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Blog>Guides>10 Unique Interview Questions to Ask Prospective Employers

10 Unique Interview Questions to Ask Prospective Employers

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Overview

  • Understand the value of asking good questions when given the opportunity by the interviewer.

  • Uncover quality questions that will secure valuable information and help you make a good impression.

  • Improve your interview performance by asking outstanding questions at the end of the session.

Introduction

The interview process is a critical step in securing a new career. The interview gives you a chance to have a conversation with the hiring manager or recruiter and others in the department. While many people focus on the common interview questions that they will ask you, it is also an opportunity for you to ask some questions of your own.

Most potential employers will reserve some time at the end of the interview for job candidates to ask questions about the organization or the role in question. Spend some time thinking about the potential questions you might ask; this is an excellent opportunity to learn more about the position. Asking the right questions can also demonstrate your interest in the business, which will reflect positively.

During an interview, it is not only the business that wants to find a good fit for their position. You also want to find a good fit for your professional needs. When the position is a good fit on both sides, it can increase employee retention and help you find a more satisfying career.

Let’s explore some great questions you can bring to the interview to learn more about the role, the company, and how it might align with your professional goals.

10 Questions to Ask Employers During a Job Interview

Take a few minutes to learn about the company to prepare questions for your job interview. Look through their company website and online social media presence — such as LinkedIn — to help you uncover any potential questions you might have about this company in particular. Look for things like what a typical day might entail.

You can also look through this list of the best questions to ask during an interview and note any that might fit your particular position.

What’s one thing you’re hoping a new hire can bring to this role?

By asking this question, you get the hiring manager to highlight the traits that they view as the most essential to the position. It will give you insight into what you want to focus on if you take the job, and how well you align with what the manager wants to see.

The original job description likely gave you an overview of the day-to-day responsibilities, but this is your chance to learn about the most important traits that the manager wants to see in interviewees before making a job offer.

This question can also reveal what your manager will want to see during your performance reviews. This insight can help you shine.

What would success look like in the first 90 days?

This question can help you achieve a few different goals. First, you demonstrate your interest and commitment to making a good impression and excelling in the position. It helps cast you in a positive light.

Secondly, it will help draw your attention to how the manager prioritizes this role. The responsibilities that the manager highlights will let you know where you need to focus your efforts. This can help you get off on the right foot if you land the job.

Finally, you will gain a better sense of the expectations of the business and how reasonable they are. If the hiring manager expects you to accomplish an absurd amount during the onboarding period, it could be a red flag.

What are the top skills and traits you’re targeting for this position?

Job descriptions will generally provide you with a list of required and desirable skills, but most of these skills do not matter equally. Ask this question to help you dive deeper into the management's expectations and what matters most to them in a successful candidate.

This question also helps cast you as a candidate who cares genuinely about excelling in the role and shows that you are conscientious about doing a quality job. You will also learn whether you are likely to be a good fit and if you want to move forward with the hiring process.

Why did you accept the position you hold now?

Turning this question over to your hiring manager can provide key information about this manager and their perceptions of the company. If they provide great information about the work culture, what they enjoy about working in this business, and their personal vision, you can see how well you align and if you want to work with them.

If your manager cannot think of a single reason they accepted the position outside of a pay raise, then you will want to think carefully about whether you want to work for this person or in this overall work environment.

What’s the most challenging aspect of the role?

Asking about the biggest challenges you might face will help you dive much deeper into the new position's responsibilities and what to expect if you are hired. You can also learn about what challenges you might want to prepare for, such as a tight budget or if team members have trouble communicating. You can use the answers to this question to discuss how you have managed similar situations in the past and further cement yourself as a great candidate.

How fast is the company growing?

This question shows engagement and helps you gather information about job security. You will learn more about company management and long-term plans, which can help you start the position well-informed about what will be coming along internally.

Answers to this question can also help you better understand the competition and market that this business operates in and their strategy for building the business.

What opportunities do you provide for continued learning and career growth?

Employers know that the possibility of career advancement and professional development opportunities are important for employees. As many as 87% of millennials report that they view career advancement opportunities as very important in the workplace.

Therefore, asking this question shows that you are committed to continued career growth and that you would like to find opportunities for this growth within an organization. You're showing that your future is in alignment with theirs, and that commitment will reflect positively on you.

How would you describe the work environment? Is it typically collaborative or more independent?

This type of information will not appear in a typical job description, which is why you should ask this question, since knowing the type of atmosphere in which you will work can greatly impact your job satisfaction. While different people throughout the organization will likely have different points of view about the internal company culture, getting the manager's point of view is important. It gives you insight into their company values, the management style they aspire to, and the type of atmosphere they try to nurture.

You can also follow up your question with inquiries about the types of people or personalities that work best in this environment. This can provide insight into what personality types are the most likely to thrive and work smoothly with the manager.

You also get to consider your own working style, such as whether you prefer to be part of a group or whether you like to work independently, and how that fits with the culture described.

Can you tell me more about the team I would be joining?

Asking questions about your potential team can provide greater insight into what to expect when you come on board. You might learn helpful information about how the team operates, such as if people work collaboratively across projects or if the work is more independent. You might also gain valuable insight into particular leadership traits, strengths, or weaknesses among the team.

This will help you make a better decision about if the position is a good fit. If you join the organization, you will also have helpful information on the first day.

What are the next steps in the interview process, and when can I expect to hear back?

This question gives you a feel for what you should expect next. Waiting for a callback about an important interview can be agonizing, but you do not want to stress yourself out unnecessarily. Getting a handle on the timeline will let you know when you should start to expect more information on whether they are moving forward with you as a candidate.

It will also let you know the point at which you can comfortably check back in with the hiring manager to see if they have any updates for you. If it has been a month but you know that they have a long internal review process and you were told not to expect any news before six weeks, you know to sit tight. If they told you to expect an update after two weeks, you could reach out to see if they have an updated timeline and restate your interest in the position.

Bonus: Ask Questions about Topics Discussed in the Interview

Finally, do not feel nervous about thinking back over the topics discussed during the interview and asking questions that matter the most to you. While questions related to your vacation time or particularities about the work schedule should wait until you have an offer, asking questions about the work culture and work-life balance can help you make the best possible decision.

For example, if the hiring manager mentioned a hybrid work schedule, you might ask how the teams encourage collaboration when people work remotely.

Ace Your Next Interview With Joblist

Now it’s time to put this career advice to work and prepare your job interview questions. Asking questions at the end of an interview can help you further present yourself as the ideal candidate.

If you are a job seeker looking to land your next position, Joblist is the place to look. We will power your job search and help match you with positions that fit you best through our quiz. Completion of this quiz will help us better understand your career path and the types of openings you want to find.

Find the right job for you and land an interview with Joblist.

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