5 Key Questions You Should Ask an Interviewer

The questions you ask an interviewer during a job interview can make a positive impact. Here's a list of questions that can help you land the job of your dreams.



Table of Contents

  1. Questions to ask an interviewer
  2. 5 tips for preparing questions for your interviewer
  3. 5 top questions to ask an interviewer
  4. More questions to ask an interviewer
  5. Questions to avoid asking an interviewer
  6. How to follow up after a job interview?
  7. More interview resources
  8. FAQ: questions to ask an interviewer

Questions to ask an interviewer

Hiring managers often hold countless interviews before deciding on which candidate to extend a job offer to. One way you can set yourself apart from other candidates is to ask good questions during the interview. Preparing a list of well-thought-out questions to ask an interviewer is important for the following reasons:

  • It shows you’re interested, excited and engaged — all things the employer is looking for.
  • It shows you’ve done some homework on the job and company.
  • It gives you the chance to learn more about the company, the position, career path and the company culture.

On this page, we’ll cover valuable tips to help you prepare for a job interview including the top five questions to ask during your interview. We’ll also tell you how to successfully follow up after a job interview to increase your chances of getting hired.

Regardless of your career path or level of professional development, having a Cv that stands out, and impresses hiring managers and potential employers is important. Craft or update your CV to look professional and impress recruiters using CVHelp’s tools.

5 tips for preparing questions for your interviewer

So you’ve taken the time to write the perfect CV with CVHelp and started applying to jobs — now it’s time for the interview. You may be nervous at first but you will increase your chances of nailing the interview and getting hired with good preparation.

1. Prepare yourself for the major questions an interviewer will ask you

The best way to prepare for a job interview is to read the job description carefully. Compare the list of requirements to your career experience so you can fluently answer questions about your qualifications. Take particular note of the company values and how they match with your own values. Be sure to utilise parts of your CV that make you the ideal candidate for the position. Lastly, you should practicse doing mock interviews with friends and family using your CV and job post to mimic your next interview.

2. Do your research on the job and the company

With a few online searches, you typically can learn a lot about the company that you are applying to. This includes reading the company website and any press releases or media mentions in recent news. Pay close attention to the company’s values and history. This will give you a heads-up on any specific questions the interviewer may ask you regarding your interest in the company. Be prepared to answer the hiring manager’s questions about why you want to work for the company.

3. Make a list of questions about the job you want answers for

Make a list of everything you want to know about the job and the job role that you are interviewing for. Although some of the questions you have will most likely be answered during the earlier stages of the interview, you can still ask whatever unanswered questions remain on your list. Try to create meaningful questions that will in turn make you look passionate about the industry and the company. Asking meaningless questions at the end of an interview could make you appear unprepared or uninterested. Be concise and prepare to ask about the job’s day-to-day responsibilities, the company’s biggest challenges and company culture.

4. Prepare a list of questions to ask in an interview based on the 5 key questions below

We suggest you have at least five main question types to consider asking during your interview. These can be related to the job, the team, the culture, the training and the hiring process. With time being limited, at the end of the interview, you should expect to ask at least 2-3 valuable questions.

5. Avoid questions about perks and benefits

There will be better opportunities during the application process to enquire about job perks, benefits and compensation. During the interview is not the time to ask about salary, bonuses and pay raises. The same holds true about medical, dental, life insurance and retirement fund benefits. Make your interview questions more job role and company related so you can reinforce your passion for the job.

5 top questions to ask an interviewer

You can spend countless hours preparing for your interview by preparing answers to some great questions and doing mock interviews. But if you end the interview without asking the hiring manager some final thoughtful questions, you may as well continue with your job search because you probably won’t be hired. Hiring managers want to see proactive job candidates, so preparing some well-thought-out questions to ask at the end of the interview will significantly increase your chances of becoming a new hire.

Here are the top five questions to ask during an interview:

1. Questions about the job

Questions about the job would be those that related to your day-to-day role at the company. Questions may include:

What are the biggest challenges presented by this role?
Can you give me an example of a project I would be working on?
What would I be expected to accomplish in the first 60-90 days?

Asking about the biggest challenges in the role provides you with a realistic view of the job role and the work environment. This allows you to say how your experience will help you meet the challenges. Learning about the role’s projects further elaborates on the job posting. This information can help you convince the interviewer that you are not only qualified but also the right candidate for the job. Knowing what to expect in the first few months of employment can prepare you for what will be expected of you. Perhaps a previous job had a similar stressful challenge from the beginning so you can share how you are a quick starter, exceeded expectations and will do the same for this potential employer.

2. Questions about the team you’ll work with

Questions about the team can help you determine what type of role you will play. Questions may include:

Can you tell me more about the team I would be working with?
What happened with the last person who held this job or is it a new role?

By learning more about the team, you can share your experience with previous teams and how you played a key role in teamwork. Learning whether you are an additional team member or replacing someone, gives you an idea if you will help alleviate some of the team’s workload or possibly be replacing a key member of the team.

3. Company culture and goals

Within this type of question about culture and goals, you can get a good feel about the company’s concern for its employees and investment into growth opportunities. Questions may include:

What is the work culture like here?
Where do you see the company in five years?

Knowing about a company’s culture helps you get a glimpse into the work environment. Based on the interviewer’s answers can provide the opportunity for you to mention your passion for both the specific company and the industry by sharing how you can fit in with the current culture. Learning about the company’s future goals shows that you’re interested in working with the company on a long-term basis.

4. Future career and professional development for employees

Questions about career and professional development will give you a glimpse of what you can expect in regard to advancement and training. Questions may include:

What is the career path for this position?
Are there opportunities to progress further down the line? What training programmes are available for employees?

