7 Highly Effective Questions to Ask During Your Job Interview

You know how at the end of a job interview they ask you if have any questions?

That's not the time to get all quiet. Employers don't want to hear that they've answered all your questions. They want you to engage them in brilliant repartee. 

You need to be prepared with some outstanding questions for them, queries that show you have not only been paying attention to what they've been saying, but also are thinking about the company and the job deeper than you've pondered anything else to date.

All right, that's an exaggeration. But you don't want to come across like a moron, either.

The question portion of your interview is an easy way to score points. Here are some great questions for you to ask your potential new employer!

  1. What would the first 90 days in the position look like? This shows that you are not only taking the position and its strategic role in the organization seriously, it demonstrates that you are visualizing yourself in the position. You're already planning ahead in terms of what would be expected, and what to expect.
  2. What does the successful candidate for this role look like? Not every job seeker is a fit for every position, or every company. By asking this question, it shows that you are actively working to determine if you are a skill and culture fit for the position. And, the interviewers' responses may provide you an indication of the metrics and milestones you'd be expected to meet.
  3. How does this role fit within the department / team / organization? Companies want to see that you're doing more than just your job. They want to know that you understand that you play a larger role in the success of the company, andhow you will partner with coworkers and internal (and external) customers to meet organizational goals.
  4. What challenges would I face in this role? No job is all ducks and bunnies and rainbows (in other words, there's not-so-fun parts of the job). By finding out the problems you may have to deal with, you have an opportunity to explain how you will overcome adversity, while getting the skinny on some of the negative attributes of the job.
  5. What does the career path for this role look like? You're thinking about growth opportunity within the company. This is a nicer way of addressing this than asking, "When can I expect to be promoted?"
  6. What other questions may I answer for you? Demonstrates that you invite the opportunity for your interviewers to truly evaluate your fit for the role, and that you don't squirm under scrutiny.
  7. What are the next steps in the interview process? This is a polite way of indicating that you are very interested in the role, and would love the consideration. I've seen interview processes accelerated after a candidate asks this.

Incidentally, it is very okay for you to bring notes to an interview. When there's a lull in the process, and there's a moment, feel free to say, "Thank you for the consideration! I have a few questions of my own." Then refer to your prepared list of questions. This demonstrates that you've prepared for this interview.


Scott Singer is the President and Founder of Insider Career Strategies Resume Writing & Career Coaching, a firm dedicated to guiding job seekers and companies through the job search and hiring process. He is a Human Resources professional and staffing expert with almost two decades of in-house corporate HR and staffing firm experience, and is a Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW) and Certified Professional Career Coach (CPCC).

Insider Career Strategies provides resume writing, LinkedIn profile development, and career coaching services, including a free resume review. You can email Scott Singer at scott.singer@insidercs.com, or via the website, www.insidercs.com.