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When applying for a job, top candidates don’t just want to know whether they can get the job. They are interested in understanding the company’s plans and how they can contribute.

A job interview is a two-way process. Besides the interview preparation for the common job interview questions, candidates should use the hiring process to find out more about the role and company. You are at the job interview to learn about the company and whether you want to be a part of it as much as the interviewer is assessing you for the role.

You should engage in a meaningful conversation during a job interview, as that would allow you to demonstrate your alignment with the organisation and set yourself apart from other candidates.

To do that, asking questions during a job interview allows candidates to actively participate in the conversation, gather information, assess fit, and leave a positive impression on the hiring team.

It is important to note that you must not discuss salary during your job interview. Salary discussions are more appropriate during the later stages of the interview process, typically after you have received a job offer or when the employer initiates the salary negotiation conversation.

Bringing up salary too early in the interview can give the impression that you are primarily motivated by monetary factors rather than the opportunity itself. Waiting until you have a formal job offer allows you to leverage your accomplishments and qualifications to negotiate from a stronger position.

Related: 5 steps to creating your career plan

Questions to ask at the end of a job interview

The questions you ask will help provide valuable insights into the role you are applying for and the culture at the organisation. It’s not about asking as many questions as possible but rather asking thoughtful questions that demonstrate your understanding of the company and your fit within the role.

Choose key questions that are most important to you and focus on having a meaningful discussion around those topics. Ahead are our top questions to ask hiring managers during a job interview. These are categorised into categories, such as career growth, company culture, and work environment, to help you navigate and find questions most pertinent to your needs for the new position.

Questions about career growth

1. What does career progression look like for someone in this position?

By asking this question, you show your commitment to long-term engagement with the company and your desire for professional growth. Try to bring up some points in the job description to get a more specific answer from the hiring manager.

2. Are there opportunities available for training and career advancement?

This demonstrates your ambition to surpass expectations. It highlights your determination to excel in your prospective role and your eagerness to learn new things by taking online courses, for example. Companies are always looking to retain employees, so hiring managers will likely appreciate your self-improvement mindset.

3. What are the key factors for success in this role?

As an employee, you are an investment for your hiring manager. It is expected that you will bring value to the company. One way to achieve this is by surpassing performance indicators.

Asking about these indicators shows that you want to thrive in the position. For you, you get a clearer understanding of how the potential employer sees success and how you can succeed in the company in the long run.

4. What were some challenges faced by the previous person in this role?

This question provides you with clarity on expectations for the role. A direct and positive response with an explanation is a promising sign, while a hesitant reaction and vague explanations raise red flags.

Keep in mind that a job interview is an opportunity for you to evaluate the company as much as it is for the interviewer to assess you. Savvy candidates always seek to understand the role’s immediate challenges, as it helps determine their potential for success.

5. What qualities or skills were lacking in the previous person that you hope to see in the next candidate?

This question shows your ability to address potential issues proactively, and the answer can shed light on what caused the previous person to struggle or leave the position, providing insights into the path to your success.

It can also tell you about how the role may have evolved and the changes in the company. From here, you can highlight certain skills or experience you bring to the role and reassure the hiring manager that you are the right candidate for the position.

6. Can I expect any changes to my main responsibilities in this role within the next six months to a year?

You are conveying your curiosity about future possibilities and potential growth within the role. It demonstrates your eagerness to explore different aspects of the job that attract you and the skills required to remain valuable in the position.

7. What would a typical day or week look like if I were offered the position?

This question allows you to assess whether the role aligns with your skills, interests, and career goals. It helps you evaluate whether you would enjoy and excel in the responsibilities involved on a daily or weekly basis.

On top of that, understanding the typical day or week provides insights into the workplace, team dynamics, and the level of collaboration required in the role. Of course, you must have realistic expectations of what the job requires of you.

8. Do you want me to address any concerns or gaps in my resume?

When you ask about any potential concerns or missing information on your resume, it provides an excellent opportunity for you and the interviewer to address them directly. It demonstrates your receptiveness to constructive feedback and eagerness to improve, which are valuable qualities in a prospective employee.

