50+ Questions to Ask at the End of an Interview (2021)
Want to know the best questions to ask at the end of an interview? Asking questions at the end of a job interview can show that you're genuinely interested in the position. And passionate about the business you are trying to get hired at.
Asking questions at the end of an interview can assist in filling any mental or physical gaps that the hiring manager could have about your resume or cover letter, too.
It can be a great way to gain the insight required in order to write a powerful thank-you email after your interview. And to follow up with any recommendation letters or references that could help the recruiter/hiring manager.
Here's why you should ask questions to close an interview:
- It shows you're highly engaged in the job interview.
- It shows you're interested in the role.
- Can assist in writing a powerful thank-you email after the interview.
- Will be helpful in forwarding any other job application assets that can assist in making a hiring decision for the manager/company.
How many questions should I ask?
This will depend on how long the job interview is scheduled for. And how long the interviewer is providing you at the end of the interview.
Prepare at least 3-5 questions to ask. Then try to ask as many as you can at the end.
If you can't ask any questions at the end, it's okay to include one of your questions in your thank-you note once the interview is complete.
Why is asking questions important?
The job interview is a two-way street. You should be able to learn whether or not this is a job you truly want whenever you interview. And when an interviewer takes up 30-minutes of a 45-minute interview, it's time for you to learn about the job.
Remember, job interviews aren't only for the interviewer.
Get your internal hesitations, questions, and concerns smoothed during your question asking process.
Should I ask questions at the end of every interview?
Yes! Whether this is your first interview, second interview, or a phone interview—it doesn't matter. Asking questions shows you're interested, engaged, and ready to move forward with the interview process.
Which questions should I ask in an interview?
This is where having prepared answers in advance is going to help. Try to prepare anywhere from five to ten questions in advance of your interview.
Then, cross out any questions that have already gotten answered by the interviewer during the interview.
Whatever questions remain by the end of the interview, ask those. Try to pick questions that will get you insights into what to follow up with after the interview. Or what the company/job is like in order to ensure you're truly passionate about the position.
What shouldn't I ask?
Asking the wrong type of questions can be hurtful to your interview, too. Any questions that are immediately related to indicators that you might struggle to perform on the job, should be avoided.
It's okay to ask about work/life balance. Or even about salary expectations. Those are considered "okay" questions that job seekers could previously be avoidant to ask.
- When do we leave the office each day?
- Is it okay if I'm late a few times?
- When do we get paid?
- How quickly can I quit if I need to?
What about questions by phone or zoom? Are they different?
If you're in a zoom, panel, or phone interview, many of the questions to ask are not different.
The only thing to keep in mind is which questions could have already gotten answered to you in another way. If the interviewer feels like they covered a topic already. And you decide to inquire about it further, it could show that your active-listening skills aren't strong.
Be sure to keep notes during the interview. And then reference those notes when you're deciding which questions to ask.
Questions to ask at the end of an interview
Ask in an interview to get an idea of the company culture and more.
What's the culture like in the office?
This can help to provide insight into the company workplace. And whether employees are happy. Or whether you'll be happy in the workplace.
While you could receive a boilerplate response, it's best to ask this question and see how the interviewer responds.
Could you walk me through an average workweek/day?
Get an idea of what the typical day and typical week looks like inside the company. Try to get a sense of how the company operates from this question. Rather than asking about the job title.
You'll want to ask about the job title's responsibilities in another question.
How does the company ensure it's inclusive of all ethnicities?
A great question that can assist in identifying any bias or culture issues.
Companies should have a plan and daily routine that represents inclusivity and connectivity throughout their workforce.
How would you describe the companies culture?
Ask this question from the hiring manager's perspective. Rather than asking about the company office culture.
If the hiring manager responds with an answer that focuses on the company, follow up with another question. Ask, "How do you personally describe the culture?"
What's your favorite thing about working for the company?
A great question that can identify key qualities that the interviewer feels compelled about while employed at the company.
It's a great idea to ask how long they've been employed with the company, too.
Where do you see the company evolving in the next five years or ten years?
Will provide insight into how the CEO defines the vision for the business. And where the company plans to go over the next 5 to 10 years.
How would the person in this role contribute to the vision of the business?
This can help to evaluate success for any employee. And can give insight into how employees succeed within the job/company.
Use this as a tool to gain insight into the expectations of each employee.
Do you think the company defines and demonstrates its values each day?
A qualifying question that help to raise the actions the company takes on a daily basis to follow through with their company values.
The answer could be a "yes" or "no" response, though.
What characteristics, qualities, skills, or attributes makes a successful employee here?
