A job interview is a two-way conversation, not an interrogation of one party. So don’t settle for a passive role if you want to make a positive impression! Instead, get prepared to make your mark with a series of cognizant questions to the interviewer. Just what questions to ask after an interview and why? Let’s dig in!
Why You Should Always Ask Questions After Interview
The most memorable of job candidates are those that stick in mind for asking probing and interesting questions. When your interview feels more like a two-way conversation and exchange of information, you will be creating a much better first impression. This, in turn, can boost your chances of getting shortlisted and invited back for a second interview.
Several other goods reasons to prepare a series of questions to ask the interviewer include:
- Receive more information on the hiring process: Asking a question about the next steps not only shows your enthusiasm for the role but also provides you with some more context on the company’s hiring practices. Respectively, you could better time your follow-up emails and adjust the schedule for other interviews.
- Assess the company culture: Interviewing isn’t just for the employer to learn about you. Treat it as an opportunity to screen them too. Pose several suggestive questions to understand what it’s actually like working at this company. Is the work-life balance good? Does the corporate culture suit you? Does the employer prioritize employee engagement and retention?
- Address some interview goofs: By posing a targeted question, you can coax the interviewer to reveal some of the things that left them wondering about your fit. When you hear such insights, briefly counter-address them.
8 Very Good Questions to Ask After an Interview
To make the most out of the opportunity prepare three buckets of questions to ask after an interview:
- Work environment: Even if you did some research on the company, you may still have some questions left. Fire them away! You should ask questions that will allow you to weigh up and evaluate the position on offer fully.
- Role and responsibilities: Ask to prove some extra context on the positions and expectations around your performance. A lot of job applicants go into their interviews with a few niggling doubts in the back of their minds. So the last thing you want is to go into the next rounds and only then discovering that the job isn’t exactly what you expected to be.
- Sneaky questions: Once you are done with the general ones, turn the conversation back at you and ask the manager about their doubts, concerns, or overall impression of you as a candidate. We’ll show how to frame these without sounding too blatant!
Overall, start with the general questions first about the job and the company. The answers you receive for your most basic level questions will be able to reassure you that this is a professional company that is well organized and operates fairly. Should your interviewer react oddly or answer your questions with vague answers, then you may want to think again about joining the company. Then if you have another 10-15 minutes left, turn the spotlight back on you. Now onto the follow-up questions to ask after an interview!
1. What are the day-to-day responsibilities that come with this role?
This is a nice intro question to learn more about the company structure, schedule, and overall expectations extended towards all staff. Skip this one if you’ve already talked at lengths about your duties and responsibilities during the interview.
2. Who will I be working with?
You will learn about your teammates or co-workers, whether you will be liaising with other departments within the company and who your line managers will be. Understanding how cross-functional the job is will give you an indication of how challenging the role may be.
3. What are the most challenging aspects of this role?
A good question to ask, especially if you will be expected to hit set deadlines or reach predetermined performance goals. Knowing that you will have some challenges thrown your way will keep you motivated if you like fast-paced workplaces. On the other hand, if the interviewer solely names factors such as “long working hours”, “overtime”, or “short deadlines”, these may be codenames for broken work culture and weak organizational processes. Think twice if that’s something you are ready to sign-up for.
4. What do YOU like best about working for this company?
Interviewers like these kinds of questions. They are in a good position to tell you what working for the company is like first-hand, but you will also be able to tell if this is a good company to work for by their response and enthusiasm for your question. Happy employees will talk enthusiastically about the company. Unhappy employees won’t.
5. What are my opportunities for professional advancement?
This isn’t a pushy question and the employer should be able to answer this without hesitation. The answer will indicate whether you do have some opportunities for career progression or not. Should the interviewer not be able to provide you with a clear answer or is a little vague about any in-house training and development programs, then this should be a concern for you.
The last thing you want is to move into a role that will see you stagnate. The employer should also realize that career progression is important and if they want to improve their staff retention levels and keep hold of their most skilled employees, they need to be able to offer good career opportunities for their staff.
6. Do you have high employee turnover rates for this role?
This question may be forthcoming, but you have every right to know the job security prospects. The last thing you’d want is to be suddenly laid off. High employee turnover obviously means that there’s something wrong. Either the pay isn’t competitive or the workplace culture is toxic. If the interviewer deflects this question or fails to provide an adequate explanation for high turnover, treat it as a red flag.
Also, here’s a “softer” question you may want to ask instead: why are you hiring externally for this role? This will prompt the interviewer to talk about what happened to the previous person or why they are not considering an internal candidate.
7. Is there anything you need to know that wasn’t covered on my resume?
Never leave your job interview with the employer still having unanswered questions about you. Asking this question allows you to fill in some blanks and talk again about your core competencies and competitive strengths. Or bring up some areas that were left unaddressed such as your soft skills or overall personality.
8. Why do you think I may be good for this role?
This is the sneakiest question Robert Cialdini, published author and Professor Emeritus of Psychology and Marketing at Arizona State University, prompts job candidates to ask.
As he writes in the book Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion, posing this question prompts the employer to reflect on their perception of you so far and summarize your key strengths. Not only this helps finish the interview on a highly positive note, but also their reply will likely provide you with some nice pointers you can use to do even better at other interviews!
The questions that you ask your interviewer can not only make or break your chances of landing the job, but it also helps you to be one of the most memorable candidates. Because you will stick in the mind of your interviewer for the questions you asked, your chances of landing the job on offer might double.
Asking pertinent follow up questions to ask after an interview is a good way to not only make you stand out from the crowd but will also reassure you that this role is a good fit for your career plans!