A List of 20 Smart Questions to Ask in an Interview
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When attending an interview, it's also an opportunity for you to learn more about the company and the position. Asking thoughtful questions can help show your interest in the role. Reviewing smart questions to consider asking can help you create a list of questions to ask during your interview. In this article, we discuss why it's beneficial to ask smart questions and explore 20 examples.
Related: How to Prepare for an Interview
The importance of having smart questions to ask in an interview
Having smart questions to ask in an interview is important for the following reasons:
Gives you the chance to learn. By asking thoughtful questions, you can learn more about the company and the position. This can help determine whether you're going to accept a possible job offer.
Indicates you're interested in the role. Asking questions shows the employer you're eager to learn more about the role. Having this enthusiasm can help you make a good impression.
Reflects you've done your research. Smart questions are about topics the interviewer has yet to cover. Asking about the information you couldn't find on your own shows an employer you've done the research.
20 smart questions to ask in an interview
Here are 20 smart questions to ask during an interview:
1. What is the hiring process of the company?
Asking more about a company's hiring process can help you gain insight into their leadership, organisational structure and how soon you might fill a position. This can help you make an educated choice about continuing to pursue a position with the company. Understanding this information can also help you prepare for future interviews.
2. How long has this position been open?
Sometimes positions remain vacant for a long time. In other instances, someone might still be in the position and have a projected opening date in the future. This can help provide direction for follow-up questions, such as why the position is open or when it might become vacant. Knowing these details can help you determine if the position's timelines work with yours.
3. Can you tell me more about the average workday for this position?
Asking this type of question can help you learn more about the tasks you might complete. It's a good idea to take notes so you can reference this information later. Knowing this can help you decide if you're ready for the responsibilities.
4. Do you have any more questions for me?
This question gives an interviewer the opportunity to clarify your qualifications, experience or skills. This can also help you understand more about how the interview is progressing. If they have no further questions, this can indicate you've effectively answered all questions.
5. What does success look like in the company?
The answer to this can help you understand more about a company's values, which can help you determine if they align with your own. This can also enable the interviewer to expand on how they track the performance and achievements of employees. Understanding more about success in the company can help you discover important skills and qualifications that can benefit you.
6. What kinds of challenges can I expect from this position?
Knowing about the potential barrier to the role can help you decide if you can overcome these barriers. It can also provide an opportunity to think of creative ways to overcome these obstacles. Brainstorming these ideas can help demonstrate your excitement for the role and can further show an employer how you can benefit their organisation.
7. How might you describe the company's culture?
A company's culture reflects the attitudes of the organisation's leadership team and its employees. It can also reflect how the company values its customers. Knowing this information can help you determine if the company is the right fit for you. Researching the company on social media, job boards and online reviews can also help you learn more about the business's culture.
8. What does the onboarding and training process look like for this role?
Learning more about the onboarding and training process can help you understand what to expect on the first day or week at a company. This can also show an employer the value you place on training. Asking about the onboarding and training process can also help you prepare for them.
9. Does the company have or encourage social or team-building events?
This question can show your enthusiasm for getting to know your potential team members. This can also understand more about the value that the company places on teamwork, collaboration and communication. An interviewer's answer can help you envision if you want to take part in these events.
10. What kind of career development opportunities does the company offer?
Consider asking this question if you value career growth and professional development. This can provide insight into if a company provides any additional training or tuition reimbursement. Professional development can also provide some information about potential advancement opportunities within the company.
11. Who might I be working with the most?
While job descriptions can include what department you might work in or who you might be reporting to, sometimes employers leave out this information. Asking this question can help you figure out who your potential team members and manager might be. You can even look them up on the company's team page.
12. What are some projects I might work on?
This question helps you learn about the scope of your work. If you're excited about the projects the employer discussed, this job might be a good fit for you. If not, you may either want to learn more about the role or search for a better opportunity.
13. What do you like about working with this company?
You can tell if an interview went well when you feel excited about the position you applied to. This question helps you decide if this employer is going to help you enjoy coming to work every day. It's the interviewer's chance to impress you with all the great things their company does for employees.
14. What advice do you think is most helpful to new team members?
Asking this type of question can help you show your interest in succeeding in the new role. This question can also help you learn more about the expectations for the position. The advice the interviewer supplies can also help you discover what skills and qualifications to consider developing.
15. If I want to succeed in this role, what skills do you think are helpful to develop?
Learn what hard and soft skills are essential to the role by asking this question. This gives your interviewer the opportunity to elaborate on what abilities can help you succeed in this role. If you already have a lot of the skills they're listing, this can be a sign that you're prepared for the job.
16. Can you tell me about a time the company implemented a new process based on employee feedback?
This question can help you understand how the company receives feedback from its employees. It can also show the company's dedication to continuous improvement. Knowing about this information can help you understand how to suggest improvements to company processes or policies.
17. Is there a formal employee feedback process?
Performance reviews and regular feedback are great ways to learn how you're doing in your role. Based on your interviewer's answer, you may be able to tell if this workplace gives employees enough feedback and praise. See if they have a solid feedback system in place.
18. Is this role new, or am I filling someone's position?
This question can help you figure out the expectations for the role. For instance, if you're taking over, the employer might expect you to do similar or even better work than the previous employee. If it's a new role, this gives you the chance to prove the company needs you.
19. What's your favourite thing about working with this company?
Your interviewer's response can tell you a lot about the company culture. If they're eager to share multiple memories, this can indicate that you may have a good time working here. It also shows that employee morale is high, especially if you're on a panel interview and everyone has something fun to share.
20. What is one thing you can improve with this company?
Asking this type of question can help you learn more about a company's culture and values. This can also provide you with insight into whether you want to continue pursuing a role with the company. This question can also provide direction for any additional questions you might have.
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