These types of questions show the interviewer that you’re interested in growing with the company and are willing to learn as much as possible about your field. It also shows that you are looking for a long-term role with career advancement possibilities. The answers to those questions allow you to share previous seminars, lectures and professional courses you have taken during previous employment and how helpful it was towards your growth with the company.

5. Questions about the hiring process and next steps

Questions about the hiring process and next steps is a good way to know what to expect in the coming days and weeks in regards to future interviews, job offers or job rejections. Questions may include:

Can I answer any final questions for you?
What are the next steps of the hiring process?
Is there any additional information that you need from me?

These types of questions help to conclude the job interview by showing that you have remained confident and are willing to provide additional input. It’s not an attempt to ask whether you can expect a job offer but instead a realistic timeframe. You may be told if a second interview is forthcoming or the company will go right to selecting a candidate. The answers to this type of question will also help you gauge whether the job will begin within weeks or months.

More questions to ask an interviewer

Among the best questions to ask an interviewer, here are a few more questions you may want to consider asking. These are great backups in case your interviewer already provided answers to our top five question topics during the interview. The better you are prepared with questions, the more natural sounding you will perform during your interview.

How do you measure and evaluate the performance and success of the person in this position?

Ask this question to learn more about how you can succeed in the job. This information can help you determine what will be expected of your performance, especially if there is a company probationary period. It’s a good opportunity to share your experience with performance measurements and how you received a positive evaluation.

What does a typical day look like?

This question can help you understand more about the daily duties and decide whether you are a good fit for the position. As a candidate, wanting to know about the day-to-day responsibilities shows a hiring manager or recruiter that you are serious about getting this role. It’s also a great opportunity to reiterate your qualifications for the job by showing how you can easily handle the job responsibilities based on your career experience, education or training.

Do you expect the main responsibilities for this position to change in the near future?

This question shows the hiring manager that you’re flexible and motivated to grow with the company by taking on new tasks. Include a specific example of how a previous role changed and how you successfully assimilated.

Are there opportunities for training within the role/company?

This question allows you to better understand the company’s expectations from you and if they offer any help or resources for new hires. Make it known that you are excited about career growth and opportunities. This shows you are looking for long-term employment.

What’s the most important thing I can do to help in my first three months?

This question shows the hiring manager your motivation to contribute from day one. It also gives you a glimpse into whether you are expected to jump right into the role or will you be offered training opportunities at the start.

Is there a work-from-home option offered?

Given the recent pandemic, this is an important question as working from home has become more common. Most often, this information will be listed in the job description. Pay careful attention to whether it suggests the role is an onsite location, remote or hybrid opportunity.

Questions to avoid asking an interviewer

While it’s great to be prepared to ask questions to your interviewer, note that there are some questions that are better not asked. Here are some questions to refrain from asking:

Don’t ask about bonuses and pay raises

Unfortunately, not all job postings mention compensation. During a job interview is not the time to ask about salary, bonuses or future pay increases. Keep your questions related to the job role and company and avoid those that make it appear that you are only interested in the pay. Compensation concerns can be raised at a later time in the hiring process.

Don’t ask about benefits

While most full time jobs offer some type of benefits package, refrain from discussing benefits during your interview. By doing so, it may suggest that you are more interested in the benefits than how you will tackle the job responsibilities. Hold off on your specific benefits questions for after the job is offered to you.

Don’t ask if you got the job

A job candidate is rarely offered a job during an interview. Instead, ask a generic question about the hiring process and what communications to expect in the coming days or weeks. This will provide an adequate timeframe as to when a candidate will be offered the position or when the job role will commence.

How to follow up after a job interview?

You may feel like you nailed the interview after applying everything you’ve learnt so far from this article. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t follow up and just wait at home to hear the good news (or bad).

You should ask about the next steps before leaving the interview. Also, you should work in a genuine way to ask the hiring manager to connect on LinkedIn. Don’t simply ask them if you can connect on LinkedIn out of the blue. Instead, try to find a common connection and valid reason for asking them.

After you finish the interview, send a thank-you note out the same day of the interview via email. Finally, don’t hesitate to check in periodically if you haven’t heard anything from them.

More interview resources

CVHelp offers job seekers many helpful resources and guides for preparing for interviews, including these major topics:

Interview Tips

“Tell me about yourself”

“Why should we hire you?”

Behavioural interview questions

How to use the STAR method for an interview

FAQ: questions to ask an interviewer

Q: What should I ask in an interview?

Career experts suggest you phrase questions forthe interviewer in regard to top interview questions topics:

  • Questions about the job
  • Questions about the team you’ll work with
  • Company culture and goals
  • Future career and professional development for employees
  • Questions about the hiring process and next steps

Most often, some of your prepared questions would be answered by the interviewer earlier in the interview, for each type of question, have 2-3 alternative questions ready.

Q: What questions should I ask at the end of an interview?

At the end of the interview, it’s important to ask about the next steps of the hiring process. This will give you a realistic timeframe to expect an invite for the next round of interviews or an actual job offer. You can also ask if the interviewer has any additional questions or requires additional information.

Q: What shouldn't you ask during an interview?

  • Do you have any positions other than this one?
  • How long are the working hours?
  • How many vacation days do I get?

Q: Can you ask too many questions during an interview?

Hiring managers and recruiters are typically on a tight schedule when it comes to interviewing candidates. Try to limit your questions to 2-3 topics that will provide you with more insight into the job role, company culture and the team you will be joining. Avoid asking questions that you can easily find answers online. Instead, focus on asking the most meaningful questions that show your interest in the position.

Q: Why is asking questions during an interview so important?

It’s important to ask questions during an interview because it shows your genuine interest in the position. It also shows that you’ve done your research and it helps the hiring manager get to know you.


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