Smart Interview Questions to Ask The Interviewer

interview questions to ask theinterviewer

What interview questions can you ask and not ask the interviewer?

During every interview, you will often be asked whether you have any questions to ask the interviewer. This is an opportunity for you, the interviewee, to seek clarification on any issues you may have concerning the job. It also shows that you have done your research and you are interested in knowing more about the company.

However, most people say that they do not have questions because they want to play safe and let the interviewer do the asking. This is your moment to build a relationship with the interviewer and not an interrogation moment so, do the asking as well.

Importance of asking questions in an interview as the interviewee

It demonstrates that you have done your research

Asking the interviewer intelligent questions relating to the job or the company during an interview shows that you took the time do your homework. It demonstrates that you are interested in the company and the job and this led you to a fact-finding mission so that you could better understand the company.

It even gets better if you can ask questions relating to current affairs as it shows that you have been paying attention. For example, if you have gone for an interview in a company that recently declared profits, you can ask questions relating to what led to the positive outcome.

It shows that you are attentive

Some people just apply for jobs because they can and then go for the interview just because they have been called. However, the interviewer does not just want to interrogate you and move on to the next candidate. No. This is a conversation, it is a 2-way street so you should also ask questions, otherwise the interviewer will perceive you as being disinterested.

Once you also start asking questions, you are unlikely to forget things that you need to say as you turn the interview into a conversation where you discuss your skills and suitability for the job.

It demonstrates your enthusiasm for the job

When you just sit there and answer questions like a machine, you are very unlikely to delve deeper into just how well your skills fit into the role you are interviewing for. Additionally, if you do not ask questions, you are unlikely to get more information.

What this communicates to the interviewer is that you are not excited about the job and they would be much better considering another candidate. Do not limit your chances of getting the job by looking as if you are not interested.

So, what questions can you ask in an interview?

Questions relating to the company

To begin with, ask questions that are company-specific. In this case, you should focus on questions that help you know more about the company. Being an outsider, there are many things you may not know about the company.

Asking such questions shows that you are interested in working for the company and you have researched well before the interview. You can ask questions about processes and policies. Some sample questions include:

  • What is this company’s culture like?
  • Does the company offer training opportunities for its employees?
  • What are some of the incentives that the company offers to its employees for hitting their targets?
  • What are some of the company’s biggest challenges at the moment?
  • Who is your most serious competitor and why do you consider them your biggest competitor?
  • When an opportunity arises, does the company typically recruit from within before looking outside first?

Questions relating to the position

These questions will help you know more about the job and what your specific day will look like on the job and what is expected of you. The responsibilities listed in a job advertisement may not be exhaustive as most are a summary of what the job entails.

However, before you commit to the job, you should know more details about it so that you have a clear picture of what you are committing to.

Some of the questions you can ask about the position include:

  • What exactly are the expectations of the person who takes up the position?
  • What are some of the problems am I expected to solve when I get the job?
  • Does the job offer additional training for the person who gets the job?
  • How is a typical day like for the  person who takes up this job?
  • What are some of the additional duties that come with the job?
  • What do you consider some of the most important skills for the person who holds this job?
  • What are some of the challenges facing this department at the moment?
  • Are there growth opportunities for the person holding this position?
  • What is the next step in this interview process?
  • When can I expect to hear from you?
  • How is performance measured for this position?
  • What are the reporting lines for this position?

These are some of the most important questions as they demonstrate your interest. However, do not ask all the questions but rather, choose a few that fit the job you are interviewing for and ask them appropriately. You also do not have to wait to be prompted to ask questions at the end of the interview. You can always ask questions as the interview proceeds especially if you need clarification.

Questions not to ask in an interview

Conversely, there are questions that can sabotage your chances of getting the job. These are questions that show you are not interested in the position or you had not done your research well. They include:

Questions about remuneration

It is always advisable to let the interviewer initiate the negotiation about remuneration. However, here are some questions you should never ask about the same:

  • Will I get any benefits and discounts immediately?
  • When are employees paid?
  • Should I expect periodical raises when I get the job?

Questions about the job

Some questions about the role may show that you are not interested in the job. As much as you would like to know about some of the things, you can always find the answers by doing some subtle research about the job outside of the interview. Some of these questions include:

  • Are there any other positions available?
  • Is it possible to get a promotion as soon as I start?
  • How many other people have been interviewed for this job?
  • How soon will I be allowed to take leave after taking the job?
  • Does this job come with overtime pay if I work for more hours than the official?
  • What are the duties of the person holding this job?
  • What are the main goals of this job?

Questions about the company

There are very many resources nowadays and finding out about the company should not be hard. As such, some questions only show that you lack interest or are not eager to work at the company. They include:

  • How old is this company?
  • Why do you think the competitor does better than you?
  • What are the company’s main products?
  • Does the company offer its staff such services as tea or lunch?
  • What allowances are employees entitled to?
  • Do you give your employees transport services?
  • How do you make accommodations for people with families?
  • Will I be required to work extra hours?
  • Do you monitor your employees in any way?
  • Will you contact my referees?

In conclusion, when you have intelligent questions to ask the interviewer, you might get to know more about the company and the job and you show the interviewer that you are interested in the job. However, keep your questions relevant and only ask a few questions. Additionally, do not ask questions that can ruin your chances of getting the job. Your questions show that you have done your research well.

Enjoyed this article? Also check out Essential interview questions you should know before 2017

81 thoughts on “Smart Interview Questions to Ask The Interviewer

    1. Hello Valerie,
      Glad you found this helpful. Keep reading for more inspiration. Sorry about your loss, but don’t worry. It’s never too late. Now you are well equipped for the next interview.
      ^DM

    1. Hello Marcelo,
      Glad you found this helpful. Keep reading for more inspiration. Stay tuned for industry-specific interview questions.
      ^DM

  1. Wow! Thanks so much for the great insight, I appreciate every bit of the smart interview question. Please my question is that ,can I jot some or all of these question on a sheet of paper to ask the interviewer? And is it allowed?

    1. Hello John,
      Yes please! Have some writing pad and pen when going for an interview. It not only makes you look prepared but also gives you the opportunity to write down important points during the interview, like your interviewers’ names. All the best!
      ^DM

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