A useful tool in gathering information that could help to promote qualities and skills that are not currently in your resume. Use this question to write down answers for your second interview.
Who is our top competitor and why?
While you should have this information already, in advance of your interview. It can be useful to confirm that your research is correct.
Be sure to share that you recognize who the major competitors are. And who they are.
How have you become better by working here?
What qualities or skills has the employee gained by being employed with the company? This is a great way to learn how you could advance your career inside the business.
What's the biggest challenge the business/company/industry is facing?
Once again, a question where you should have the answer in advance of your job interview.
Though, it's best to confirm your research and share knowledge or opinions you could have about the industry.
How is the company addressing the industry changes?
What actions are they taking to adapt? And what're they doing to change to market conditions?
What's the current employee turnover rate?
A question that could sound potentially daunting to any hiring manager, this is a great question. It might be best to preface with a phrase or intention in order to soften the question.
For example, saying "This might sound like an odd question. But, would you mind telling me what the current employee turnover rate is?"
What's the biggest flaw at the company right now?
Hear the persons perspective. What could the company be doing more of or less of?
This could help to fill gaps in company knowledge that give you the opportunity to confirm that this is a culture/place you'd like to be part of.
What're the expectations you would give to a new employee here?
Make sure your values align with the business, then learn what could be expected of you. This will provide assistance in learning about the company's work/life balance.
Ask in an interview to get an idea of the role/position.
What would a career trajectory or advancement look like in this position?
Get an idea of what the future looks like. Or how other employees have advanced themselves once they took this job. Learn how you could advance in your career/industry.
It's wonderful to learn how others in the industry could have utilized the business, too. This can give you a sense of how you could answer future job interview questions.
Why is this position open?
It's best to learn why the position is open. If anyone else left the position because they felt the job was overwhelming, it's best to mark that as a red flag.
The interviewer should explain in a short yet detailed way why the position is open.
When did the last person leave this position?
This will help to learn whether this is a new job opening or existing one. And whether the job is difficult for the interviewer to fill.
If the job is difficult for the interviewer to fill, it's important to note that as a potential red flag.
Can you tell me who I'll be working with?
Asking this could help to research who your team will be. Or to learn what types of resources you'll have available at your disposal.
If there are no resources behind you, it's going to be more difficult to do a great job.
How big will my team be?
Learn if you'll be working with a small team, big team, or no team.
Can be very insightful in learning more about how important this job is to the company.
Could you tell me more about the day-to-day responsibilities/duties?
Shows that you're willing to push yourself to do more than what the job description lists. And that you're very interested in performing on the job.
The interviewer should be able to provide you more than what the job description lists.
A variation of this question would be, "What would a typical day look like for someone in this role?"
Will I have the opportunity to meet my hiring manager and supervisor in the interviews?
Is the interviewer your manager? Or is someone else hiring for this role?
Learn how the new position is being placed. And who is placing it? This can help to determine how to better prepare for any upcoming interviews or second interviews.
How will I be collaborating with my team and supervisor?
The interviewer should be able to provide you insight into how your supervisor defines success. And what they're looking for in an ideal candidate.
What's the most rewarding part of this job?
An interviewer should be able to give you insight into how the job rewards those in the position. Is it a difficult job or an easy job to perform?
This question shows that you're genuinely passionate about the rewards of the job. Try to keep the focus on the achievements and rewards. Rather than bonuses or other financial rewards.
What's the most challenging part of this job?
What's going to be the thing that challenges you the most? Learn how the job could be rewarding and how it can be difficult.
If you have a family at home, consider how challenging parts of the job could impact your home life.
If you had to describe an ideal candidate, what do they look like?
Get insight that goes beyond the job description. Look for qualifications and skills that the interviewer responds with.
It can assist in filling gaps in your resume and cover letter. And closing those gaps in your thank-you note.
What're the most important qualities an ideal candidate should have?
Related to the question above. Though, more specifically designed to learn about competencies in an ideal candidate.
A manager could keep this question close to their chest. Meaning, they have the opportunity to reveal less about what they're looking for in a candidate.
Another way to ask this could be, "What is manager looking for in an ideal candidate?"
Is this a new or older position?
A more straight-forward way of asking whether the job is something that's new to the business or not. If it's an older position and has been difficult to fill, this could be a red flag.
A newer position is okay. Remember, older positions that are struggling to get filled could mean that the executive staff has too high of expectations of the role. And that could be something to watch out for.
It could result in being terminated or struggling to be in the position.
How have previous employees succeeded in this role?
Learn what they've done in order to do well in the role. Ask yourself, can you do those same things?
