Questions to ask at the end of an interview. You’re in a room across from the person who may decide the fate of your job search. This content provides you with everything you need to make a perfect impression.
Smart Questions to Ask at the End of an Interview
Make sure you understand what the job’s day-to-day obligations will be, both now and in the future. If and when that job offer comes, this will help you make an informed decision and avoid Shift Shock.
1. What does a typical day or week look like in this role? (Or one of these alternatives.)
2. What are the most immediate projects that need to be addressed?
3. Can you show me examples of projects I’d be working on?
4. What are the skills and experiences you’re looking for in an ideal candidate?
5. What attributes does someone need to have in order to be really successful in this position?
6. What types of skills is the team missing that you’re looking to fill with a new hire?
7. What are the biggest challenges that someone in this position would face?
8. What sort of budget would I be working with?
9. Is this a new role or will I be taking over for an employee who’s leaving?
10. How does this position contribute to the company overall?
11. Do you expect the main responsibilities for this position to change in the next six months to a year?
Top Questions to Ask About Training and Professional Development
You should definitely ask about training and professional development, here are some questions to guide you:
1. Think of each new opportunity not just as a job, but as the next step on your path to career success. Will this position help you get there?
2. What does your onboarding process look like?
3. What learning and professional development opportunities are available to your employees?
4. Will there be opportunities for stretch assignments where I can learn and use new skills?
5. Are there opportunities for advancement within the company?
6. Would I be able to represent the company at industry conferences?
7. Where have successful employees previously in this position progressed?
8. Common questions to ask about how your success will be evaluated
9. Understanding how your potential new manager will measure your success is key to understanding their managerial style and the company or team priorities.
10. What are the most important things you’d like to see someone accomplish in the first 30, 60, and 90 days on the job?
11. What are the performance expectations of this position over the first 12 months?
12. What is the performance review process like here? How often would I be formally reviewed?
13. What metrics or goals will my performance be evaluated against?
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Smart Questions to Ask About the Interviewer
Asking these questions shows that you’re interested in your interviewer as a person—and that’s a great way to build rapport with a future colleague.
1. How long have you been with the company?
2. Has your role changed since you’ve been here?
3. What did you do before this?
4. Why did you come to this company?
5. What’s your favorite part about working here?
6. What’s one challenge you occasionally or regularly face in your job?
7. What part of your job are you most excited about over the next few months?
8. Are there any upcoming initiatives or projects you’re especially interested in?
Best Questions to Ask About the Company
Why not learn a little bit about where you might work? A job isn’t just about your day-to-day to-do list. You’ll likely be happier with an employer that shares similar values to yours and is headed in a direction you’re on board with.
1. I’ve read about the company’s founding, but can you tell me more about [another significant company development]?
2. What direction do you see this company heading in over the next few years?
3. What can you tell me about your new products or plans for growth?
4. What are the current goals that the company is focused on, and how does this teamwork to support hitting those goals?
5. What gets you most excited about the company’s future?
6. What are the company’s most important values? (Note: Make sure this isn’t easily Google-able!)
7. How does the company ensure it’s upholding its values?
Smart Questions to Ask About the Team
The people you work with day in and day out can really make or break your work life. Ask some questions to uncover whether it’s the right team for you.
1. Can you tell me about the team I’ll be working with?
2. Who will I work with most closely?
3. Who will I report to directly?
4. Can you tell me about my direct reports?
5. What are the team’s biggest strengths and challenges?
6. Do you expect to hire more people in this department in the next six months?
7. Which other departments work most closely with this one and how?
Creative Questions to Ask About the Culture
If you don’t drink or need to get home to your kids, you don’t want to end up at a company where everyone is totally focused on their own work.
If you thrive in a collaborative setting, for example, you don’t want to end up there. So, when it comes to business culture, make sure you ask about what matters to you.
1. How would you describe the work environment here—is the work typically more collaborative or more independent?
2. How does the team form and maintain strong bonds?
3. Can you tell me about the last company event you did together?
4. What’s your favorite office tradition?
5. What do you and the team usually do for lunch?
6. Does anyone at the company or on this team hang out outside the office?
7. Do you ever do joint events with other companies or departments?
8. What’s different about working here than anywhere else you’ve worked?
9. How has the company changed since you joined?
10. How has the organization overcome challenges with remote work?
11. How does the company make sure that remote and hybrid employees are given the same opportunities and standards as in-office employees?
Best Questions to Ask About the Next Steps
Before you leave, double-check that the interviewer has everything they need and that you understand what to expect next. (Just don’t make this your first question when they hand it over!)
2. Is there anything else I can provide you with that would be helpful?
3. Can I answer any final questions for you?
Sample Questions, and Why You Should Ask Them
Here are some sample questions, and why you should ask them.
1. Would I Be Working Traditional Office Hours? If Not, What Are the Hours?
If you’re a full-time employee of the company, remember that flexibility in where you work doesn’t necessarily translate to flexibility in when you work—so ask about your team’s schedule and the expectations around yours.
“It’s a common misconception that if you’re working remotely, you get to pick and choose your own hours—and it’s quite the opposite,” says Ashlee Anderson, a certified professional career coach at Work From Home Happiness.
In many cases, “you’ll have to maintain some sort of consistent and regular office hours, and those hours will depend on your team’s schedule.”
If the team is fully distributed meaning everyone is remote Anderson also recommends asking the recruiter or your potential manager how the team collaborates across time zones.
That way, you’ll discover if working outside of 9-to-5 office hours will be a requirement of your role.
