120+ Questions to Ask an Interviewer by Job Title [2020 Updated]

questions to ask the interviewer

Asking questions to the interviewer is one of the ways you can communicate to your interviewer that you're interested in the job and that you were actively listening in the conversation. In a recent study performed by TalentNow, one of the major reasons someone was hired was simply because “they were interesting”. Meaning, you should be expressing yourself through the questions you ask during or after the interview.

The Ladders recent eye-tracking study (performed in 2018) concluded that the average time that an HR manager or hiring manager looks at your resume is only 7.4 seconds.

This means that asking relevant interview questions during your interview session may be the most important factor to getting an offer letter.

If you're curious what questions you should be asking your interviewer, below are a few general example questions that show your interest in the position, the team, your colleagues, the work environment, as well as specific questions by the department you may be part of.

questions to ask the interviewer

Table of Contents

Questions Anyone Should Ask About The Position

1. What do you believe is the most challenging aspect of this job?
2. Why did the last person in this position decide to leave?
3. Who would I be reporting to in this position?
4. What is the company culture like?
5. What are the responsibilities of this position?
6. What does the normal workweek look like? Would I be expected to work overtime or travel on behalf of the company?
7. What retirement packages do you offer for your employees?
8. What particular qualities are you searching for in the person you decide to hire to join your company?
9. Are training opportunities provided for new hires?
10. Is there anything else I can tell you about my qualifications for this position?
11. Should I be hired, what would my interaction with you and your department look like?
12. Would it be possible to schedule an in-person interview at your next available convenience?
13. Should I be hired, when would I start?
14. Can I provide you with a list of reputable references?
15. How would I receive feedback on my work in the future once hired?
16. What is the next step in this interview process?
17. What do you see happening for your company in the next five years?
18. What do you believe are your company’s most important assets?
19. How would you rate your biggest competition?
20. Are there any other questions I can answer for you?
21. What are some of the reasons you enjoy coming to work?
22. What recent example of team collaboration do you look fondly upon?
23. What do you value most about this workplace?
24. What do you value most about our leadership?
25. How do you define success as a company?
26. What are some of the company team-building exercises?
27. When was the last company town hall? And what did you discuss?
28. What are some of the recent values that leadership is really trying to embrace?
29. What types of technology is used at the company?
30. What skill sets do you think go the furthest when hired here?
31. What advice would you give someone who was starting on the first day?
32. What’s the training like on day one?
33. Is there any possibility that a mentor will be made available to me?
34. Who has worked in this position in the past and is still employed here?
35. Has anyone previously had a difficult time in this position? If so, do you mind sharing why that might have been?
36. What do you think the toughest part of working here is?
37. How would you advise someone to spend their typical workday here?

Pro fact: Scribd recently reported that 76% of hiring managers found that "being interesting" (while interviewing) was an important factor in their decision to move forward with a hire. Asking questions to the interviewer can help you be more interesting.

Questions To Ask For Sales Positions

38. Is travel accounted for as part of the sales position?
39. What type of tracking tools do you use for sales? For example, Salesforce.
40. How do you identify sales opportunities?
41. Do you sell by geography or by industry?
42. Do you sell by vertical?
43. How are salespeople compensated for their efforts on each sale?
44. Will I be working alone or with another salesperson?
45. How does the sales team handle new leads?
46. How do senior salespeople work with junior salespeople?
47. What is the toughest part about being a salesperson here?
48. What is the easiest part about being a salesperson here?
49. What’s a piece of advice you often give to other sellers?
50. What presentation tools do you use when selling?

Questions To Ask For Marketing Positions

51. What types of marketing campaigns are you currently running?
52. Do we run PPC campaigns?
53. Do we run SEO campaigns?
54. What recent marketing efforts have been in focus in the past quarter?
55. What types of marketing campaigns have we stopped recently, if any?
56. Do we currently advertise on radio or TV?
57. How many marketers are currently part of the team?

Questions To Ask For Operations Positions

58. What are some examples of recent operational issues that might be helpful for me to know?
59. How many official employees are part of the company?
60. How many freelancers are part of the company?
61. What are some of your favorite employee benefits?
62. Are vacations taken regularly by employees?
63. What are some of the ways we’re trying to keep employees happy?
64. Can you tell me what you value most about being an operator here.
65. What do you think the best quality is for an operator to have in this environment?

Questions To Ask For Leadership, Manager, Supervisor Positions

66. What is the outlook and conservative guidance like for the next 12-24 months?
67. What are some of the problems with our products, if any?
68. What are some of the problems with customer support, if any?
69. Are there any retention problems, both customer and employee?
70. What’s the process like for sourcing candidates?
71. Tell me about a recent employee conflict and how it was handled.

Questions To Ask For Creative/Product Positions

72. Is Sketch used here?
73. What are some of the programming languages you encourage creatives to embrace?
74. What types of conferences would I be able to attend this year, if any?
75. What employee benefits help creatives stay creative?
76. Can you tell me a recent experience where a product person, art director or creative director was valued by leadership?
77. Do you have creative reviews?
78. Do you do design reviews?
79. Can you tell me an example where an art director led a project to completion?

