Most job interviews can feel like an interrogation when in reality, it should be a
conversation. Interviewers don’t expect applicants to come in and only answer questions;
they expect applicants to come in, converse with them, and ask them questions in return.
Enquiring regarding the job position and the company can give candidates an in-depth
understanding of the role. It creates an awareness of the expectations that come with a
clear understanding of the skills and experience required for the job.
Best questions to ask an interviewer during a job Interview
1. What are the day-to-day tasks and responsibilities this role entails?
One of the most sensible things to ask an interviewer is an elaborate narrative of the day-
to-day activities of the role. Although each job post includes a description of the role, it’s
not as accurate and detailed as the narrative of the interviewer.
Remember that job posts are curated in a way that will give out details for applicants to
have quite an understanding of the role yet concise to avoid overloading applicants with
information. A common job post has a brief description of the role, requirements, company
details, and perks.
2. What skills and experiences are you looking for in an ideal candidate? Are there any outstanding qualities required for the job role?
Learning about the finer details required for the job role shows interest and eagerness to determine if the applicant qualifies for the job or not.
The broader description can let the candidates evaluate themselves and see if they can improve their skills and knowledge in a short time to fit in the available position. They can ask for a few follow-up questions like, “Are there any other programs the ideal candidate should be proficient with?”
3. What are the important things an ideal candidate will do in the first 90 days of employment?
The first 90 days on the job are the most crucial days for a professional. Enquiring about the important things to accomplish on the first 90 days shows great enthusiasm and interest to contribute to the company from day 1.
In addition to that, it will give applicants an idea of what priority tasks must be accomplished in the first three months into the role.
4. Is the position leaning towards an independent role or a member of the team? What will the ideal candidate’s role play in the success of the company?
An independent role is different from a team role, but both carry responsibilities. Expectations vary too as independent roles have bigger responsibilities to fulfil compared to a team player contributing to a larger vision.
Enquiring about this will help any applicant have a transparent vision of what the role looks like, the demands and expectations that come with it, and probably a brief description of the people the professional will be working with.
5. What are the expectations of the team leader or employer from this role?
The expectations of the hiring managers and interviewers are slightly different from the expectations the employer or the team leader has. Asking for an elaborate description of the expectations of your direct supervisor or employer will give you a more detailed description of the job – slowly completing your vision and understanding of the role.
6. How is a candidate evaluated in terms of performance for this role?
Evaluation is an important factor for every employee and employer. It measures an employee’s performance which helps the personnel and the company determine if the work that was done meets the standards set in the beginning.
Determining the metrics can help the potential employee identify which part of the jobs he should work on best while still maintaining to provide a qualitative output for all the other tasks he will be completing.
7. Does the role require the personnel to work with different departments? If so, what departments will the personnel usually work with?
Some jobs rarely require collaboration with other departments of the business while some require collaboration with the other departments to be able to present a perfect output.
Identifying and determining which department of the company will it be can help create a clear structure of the requirements needed to provide a perfectly executed tasks.
8. Is there room for growth and learning in this position?
This question is far more important for the applicant than the employer. Asking the interviewer if there is room for growth and learning in the job vacancy can help you determine if the company can help you grow your career.
9. Can you describe the company values and culture?
Asking for the interviewers to share their thoughts on the company values and culture is also an important question for an employee. This question determines if the values and culture of the company align with the value of the applicant.
Be reminded that the set values and culture of the company influence the way their employees behave at work. If the values and culture of the company are favourable to both employees and employer, then you can expect that the productivity of the staff are higher and they are simply happy working for the big boss.
10. What’s the greatest thing about working for this company?
This question can provide applicants with a more personal answer from the recruiters. They can get an insight into how the recruiters are being treated in the company. Depending on the answer of the interviewer, they can get an idea of the perks provided by the company to its workforce.
11. How long will it take the managers and recruiters to make the hiring decision?
The hiring decision can take about two weeks or longer. Enquiring when the interviewer can make a decision is perfectly appropriate. Many applicants shy away from asking this question as it can seem intrusive, but it’s not.
Make sure this is the last question you ask the interviewers because it implies that you are done asking other enquiries regarding the role and other relevant factors of the offer.
General guidelines when asking interviewers questions
Enquire about things that can’t be found on the internet
The most basic thing applicants must remember is to ask questions that the answers can’t be found on the internet and job post. Enquiring about obvious things like the industry of the company or the job description itself shows lack of preparation.
Ask one question at a time
The problem of asking multiple questions at a time is that it confuses the other person. The polite way to ask questions is to ask one question at a time. This gives the other person time to craft their responses accordingly. This also avoids the scenario where your other questions are unanswered.
Cover multiple topics
One of the common mistakes applicants make is asking multiple questions that covers a single topic. When enquiring interviewers, try to cover as many topics as possible. Ask about the position, the company culture, the learning and growth opportunities, and more.
Covering a single topic isn’t as helpful in creating a clearer vision and image of the position. The reason for asking relevant enquiries is to get a better understanding of the role and its contribution to the company.
Focus on asking job and company-related questions
The main goal of asking questions from the interviewers is to gain a better insight into the job position and the company. Enquiring personal questions about the recruiter can exude a sense of unprofessionalism.
Some applicants that try to get ahead by creating a close relationship with the interviewers but note that recruiters evaluate you for your abilities and skills. Stick to exploring more information about the job vacancy and company to determine if you are right for the role.
Raise questions that benefit the company
The questions raised to the employers can be categorised into three types: (a) questions that benefit the company, (b) questions that benefit the employee, and (c) irrelevant questions.
Recruiters and hiring managers look for applicants that are excited to take on a job opportunity and help the company grow. If an applicant is focused on the benefits that the company can provide, it’s likely that they’ll hire another applicant who is more dedicated to helping the company advance.
Asking about the things that can be accomplished in the first 90 days and the expectations of the employer from an ideal candidate can help you earn a point and get elaborate information about the job offer.
Phrase questions that will start a dialogue
A yes and no question is a dead-end question. This provides nothing to applicants looking to understand more about the company and the role.
It’s important to phrase questions that will start a dialogue and will urge the recruiters and hiring managers to provide more context based on the question provided.
What are some of the questions you’ve asked a recruiter during the interview? Share them in the comments section below to help fellow candidates!