Nearly every job interview ends the same way. After the recruiter or hiring manager completes their list of queries, they give you the floor with a simple ask: “Do you have any questions for me?”
This is your opportunity to learn about the position and company to determine whether or not the role is the right fit. Plus, asking the right questions shows the interviewer you’re interested in the position and eager to know more.
But it’s not always easy to know what to ask and how to ask it. Let’s explore effective questions to ask at the end of an interview to make a solid first impression.
Why should you ask questions at the end of an interview?
When you land an interview, it’s crucial to make the most of it. After all, data suggests the average worker is invited to just one interview out of every six job applications.
Asking smart questions at the end of your interview shows the hiring manager you’re engaged and invested in the job offer — and it’s a great way to stand out.
Research from Twin Employment and Training found 47% of interviewers said they wouldn’t offer the job to a candidate if they had little knowledge of the company. Use the question period to demonstrate to the interviewer that you’ve conducted prior research and are eager to learn more about the organization.
The only wrong response when a recruiter asks if you have any questions? Saying, “No.” Declining to pose questions might make it seem as though you’re uninterested in the role and not good at thinking on your feet, neither of which makes you appear to be a strong candidate.
15 best questions to ask at the end of an interview
Strong interview questions reflect your interest in the company’s culture and give you a chance to inquire about your role’s expectations and growth opportunities. These queries also allow you to gain valuable insight into the company’s culture and the aspects of the role — so don’t skip out on them.
Here are 20 questions to ask during an interview to make a positive first impression:
1. How would you describe the company’s culture?
A 2019 Glassdoor survey found that 77% of job seekers consider a company’s culture before applying to a role, and 56% consider a company’s culture more important than compensation when it comes to job satisfaction.
If you find yourself among those who value a business’s environment over all else, this question gives you insight into how the company treats staff and how people interact with one another.
2. What’s your favorite thing about working for this company?
This is among the best interview questions to ask an employer to gain insight into the company’s culture and values. The interviewer’s answer sheds light on the best parts of working for the company and gives you an idea of what you might enjoy.
If the response cites a negative quality, like the business encouraging working evenings and weekends to get ahead, this may be an indication the role isn’t right for you.
3. What attributes would make me a successful employee at this company?
Each workplace measures success differently. Asking this question tells the interviewer you’re determined to adapt and succeed and provides an idea of what will be expected of you (should they hire you).
4. How can I improve my competitiveness for this role?
This question displays your determination to join the company. It also allows the recruiter to ask to see more of your work through samples or a portfolio, giving you another chance to show off more of your skills.
After all, a resume and cover letter rarely afford you enough space to demonstrate every aspect of your value-add.
5. What do you think encourages employees to stay at this company?
The interviewer’s answer to this question tells you how employees view the company and whether or not the organization values retaining its employees. See if their response seems accurate and realistic. Do they cite the organization’s unlimited paid-time-off policy, or attribute it to the bosses’ approach to leadership?
6. If I’m hired, what would a typical day look like in this role?
If you’re familiar with the position’s requirements but not the day-to-day workflow tasks, this question can reveal how you’ll spend most of your time if hired. Knowing whether the typical responsibilities appeal to you is essential before going further in the interview process or accepting a job offer.
7. Will I have the opportunity to meet the person I’ll report to during the next interview?
Meeting your potential manager is helpful when deciding if a role will be the right fit, so ask this question if they’re not present in the first round. If you can meet the person you’d report directly to, you’ll have a better idea of what your relationship will look like (and whether the two of you seem compatible).
8. If hired, what’s the most important thing I should accomplish in my first 90 days?
Knowing what your employer wants you to achieve in the first few months allows you to demonstrate the qualifications they desire as you move through the interview process. Their answer also informs you about the types of projects you’ll work on so you can see if they interest you.
9. How could my career progress in the company with this role?
This question shows the interviewer you’re looking for a long-term professional commitment and reveals whether or not the company has growth potential. Is this somewhere you can launch a career? Or is upward mobility limited?