A manager should be able to respond to this question with an in-depth response. If they struggle to respond, this could mean that the role has experienced some difficulties over the years.
Be mindful of how the manager answers the questions and to what depth they go into.
In what ways has this role evolved over the years?
A question related to the evolution of the business. And how the role has changed.
This is a great question to ask when companies are changing their course of action as market conditions change.
What advice would you give to someone in the first 30-days?
A simple question that almost all interviewers can answer. Though, can provide insight into how well the interviewer understands the company.
A good response would be:
Meet everyone on the team!
What advice would you give to someone in the first 60-days?
Another simple question that all interviewers can answer.
A great response would be:
Yes, learn as much as you can about our industry. And how that has an impact on the work that we do. This is a tricky industry. And without deep knowledge of the inner workings, its going to be difficult to move the needle.
Is there a typical career path for someone in this role?
Learn more about how restrictive or how powerful this job title could be on a future resume.
It's best to ask this question and learn how your future could be impacted by taking the role.
Basically, is this job a dead-end job? Or does it provide ample opportunity advance in the future?
How do I compare with the other candidates who interviewed?
The interviewer won't be able to reveal much about the other candidates, simply due to most company policies. Though, they can provide you some mild amounts of feedback from here.
Ask the question and see how the interviewer responds.
Do you have any hesitations or questions about this interview?
It's okay to ask this question and see how they respond. It can give you a better idea of whether or not there is good chemistry between the two of you.
Would I be reporting to you or someone else?
A good question to ask a potential employer to learn whether or not you're speaking with the person you'll be working with.
It seems like a simple question, though it's a great one. Just make sure that you've read the job ad and that you recognize that you are not speaking with the manager, already.
Or else it could appear as though you have issues paying close attention to detail.
Smart questions to ask in an interview to get a sense of the next steps in the hiring process.
Have I answered all the questions that you have?
A variation of this question could be, "How could I help you make your decision about me as a candidate?"
Asking this question can assist in preparing for your second interview. Or learning what to share in order to assist in filling resume/cover letter gaps.
Is there someone else I should meet with and talk to?
It's always a good idea to promote moving forward in the process.
By asking who you can meet with, it shows that you're very passionate about the next steps in the job interview.
How soon should I expect to hear back from you?
This question shows you what the hiring process looks like. And holds the interviewer accountable for putting you into the next interview.
Another way to ask this question could be, "When could I expect to go on my next interview?"
Is there something missing in my resume you'd like to see?
A variation of asking this question could be, "Is there something that I can provide to help you make a decision about me as a candidate?"
Focus on your resume and cover letter. Especially if the interviewer decided to walk through your resume during the interview.
Do I fit in with the company's culture?
Learn about the long-term potential of the company culture fit. This question can give you insight into how well the interviewer feels you fit with the company/role. And can assist in managing your own expectations about whether the interview went well or did not go so well.
Before asking this question, have a general sense of what the company is looking for, already. Do this by researching the companies LinkedIn page, their "About Us" page, or career portal.
In those portals, key pieces of information about company culture and the companies values are most commonly shared.
What can I do to help you decide on hiring me?
See what they say. It's best to learn what assets you could provide to assist in the hiring process.
Think about these potential missing documents:
- A creative portfolio you can provide.
- Links to previous projects or work.
- Recommendation letters.
- Reference letters.
It's best to know if your application could use additional help before leaving the interview.
Do you have any hesitations about my qualifications/work history?
This question could put you in a vulnerable position. Be ready to take feedback. And be ready to thank someone for providing you that feedback.
Is there anything else I can provide to make the hiring decision easier?
Another variation about asking about job application assets. Can be useful if the job application did not require you to submit a cover letter.
You can ask a variation of the question, like the following:
I didn't provide a cover letter because it didn't seem pertinent. But can I provide that to you? Would it make the hiring decision easier to have that?
What's the rest of the interview process look like?
Gives you insights into the remainder of the interview process. You should expect to have a second and third interview. Followed by a job offer.
Is there anything I should know about working here?
A great and final closing question that can lead to the interview concluding.
See how the interviewer answers this question. And whether or not it leads to a further conversation in the interview.
Our favorite resources are included below.
Job interview resources
- Common Interview Questions by Marquette University
- Prepare for Behavioral Interview Questions by Marquette University
- Preparing for Job Interviews by the University of Kansas
- Mock Interview Handbook by CSUCI
- Interview Guidebook by Lebanon Valley College
Resume and cover letter resources
- Writing a Resume and Cover Letter by USC
- Resume Writing Tips by the University of Wisconsin-Madison
- Resume and Cover Letter Guide by Harvard University
Job search resources
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