20 Important Questions To Ask In A Job Interview

When you leave a job interview, you should have a solid understanding of what the role entails, whether you’ll be a good fit for the team, and enough information to make a smart career decision. But far too often candidates will ask questions that just scratch the surface of these topics, or (gasp!) ask no questions at all. Interviewers will ask dozens of questions to find out everything about you – so shouldn’t you be asking questions that are just as detailed?

With a wealth of knowledge at their fingertips, all candidates need to do is ask the right questions. I’ve compiled a list of important questions to ask in a job interview. As a recruiter, I believe the questions listed below are some of the best examples of clear, direct questions that will get you all of the information you need to know.

20 questions to ask in a job interview:

  1. Is this a new role, or a replacement?
  2. What would you say are the most important skills needed to excel in this role?
  3. How will my success on the job be measured?
  4. How often are formal performance reviews conducted?
  5. What are the main priorities for the first six months in this role?
  6. What does a typical day in this role look like?
  7. Can you give me an example of a project I’d be working on?
  8. Do you forsee the reporting structure or responsibilities of this role changing in the near future?
  9. How do the responsibilities of this role contribute to the success of the company?
  10. What kind of training and development opportunities are available?
  11. Can you give me an example of what makes your company culture different?
  12. Can you tell me about your experience with the company?
  13. What is the average tenure of the team I’ll be working with?
  14. What type of schedule does the team usually work?
  15. Can you tell me about a new idea the team recently implemented?
  16. Who will I be reporting to? How is the team structured?
  17. Does this role focus more heavily on team projects or individual work?
  18. What is your preferred method of communication, and how often do you touch base with your team?
  19. Are there any other teams I’ll be interacting significantly with on a daily basis?
  20. What are the next steps in the interview process, and when can I expect to hear from you?

 

 

If you have a good interviewer, these questions should turn the interview into a conversation where you can discuss the role together, instead of an awkward question-and-answer session.

Think of some follow-up questions to keep the conversation going, and really take an interest in the answers they provide. There’s no guarantee you’ll get the answers you want, or that the interviewer will share any of the not-so-great parts of the job with you, but the best you can do is use the resources available – your interviewers – to gather as much information as possible.

 

A few more tips:

  • Adjust your questions based on who you’re meeting with. HR will likely be able to cover the basics and questions about the company culture, but you’ll want to save the more job-specific questions for the hiring manager.
  • Although you’re right to be curious about benefits like time off and salary, save them for later in the interview process, once you’ve gained a better feel for the role you’ll be playing in this position.
  • Never say that other members of the team have answered all of your questions, or that you don’t have any remaining questions. It’s not a bad idea to ask similar questions of all your interviewers to determine if the answers change at all, especially if you’re interviewing with several members of a team separately.

Before you leave:

Always ask what the next steps are! It will give you an idea of their timeline and appropriate idea of when to follow up. Also, don’t forget to send a job interview thank you letter. 

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