10. Do you have any hesitations about my qualifications?
This is a bold question, so use it wisely. The query encourages the interviewer to bring up any doubts they have about your candidacy. With this information, you can introduce personal experience that fills any gaps and build a stronger case for yourself.
11. What’s your timeline for filling this position?
Ask this question to understand when you can expect an answer to your application or an invitation to participate in next steps. The interviewer’s response also tells you how urgently they’re looking to fill the role and whether or not this aligns with your needs.
12. What’s one of the most exciting projects you’ve worked on here?
This question helps build rapport with the interviewer and reveals what employees contribute to the company. Do they find their job engaging? Or do they struggle to think of an example?
13. What’s been your favorite moment at the company?
The interviewer’s response will tell you what aspects of working for the company make it enjoyable for employees. Although what others appreciate may differ from your preferences, this question gives you a sneak peek into the company’s culture.
14. What’s the performance review process like, and how often would I be reviewed?
If you’re looking for a role where you can grow your skills, working for a company that performs regular performance reviews is essential. The answer to this question lets you know how you’ll be reviewed and if the environment is conducive to continuous improvement.
15. What are the company’s current goals, and how does this role contribute?
The recruiter’s answer should explain how your role contributes to the company’s mission and greater good. This is important to understand if you’re looking for a position that will bring you a sense of purpose and accomplishment.
How to frame your end-of-interview questions
The questions you ask a recruiter are almost as important as those you answer during the interview — and how you ask them matters. Let’s explore the tone you should use, the type of questions you should use, and how many questions to ask at the end of an interview:
1. Be confident
There are numerous ways to increase your confidence and reduce stress before a job interview — you can try power poses, mindful breathing, or positive self-talk. Everyone has different methods for pumping themselves up, so what works for someone else may not work for you. It’s best to try different approaches to determine which technique is the best for building your self-confidence.
One way you can inspire confidence is to prepare. When you know your stuff, you’re able to adapt to the conversation and articulate yourself clearly.
To prepare for an interview effectively, research the company by exploring its website and browsing third-party sources, like news outlets or social media. Learning about the company’s history, core values, and current projects will help you create informed questions.
2. Ask open-ended questions
The type of questions you ask an interviewer impacts the quality of their answers. Open-ended questions encourage detailed responses, whereas closed-ended questions prompt the interviewer to respond with a specific answer, most often a “Yes” or “No.”
How you frame your question impacts whether it will be open or closed. For example, if you want to know about employee retention, you can inquire, “What do you think encourages employees to stay at this company?” This open-ended question encourages the interviewer to provide a detailed explanation.
But if you ask this as a closed-ended question, like “Are employees encouraged to stay at this company?” the interviewer answers with a word or two and you won’t learn details as to why or why not.
3. Limit yourself
When the floor is yours, it’s best not to overdo it. Limiting yourself to a maximum of three questions ensures all are well-thought-out and intentional.
One to three questions are considerate of the interviewer’s time and account for the rest of the work day they must attend to. Before the interview, prepare five or so substantial questions in case most are answered during the interview. This way, if the interviewer covers some of your planned questions, you have a backup.
There’s a subtle difference between confidence and arrogance. Asking too many questions about the contract terms can make you appear overconfident about receiving the offer. If you get the job, you can work out the details then — so it’s best to save details regarding compensation and benefits for later.
4. Add a personal touch
How you phrase your questions matters. Instead of asking queries that are vague or impersonal, encourage the recruiter to think about you in the role — this makes you more memorable.
Personalized questions help the interviewer picture you as a potential employee more clearly. For example, instead of asking a generic question like “What does success look like in this role?” ask, “How can I succeed in this role?”
Lock down your dream job
Applying for jobs is a challenging process, and interviews are often extremely competitive. But with the right tips and tricks, you can improve your chances of landing a position that inspires you.
When applying for your dream role, anything you can do to stand out makes you more likely to land the job. Preparing answers to common interview questions and creating a list of good questions to ask at the end of the interview are two excellent ways to ensure the meeting goes well and the hiring manager remembers you.