to the interviewer that you did not bother to do your homework on the company before the interview.
Be Prepared to Discuss the Questions You Ask
Don't be surprised if the interviewer follows up your questions with additional questions of their own. Even if they don't ask a question, you will need to be prepared to respond in some way to their answer. For example, if you ask about the management style of the supervisor and they tell you that the individual is collaborative, you'll need to reply with a statement indicating how you can work effectively with a collaborative manager. It'll be important to address their response to your previous question before you transition to your next question, or indicate that you don't have any more questions. To further distinguish yourself, be sure to follow up after the interview.