Career Advice: 15 Essential Questions to Ask at the End of a Job Interview

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If they say, "No, you answered all of my questions very well," then this may tell you you're in good shape. If they respond with, "Actually, could you tell me more about X? Hoover recommends this question because it's a quick way to figure out whether your skills align with what the company is currently looking for.

If they don't match up, then you know to walk away instead of wasting time pursuing the wrong position, she says. It's important to ask about the pecking order of a company in case you have several bosses, Vicky Oliver writes in her book " Smart Answers to Tough Interview Questions. If you're going to be working for several people, you need to know "the lay of the internal land," she says — or if you're going to be over several people, you probably would want to get to know them before accepting the position.


This question is not for the faint of heart, but it shows that you are already thinking about how you can help the company rise to meet some of its bigger goals, says Peter Harrison, CEO of Snagajob. Knowing what skills the company thinks are important will give you more insight into its culture and management values, Hoover says, so you can evaluate whether you would fit in.

Hoover says this question gives you a broad view of the corporate philosophy of a company and of whether it prioritizes employee happiness. While this question puts you in a vulnerable position, it shows that you are confident enough to openly bring up and discuss your weaknesses with your potential employer. Hoover says this question lets you "create a sense of camaraderie" with the interviewer because "interviewers, like anyone, usually like to talk about themselves and especially things they know well.

Knowing how managers use their employees is important, so you can decide whether they are the type of boss that will let you use your strengths to help the company succeed. Asking about an offer rather than a decision will give you a better sense of the timeline because "decision" is broad, while "offer" refers to when it's ready to hand over the contract. Harrison says this is a respectful way to ask about shortcomings within the company — which you should be aware of before joining.

As a bonus, he says, it shows that you are being proactive in wanting to understand more about the internal workings before joining. This shows your eagerness about the position, Harrison says, and it gives you a better idea of what the job would be like on a daily basis so you can decide whether you want to pursue it. The main point of this question is to get your interviewer to reveal how the company measures success.

This question shows the interviewer that you care about your future at the company, and it will also help you decide if you're a good fit for the position, Oliver writes.

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Becca Brown, the cofounder of the women's shoe-care company Solemates, interviewed 20 to 30 job candidates a year in her various roles at Goldman Sachs. She told Business Insider she wished candidates would have asked her this question.

4 Essential Questions to Ask at the End of a Job Interview

She continues: "I think this is a good question for interviewees to ask because as a candidate if you see where the person interviewing you is headed, you can decide if that trajectory is in line with your career objectives. While they don't have to be completely correlated, it's helpful for the candidate to have some indication of the interviewer's direction. Hoover says that knowing whether the company wants you to meet with potential coworkers will give you insight into how much the company values building team synergy. In addition, if the interviewer says you have four more interviews to go, you've gained a better sense of the hiring timeline as well, she says.

Harrison says this question shows that you're willing to work hard to ensure you grow along with your company. This is particularly important for hourly workers, he says, because they typically have a higher turnover rate and are looking for people who are thinking long-term.

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  6. Knowing how a company deals with conflicts gives you a clearer picture of the company's culture, Harrison says. But more importantly, asking about conflict resolution shows that you know dealing with disagreements in a professional manner is essential to the company's growth and success. This might be uncomfortable to ask, but Harrison says it's not uncommon and shows you are being smart and analytical by wanting to know why someone may have been unhappy in this role. Getting the chance to meet with potential teammates or managers is essential to any professional interview process, Hoover says.

    If they don't give that chance, "proceed with caution," she says. I want to recruit people who visualise doing their job well, not focusing immediately on their remuneration package. By asking the right questions during your interview, you will be able to more easily decide whether the job and the company is the right opportunity for you. Asking questions is also key to demonstrating your interest in the role and convincing the interviewer that you would do the job well.

    You should aim for your interviews to feel more like a conversation than an interrogation by making sure you come to the meeting with a few pre-prepared and varied questions. The answer to this question will reveal whether the role has expanded to absorb modern practices and technology over time. The question shows you are keen to keep pace with advances, and have a positive attitude to change. You could use the conversation around this question to exhibit your knowledge of recent industry trends and developments.

    This is another classic question, which shows you have career ambitions and want to get on in the world.

    4 Essential Questions to Ask at the End of a Job Interview

    It will also reveal something about how talent is nurtured and promoted within the organisation. This is a tactful way of determining exactly what skills and experience are required for the role. If possible try and research your colleagues before the interview process.

    How Do You Accept a Job Offer?

    If not, or on top of that, try and find out as much as possible about them from the interviewer. Getting on with your colleagues is crucial to your job satisfaction — 70 per cent of workers say having friends at work is the most important element to a happy working life. You can then decide whether your skillset is well suited to the role or not.

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    This question signals your interest in working as a team as you want to know where you will fit in and contribute to the organisations long-term success. What do they expect from someone who is hired for this position? How do they evaluate that performance? Are there reviews? By the way, who are you actually working for? Not just your supervisor, but the company overall.

    Speaking of moving forward, is this a job with room for growth and advancement? How about your fellow co-workers? What about the people that make up the roster of employees? Who are you going to be working with? Are you working with a team? Another important consideration to keep in mind is the culture of the company you are going to work for. What kind of place is it?

    Disclaimer About "Over-Tailoring"

    Is it a suit and tie sort of place or are employees allowed to be a little more casual? Now what? Are there further steps that need to be completed? Now that we have the categories outlined, we can start really drilling down with these questions to ask the interviewer. Yes, we sort of roughed out quite a few when we described the categories, but those are general questions.

    The questions you want to ask are going to be specific…researched…and tailored! But you just gave me seven categories! Nobody wants to hire an idiot! First off, take a deep breath and relax. How do I know which questions are the right questions to be asking? Ahh, so glad you asked! The easiest way to figure out which questions to ask at an interview is to start out by asking them before you get to the interview. Remember too that the best questions are the ones that lead to discussion and back and forth between you and the interviewer.

    This is an opportunity to mine for knowledge, not show off or make the hiring manager feel stupid or confused. To keep going back to the dating analogy, you want to ask questions that get you both talking…and give you the opportunity to learn. So how many questions should I be asking? Is there a magic number? Before you run off and begin writing down your questions, remember…tailor, tailor, tailor! How do you do this? The same way you do for traditional and behavioral questions.

    Do your research.