This is a good practice even if you don’t secure the job, as it helps you identify areas for improvement for your next job interview, especially within a specific industry.

Related: What to include in a resume

Questions about the company culture

9. What do you enjoy most about working here?

This question focuses on personal experiences and allows the hiring manager to share their positive experiences and aspects they appreciate about the company. It gives insights into the company’s strengths, values, and employee satisfaction. It also helps you understand the positive aspects of working in the current company and gauge if it aligns with your own preferences and career aspirations.

10. What distinguishes working at the current company from any other company you have worked for?

This question allows the hiring manager to highlight unique aspects of the company’s culture, work environment, and opportunities. It helps you assess whether the company’s values and atmosphere align with yours.

11. How does the company prioritise social events to ensure inclusivity for all employees?

By posing this question, you show interest in inclusivity, the company culture, and the company’s efforts to create an engaging and inclusive environment for everyone.

Questions about the work environment

12. How do you handle conflicts within the team?

This question shows your interest in understanding the company's approach to conflict resolution and teamwork dynamics. It provides insights into the hiring manager’s leadership skills and how the hiring manager fairly addresses a challenging situation.

13. Are there opportunities for flexible work arrangements combining remote work and office presence?

This question aims to understand the company's stance on flexible work arrangements, which allow employees to balance remote work and office presence based on their preferences or specific job requirements.

It helps you evaluate whether the company aligns with your preferred work style and needs and whether you can balance your work hours and personal life if offered the role.

Important tips on how to ask questions during job interviews

Besides knowing what questions to ask, candidates need to learn how to ask questions effectively during job interviews. Keep in mind to ask these job interview questions in a logical and professional manner. Whether you are meeting the hiring manager in person or are having a video interview, always maintain good eye contact and body language throughout the interview.

By mastering the art of asking questions, candidates can actively engage in the interview process, gather valuable information, demonstrate their qualifications, and leave a positive and lasting impression on the interviewer.

Be prepared

Take the time to research the company, its culture, values, and recent news or developments through the company website, social media pages and news publications. Review the job description and understand the role’s requirements and responsibilities. This preparation will help you ask relevant and informed questions.

Demonstrate active listening

Asking relevant and thoughtful questions shows that you have been actively engaged and listening attentively during the interview. It reflects your ability to process information and seek clarification or deeper insights.

Focus on the interviewer

Pay attention to the interviewer’s cues and responses throughout the interview. Tread carefully and tailor your questions to their interests and experiences to engage in a meaningful conversation. Building rapport and showing genuine interest can leave a positive impression.

Related: 5 ways to handle interview nerves

Be specific and personalised

Frame your questions in a way that relates to your experiences and aspirations. Instead of asking generic questions, make them specific to the role you are applying for. For example, ask about the day-to-day tasks, key challenges, or growth opportunities within the position.

Build on the conversation

Refer to earlier parts of the interview and ask questions based on the information shared. This demonstrates active listening and shows the candidate's ability to connect different aspects of the discussion.

Show enthusiasm

Ask questions demonstrating your enthusiasm for the role and the company. Inquire about the company’s goals, exciting projects, or initiatives. This showcases your motivation and long-term commitment.

Ask open-ended questions

Avoid questions that can be answered with a simple “yes” or “no.” Instead, ask open-ended questions that encourage the interviewer to provide detailed responses. This allows for a more insightful and engaging conversation.

Be mindful of timing

Respect the interviewer’s time and be aware of the interview schedule. If there is limited time remaining, prioritise your most important questions. You can always follow up with additional questions if you receive a job offer or during subsequent interviews.

Remember, asking thoughtful and relevant questions during a job interview demonstrates your preparedness, engagement, and genuine interest in the role and company. It helps you gather valuable information to make an informed decision about the opportunity.

Are you ready to make your next career move? Get in touch with our recruiting experts now. 

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