Interviewees Asking Questions In Interviews: 8 Expert Tips

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In the competitive landscape of job seeking, acing an interview is crucial, but it’s not just about answering questions. It’s equally important for candidates to ask their potential employers questions. This practice not only demonstrates your keen interest in the role but also helps in assessing if the employer is the right fit for you. After all, employment is a two way street.

Do you find yourself hesitant to ask questions during interviews? Are you unsure about which questions to ask? We’ve got you covered. Heed these eight pieces of advice and shine during your next interview.

1. Use Your Questions to Demonstrate Interest and Research

By asking well-researched and specific questions, you convey a deep interest in the role and the organization. Questions about recent developments in the company or industry-specific challenges show that you’ve done your homework and are genuinely interested in the position​​.

“Not asking any questions is a red flag,” says Senior Recruiter Alessia Pagliaroli. “How can you not be curious about anything? Go on the company’s website and prepare a few questions, for Pete’s sake.”1

2. But Read the Room

While it is a good idea to ask questions, that doesn’t mean you have to stick around all day.

“Sometimes they’re ready to show you the door, but they’ve politely asked you if you have any questions,” says Goldbeck Recruiting President Henry Goldbeck. “Don’t overstay your welcome.”

Pagliaroli concurs. “You don’t have to ask 20 questions. It’s best to read the room.”

3. Ask the Right Questions & Showcase Your Fit

The questions you ask can reflect how well you understand the company’s operations and whether you would be a good fit for the team. For instance, asking about the company’s project management tools or team collaboration practices can provide insights into whether your skills and experiences align with their work environment​​.

To put this another way, the very questions you ask will themselves provide answers to those interviewing you.

4. Get Specific About the Role

The job description tells one side of the story, but it’s always better to get specific information about expectations and responsibilities straight from the horse’s mouth.

“Job seekers want to know what a day in the role will actually look like,” says Senior Recruiter Vanessa Cox. “As recruiters, we don’t always have that information, so a few solid questions can go a long way.”

5. Look for Clues about Management Style and Company Culture

The way potential supervisors answer your questions can reveal much about their management style and the overall culture of the organization. Pay attention to whether they acknowledge team efforts or focus solely on their achievements. The tone and content of responses can also indicate the company’s communication style and morale​​.

6. Evaluate Opportunities and Challenges

Seek to understand the role’s potential challenges and growth opportunities. Questions about career progression, training, and development opportunities can give you a clearer picture of what to expect and whether the company invests in its employees’ growth.

7. Pre-Empt Any Doubts with a Proactive Question

Ask the interviewer if there’s anything that would make them hesitate to offer you the position. The question may sound unconventional, but Executive Assistant Ciaran Henderson believes that it makes sense.

“It opens the door to criticism, while at the same time allowing you to address and mitigate any issues that they may have in the back of their head,” he explains. “It’s a powerful way to end an interview.”

8. Accept the Tea

Upon arrival, your interviewer may offer you water, coffee, or tea. Henderson advises you to accept the offer, even if you don’t want it.

“Psychologically, it creates a bond,” he says. “If you say no to them the second you walk in the room, it can create a distance.”

Ultimately, there’s no substitute for a strong history and a thorough understanding of the job you’re being interviewed for. The little things, however, can make a difference. Asking intelligent questions of your interviewer not only allows you to gain valuable information about the job itself but it gives you an opportunity to demonstrate your own interest and comprehension, potentially giving you a leg up on the competition.

Cited Sources

1 Direct communication with Goldbeck staff members