20+ Questions To Ask The Interviewer To Stand Out

In a phone interview, usually, the hiring manager is the one asking all the questions. But inevitably, you’ll be asked if you have any questions.

This is a fantastic opportunity to shine as a prospective employee. By asking a few particular questions, you’ll stand out substantially more to a recruiter or hiring manager.

20 Best Questions To Ask The Interviewer To Help You Stand Out

Let’s take a look at some questions to ask the interviewer that will help you stand out.

1. What do you believe is the most challenging aspect of this job?

This shows that you’re ready to take on challenges and thrive on being challenged. It also shows that you want to be prepared for the most difficult aspects of the job before you’re officially hired.

2. Why did the last person in this position decide to leave?

This may seem like a bit of an off-putting question, but it says a lot to even ask it. Your potential employer will have the opportunity to be honest about any flaws within company culture or what particular challenges have proven to be too much for the last person to work there. If they give an honest answer, be prepared to validate their concerns that it may be too difficult for you to take on the last employee’s tasks.

3. Who would I be reporting to in this position?

A common issue with starting in a new position is forgetting the names of your managers and team. By asking ahead of time, it shows that you’re prepared to work with your prospective team and dive right into working.

4. What is the company culture like?

More often than not, the hiring manager will ask you what the company culture was like at your last job to evaluate whether or not it is similar to the company culture their company has. Be honest in your concerns over the company culture of this company, but be sure to address the fact that you’re willing to deal with the learning curve and integrate into the company as quickly and efficiently as possible.

5. What are the responsibilities of this position?

You likely already viewed the list of responsibilities for this position previous to the phone interview. Regardless, a lot of details of a job are often left out of job advertisements. Asking for additional overviews of your responsibilities show that you want to be completely prepared before being hired.

6. What does the normal work week look like? Would I be expected to work overtime or travel on behalf of the company?

Don’t be afraid to ask this question! Your hiring manager will have the opportunity to be honest about what will be required of you so that both of you can avoid unsuspected issues in the future.

7. What retirement packages do you offer for your employees?

Always ask this question. It is rarely addressed in initial interviews, but you as an employee need to know what kind of arrangements you’ll have to make in the way of benefits or lack thereof. Keep in mind that retirement packages may not be available until you’ve worked for the company for an extended period of time.

8. What particular qualities are you searching for in the person you decide to hire to join your company?

This is an opportunity to get more personal about what your potential employer is looking for and whether or not that aligns with who you are as a person.

9. Are training opportunities provided for new hires?

This tells your hiring manager that you want to be ready to work efficiently as quickly as possible. It’s also worth noting that a company that provides training opportunities to help their new hires work as efficiently as possible is a very good thing. They want the best of the best and are actually willing to help their employees become the best.

10. Is there anything else I can tell you about my qualifications for this position?

This gives the hiring manager another chance to ask you questions about your qualifications and skills that they may have missed earlier in the interview. When you provide your hiring manager with convenience, you’re making yourself look like someone they’d like to be working with.

11. Should I be hired, what would my interaction with you and your department look like?

As we stated before, asking these additional questions shows your hiring manager that you want to make things convenient for them and also that you are no stranger to taking the reigns at a job. If you will be working directly with the person interviewing you, that will prove favorable in the future through the rapport you’re building with them in the phone interview.

12. Would it be possible to schedule an in-person interview at your next available convenience?

This shows that you want to meet face-to-face and engage in a proper interview. Don’t feel rejected if your hiring manager declines. This doesn’t mean that you aren’t going to be considered for employment, it just says that perhaps one interview is enough or the hiring manager is too busy for a sit-down interview. Simply asking shows how eager you are to work there.

13. Should I be hired, when would I start?

This is a major question that every potential employee should ask at the end of the interview. It allows you to prepare for your expected start date and gather any and all materials required for the next step of the hiring process.

14. Can I provide you with a list of reputable references?

Chances are that you already provided some references along with your resume or CV. It is wise to have additional references listed and available in case your previous references proved fickle or were difficult to reach.

15. How would I receive feedback on my work in the future once hired?

This is the million dollar question. When you openly express that you want to receive employee reviews and feedback, it shows the hiring manager interviewing you that you want to be told what you’re doing wrong so you can adjust and fix any issues before they become major problems in your job. It’s worth noting that if your hiring manager says there is no feedback program or plan in place, this company may not be a good idea to consider. A lack of feedback planning says that the communication between employees and employers at this company are quite poor, which will only lead to more issues in the future.

16. What is the next step in this interview process?

It isn’t wise to just sign off after the interview is complete. Ask your hiring manager what exactly will happen next, whether or not you’re getting the job. It’s much easier to make it clear that you’re expected at least a rejection email if you aren’t considered than to just be ghosted. If you are being considered for the position after the phone interview, asking what the next steps are can prepare you for whatever comes next.

17. What do you see happening for your company in the next five years?

This question shows that you’re ready and willing to stick with the company as a long-term employee. It also shows that you care on a genuine level about the success of the company you will be working for and are willing to do what it takes to help take the company there. It also shows that you’re interested in what changes may take place in the future, at the very beginning of your career with the company.

18. What do you believe are your company’s most important assets?

This question is both for your benefit and the benefit of the hiring manager. On one hand, it shows the hiring manager that you want to know as much as possible about the company and have done as much research as possible outside of consulting a current employee of the company. Company assets are rarely posted in full online. On the other hand, it allows you to get a feel for what those assets are and whether or not your involvement in the company will be beneficial for you and the company itself.

19. How would you rate your biggest competition?

If your hiring manager doesn’t want to answer this question, it’s a big red flag. Refusal to answer says that they are afraid of their competitors “stealing” their prospective employees. If that’s the case, those competitors may be better for employment that this company and that is why they are afraid to talk about them. A transparent company is a company worth working for.

20. Are there any other questions I can answer for you?

This should be your last question. It gives the hiring manager an opportunity to tie up loose ends and ask you whatever else they want to ask. If they have forgotten to ask you for additional information such as further references, contact information, etc.


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