When a candidate steps into an interview, they expect to be answering the questions. However, there will come a time where the interviewer may open it up for questions for the candidate to ask. Having questions shows genuine interest in the position, and better informs you about the opportunity. In today’s blog, we’ll break down 3 topics you can easily ask questions about, along with examples on how to ask them. Check them out!

The Process

Knowing what to expect next is incredibly helpful, especially when all company processes are different. Asking about the timeline allows you to know when to follow up. It’s also a great opportunity to address any other questions they may have about your eligibility.

“What are the next steps in the interview process?”

Asking this will provide you with a general timeframe. You can also use a question like this to gauge how they’re feeling. We recommend you ask this question last.

“What’s your timeline for making a decision/ when can I expect to hear back from you?”

Similar to the above question, this is a way to ask that is more specific with a concrete timeline. Again, asking this is a good way to end the interview. It provides closure but also reminds them to reach out.

“What can I clarify for you about my qualifications?”

This question requires some boldness, but it can also help you. Sometimes interviewers and hiring managers will make some assumptions about your qualifications. There may be a reasonable explanation, but they would have to ask to learn more. This gives them the opportunity to ask you for further clarification on any questions that stand out. If you’re going to ask this one, just be prepared to explain yourself.

The Culture

For the entire interview, you’ve likely been discussing the company and their expectations as an employer. It’s is unlikely that your conversation touched on company culture. The end of the interview is a great opportunity to find out more. Culture is a big determining factor of if you will enjoy the work environment, so it’s helpful to know! The questions below are a good way to get some more insight.

“What is the culture like at the company?”

This is a very straightforward way to ask about company culture. Hopefully, the interviewer will be honest with you and describe what it’s like to work there. However, if you’re worried they’ll be too vague, we recommend using the next question.

“What do you like best about working for this company?”

By asking about their personal opinion, you put them on the spot. If they love working at the company, they should have no problem describing the great culture they have. If they hesitate to answer, you may want to do some further research. Either question will help get a better understanding of the culture.

“What do you think are the most important qualities for someone to excel in this role?”

You may think it’s odd to file this question under ‘culture’, but knowing the ideal type of employee will inform you of the environment. If you’ve already exhausted talking about qualifications, consider changing this question to ask about soft skills specifically. Soft skills are usually not mentioned but are equally important.

The Future

This is the topic that can win you a lot of points. By asking about the future, you show serious interest in the long term stakes if you were to be hired. Asking about the company’s future and your own career path also implies your long term intentions with them.

“Can you tell me more about the day-to-day responsibilities of this job?” 

The job description may describe broad goals and tasks of the role, but most tend to skim over the day-to-day. For example, a sales job may say ‘generate leads’ and ‘bring in new business’, but what that could actually mean is sending 350+ emails a day. Asking about the day to day work gives you a better idea of what you can actually expect.

“What is the typical career path for someone in this role?”

This is a question that should result in an answer about longevity and growth. If you are looking to move up the chain in this position, their response should help you find out more. Much like the ‘what do you enjoy’ question, if the hiring manager hesitates to answer, it may be cause for concern. The other possibility is that they simply don’t know- and in that case, this is a question better suited to ask a manager in your potential department.

“Where do you see the company in a few years from now/how would the person in this role contribute to this vision?”

When asking this question, you can change the time frame as you see fit to suit the general time you plan on staying. By asking about how your role will change and meet overall company goals, you give the hiring manager a better idea of your commitment. They, in turn, may explain what they have in mind for you down the road.

There are of course many more things you could discuss- these are just the basics. Share with a friend who has an interview coming up!