- Job interview looming? You should expect lots of questions from your potential employer – but equally, go prepared with some searching questions of your own.
- Why? You want to know why the job exists and whether it will suit you, potentially weeks, months, and years into the future.
- Here are 15 questions you can take with you to any job interview.
Deciding to change jobs and work for another company isn’t just about getting the best salary and benefits package possible or expanding your skills in new ways.
It’s also about how you’ll spend your time every day, the culture of your new company, and whether you’ll ultimately be happy you made the decision to take the job, weeks, months, and maybe years into the future.
It’s important that job seekers who land interviews ask their prospective employers some valuable, and sometimes tough questions.
Your potential employer is asking you questions to see if you’re right for the job, but they’re being interviewed by you as much as you are by them.
Here are 15 impressive questions to ask your interviewer:
1. Why is this position available?
The answer from this question can tell you a few helpful things including whether this is a new position (which comes with its own challenges), or whether someone left the position because they were promoted, advanced within the company, quit, or were fired. Whatever the answer, you will learn something valuable about the job and the team you might join.
2. What are some of the challenges you expect the person in this position to face?
Every job will have its challenges, but asking about them specifically can help you learn what they may be ahead of time and whether they’re the types of challenges you’d feel comfortable tackling.
This question can also create an opening for you to talk about how you’ve approached similar challenges in the past, which can be reassuring to your interviewer.
3. How are criticism and feedback handled within the team?
Some managers and teams do a great job of handling feedback and critical discussions in a way that helps everyone grow and evolve, but some don’t. The answer you receive from this question will help you know what to expect and whether it’s an environment you’d flourish in.
4. What is the main reason employees stay at or leave this company?
Not only will this question provide a better sense of a company’s existing culture, it will also offer insight as to how aware the company is about employee experience and if they take employee feedback, such as exit interviews, seriously or not.
5. Do you have any employee resource groups and how might you support my DEI work?
By asking directly about employee resource groups, you’ll be able to determine if the company is committed to their diversity, equity and inclusion strategic plans and if they’re creating programs and policies to support their employees.
This question is also an excellent way to determine if your values align with the company’s values and if the company provides opportunities for its employees to grow while being valued.
6. What’s the company’s approach to supporting work-life balance, and what are some recent initiatives you’ve put in place related to the pandemic?
The answers received from this question will help you determine if the company really does support work-life balance and in what ways.
Asking about any new things they’ve done as a result of the pandemic will tell you if the company is responsive to the ever-changing needs of its workforce.
7. How does your company determine salary levels or ranges for remote workers, and is it different for in-office workers or hybrid workers?
Companies with remote workers have several different ways they might determine salary levels. Typically, it’s based on either the company’s location, the worker’s location, or another metric like the national average.
Knowing how they calculate their pay rates gives you valuable information to make informed decisions if and when you’re negotiating salary requirements.
8. Beyond the hard skills required to successfully perform this job, what soft skills would serve the company and position best?
Knowing what skills the company thinks are important will give you more insight into its culture and its management values so you can evaluate whether you would fit in.
9. What have past employees done to succeed in this position?
The main point of this question is to get your interviewer to reveal how the company measures success.
This query can give you a sense of what kind of learning curve you’re supposed to meet and the pace of the team and organization.
10. What type of employee tends to succeed here? What qualities are the most important for doing well and advancing at the firm?
This question shows the interviewer that you care about your future at the company, and it will also help you decide if you’re a good fit for the position.
Your interviewer’s answers can also help you to develop the qualities that they might be looking for (if you don’t already possess them).
11. What are you doing to increase employee retention?
During a time of excess jobs and a lack of workers, companies should be doing whatever they can to retain their current workers – or they’ll find somewhere better to work.
By asking this question, you can find out whether your potential employer is motivated to keep their current employees and whether they care about turnover.
12. What kind of work flexibility do you allow?
While working from home is more prevalent than ever, not all jobs allow this option. It’s important to find out immediately whether you’d potentially have to work from the office full-time, or if you could work remotely, or a hybrid of both.
Employers are beginning to understand that above all else, workers value flexibility. By asking this question, you’ll know if the company is committed to employee satisfaction.
13. Do you expect the primary responsibilities of this role to change in the near future?
This question ensures that you know what you’re getting into if you accept the role. If you aren’t prepared to take on new primary responsibilities over time, then you might need to reconsider working for this company.
14. Do you need me to clarify or elaborate on anything I said or that you read on my résumé?
Offer to go into greater detail on any answers you may have given, or any jobs or accomplishments mentioned on your résumé. The hiring manager/interviewer will likely appreciate it.
15. Is there anything we haven’t covered that you think is important to know about working here?
This is a good wrap-up question that gives you a break from doing all the talking, and you may get answers to questions you didn’t even know to ask but are important to know about the job.