Questions To Ask For Teachers

80. What are some of the faculty facilities like?
81. What are some of the values that the student's parents have here?
82. What is a piece of advice you would give to a new teacher on day one?
83. What are some of the values that the principal has been trying to drive home this year?
84. What are some of the ways this institution embraces standardized testing?
85. How do you think teachers can succeed in this environment?
86. Is there any teacher who was promoted in the past few years? If so, what position did they previously have?
87. How many times per day do you have recess?
88. What are the cafeteria and food facilities like here for the children?
89. What do you think the children value most about their educators?
90. What do you think the children would like to see improved about this school?

Questions To Ask For Nurses

91. Has there ever been any potentially dangerous situations in the ER?
92. Does this hospital have an ICU or Cancer Ward?
93. What is the best guide you would give a new nurse here regarding time management?
94. What do you think the General Physicians value most about the nurses here?
95. In a regular day, how many patients do you see?
96. What do you value most about being a nurse here?
97. What are some of the nurse's duties you didn’t expect coming into this hospital?
98. Can you describe to me a recent situation where you interacted with a patient and it stood out to you as positive?
99. Can you describe to me a recent situation where you interacted with a patient and it stood out to you as negative?

Questions To Ask For Interns & Internships

100. Can you tell me what you value most about the interns here?
101. Can you tell me about an intern who went on to being an employee?
102. How can an intern stand out among the others?
103. What is some advice you would give an intern about time management or communication?
104. What do you think the most exciting part about being in this environment is for an intern?

Questions To Ask For Engineering

105. Is there any technical debt associated with our codebase, if so can you tell me about it.
106. How many engineers currently work here?
107. How is the engineering team structured?
108. What do you think an engineer learns here on his first day?
109. What coding standards do you practice?
110. How do you embrace polyglot methods?
111. Do you emphasize agile methodology?

Bonus Questions to Ask The Interviewer for 2020

112. Can you tell me what you personally value about the company culture here?
113. What are some of the short-term goals for the role?
114. What are some of the long-term goals for the role?
115. How would I be able to apply my problem-solving skills in this role?
116. Can you tell me more about what the onboarding process is like for this role?
117. What do you think the work-life balance will look like for this role?
118. When looking at me as a candidate, what do you think the team will value the most?
119. What are you most concerned about when it comes to myself as a candidate?
120. What skills do you feel every candidate should have in this role?
121. What is your personal management style?
122. Can you tell more about what the hiring process has been like for this role?
123. What follow-up questions would you ask if you were trying to get hired in this role?
124. What competencies do you feel the team will value the most?
125. What are the long-term plans for the department or team I'm going to be working with?
126. What strengths and weaknesses do you feel this role should have more of?
127. What are good qualities you think the candidate should have in this role?
128. What is good work for this role? And what is great work for this role?
129. What is the biggest opportunity you feel this role provides?
130. What good questions have I asked you that could be turned into great questions?
131. What should the ideal career path look like for someone trying to be hired in this role?
132. What are some ways I could accidentally fail the team?
133. What concerns you when you think of me as a candidate?
134. What common interview questions would you advise someone to stop asking?
135. Give me a one-word answer for how you would describe the company's culture.
136. What goals should I have as a candidate in this role?
137. What are your goals for this role?
138. What are the goals the team has for this role?

Interview Question FAQ

Common job seeker questions and answers.

How do I know the right questions to ask the interviewer?

Be sure you take notes during your interview. If the interviewer didn't answer one of the questions you had coming into the interview, then be sure to ask the ones that remain.

Do informational interview sessions have time for me to ask questions?

They certainly do. Your interviewer will normally provide you 5-10 minutes at the end of the job interview to have you ask them questions.

What questions will impress my potential employer?

As a job candidate, the best questions to ask are ones that speak to your career goals or your desire to be employed by that employer. Meaning, questions about the work environment, active work, or expected outcomes.

What type of question should I ask to make the interviewer want to give me a job offer?

A question that speaks to your understanding of the job function as well as how to make progress within the role. Meaning, achieving company objectives.

What is a good fallback question?

A good fallback question to ask is, "If I were to be hired in this role, what biggest challenge would I be faced with?" This is a great question that your interviewer should be able to answer. And alludes to the fact that you desire to be a successful employee.

How many questions should I ask?

A few questions at least. This would be anywhere from 3 to 5 questions. Be sure that you pick intelligent questions to ask based on the active conversation both you and the interviewer have been having. Any questions about the organization should be at the top of the list. Like the work environment or culture.

What if I didn't take a typical career path when applying to the job, meaning my resume doesn't have job titles that fit the role. Which questions should I ask?

You should ask questions about how the work environment can embrace your new position. Speak to your desire of wanting to have career advancement. And taking this risk. Then ask questions related to how the company can help you achieve that. In short, ask questions about the job opportunity versus the expectation of outcomes.

What constitutes a smart question to ask?

Anything that shows your employer that you understand their organization, the job title, company objectives, and how all of those intersect. This what makes your employer feel like you're a good fit because you are showing you have such a firm grasp of their active work. Ultimately, you'll know when you hit it on the nail because the interviewer will say "good question" before they reply.

author: patrick algrim
About the author

Patrick Algrim is an experienced executive who has spent a number of years in Silicon Valley hiring and coaching some of the world’s most valuable technology teams. Patrick has been a source for Human Resources and career related insights for Forbes, Glassdoor, Entrepreneur, Recruiter.com, SparkHire, and many more.


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