2. Is This a Fully Distributed Team? What Percentage of the Team Is Remote?
These types of questions about the team’s makeup—which you can ask when you talk to HR or to the hiring manager—can help you determine if remote work is normalized in the organizational culture.
“It’s very fair to ask ‘Am I the only person remote? Is it a mix?’” Anderson says.
“You can gauge whether it’s completely normal in the company, or if it’s a situation where you’ll have to advocate for yourself to stay in the loop and make sure you’re not missing out on opportunities just because you’re working remotely.”
Even if remote workers make up a tiny percentage of the team or are new to the organization—as is the case for many organizations in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic—don’t rule it out solely on that basis.
It’s more important to discover if the team is thinking about solutions for its remote workers ahead of time, according to Klimkiewicz. “If they respond to your questions with, ‘We’ve catered for that,’ you’re fine,” she says.
If they tell you that they evaluate how things are doing for remote employees on a regular basis and make changes to improve their experiences, it’s also a good sign.
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3. How Does the Team Communicate? What Tools Do You Use to Collaborate?
Whenever you’re interviewing, it’s a smart move to ask about your supervisor’s management style and the team dynamics. When it comes to remote work, it’s all the more important.
If you’re not in the same physical space, your boss and colleagues can’t stop by to give you a quick update, toss around ideas, or tell you why they approach something the way they do.
So it’ll take some extra thought and effort to ensure everyone’s on the same page.
The chance to connect with your manager, coworkers, or even the CEO is also affected by being remote, so ask questions about how you can get face time within the company.
“You want to be able to have open access to these people, just as if you were in an office environment,” Anderson says.
“Ask about how many regular meetings there are via Zoom, and what, if any, access remote workers have to their manager.” Does your boss make a point of having regular one-on-ones with their direct reports?
Are there recurring team meetings when you would have the opportunity to get to know your teammates?
Are there larger company-wide meetings or email updates where you can learn about what other teams are working on and understand leadership’s longer-term vision?
The tools a team uses are also clues to how they work together on a day-to-day basis. That could be anything from Zoom to Slack to Skype, or collaboration tools that show who’s working on what in real-time, such as Trello, says Anderson.
Neither is bad, per se, but you might have a personal preference and be looking for a team that’s the right match.
4. How Do You Typically Give Feedback to Remote Employees?
Getting feedback from a manager often happens informally in an office setting—they might pop by to tell you about a job well done or to let you know the expectations around a new project, for example.
Feedback is essential for remote employees, too, in order to keep their careers progressing. But, as Anderson points out, it might get overlooked. “It’s easy for people to get lost while working remotely,” she says.
Asking how your future boss might give you feedback and how comfortable they are doing so is the best approach to find out.
If the hiring manager doesn’t have a strategy in place, provide one that mirrors your ideal situation and observe how they react. For example, you might propose meeting biweekly to discuss goals and receive constructive criticism.
If they squirm or resist and don’t offer an alternative, it’s a hint that they’re not willing to invest in a remote employee’s growth in the way you’d anticipate.
5. What Type of Regular Social Events Does the Team or Department Have?
The types of social and team-building activities, and the frequency of those events, are further clues into how the company culture incorporates remote workers. Will a remote worker feel included in those events?
The makeup of the team, whether remote or on-site, will play a big role. “Socializing is a lot more difficult if you’re the only remote person,” Klimkiewicz says.
“If you’re looking for camaraderie at work, maybe you don’t want that situation.” If, however, there’s a concerted effort to make events inclusive for remote employees or if spending informal time with your team isn’t a priority for you this role might be a good fit.
So pay attention to the types of events your interviewer mentions. If all they talk about is in-person happy hours and lunches, the team may not be set up to welcome a remote member into the social fold.
But if they mention virtual trivia and remote coffee pair-ups—even if these are still in the planning stages—it might signal their readiness to include a remote worker in bonding activities.
6. How Has the Organization Overcome Challenges With Remote Work?
It’s unrealistic to expect a company to create a flawless remote work environment instantaneously.
But you can expect your potential peers, managers, and company leadership to recognize and acknowledge challenges and make an effort to overcome them (whether they relate to remote work or a project you’re working on!).
If an interviewer is able to talk openly about what’s been difficult and what meaningful steps the team has taken to adjust, that can also be a good signal for how they’ll handle any other problems that might arise in the future.
Asking your potential manager this question is all about the phrasing. So keep the tone positive. “You’ll find out things that are going on, but ask in a way that you’re not sitting as a judge, but as a team member,” Klimkiewicz says.
7. What Opportunities for Growth Exist for This Role?
Partly, this question helps determine if a company is invested in your growth as an employee even if you’re not on-site every day. But it also clues you into how a company thinks about its remote workers.
Can you be a leader while working remotely? Can you take on larger projects and still work off-site?
If you’re looking to stay in one role for a while or expecting to move your career forward with this company and those sorts of opportunities aren’t available unless you’re working in the office, that’s a major consideration.
Interview Questions to Determine the Right Remote Job
With more and more companies open to remote work these days, it falls to you to determine if the job you’re interviewing for is the right remote job.
1. Is This a Vacancy, or a New Position (and, if It’s a Vacancy, What’s Up)?
I worked with a client a few months ago who was a finalist for a VP of Sales & Marketing job at a profitable, admired company. He was, he believed, very close to having an offer in hand.
And then he learned that, in the space of three years, this company had three other leaders in this same role. As in, they were looking to hire their fourth VP of Sales & Marketing since 2013.
This presented quite a conundrum for my client. He’d been so excited about the opportunity and flattered to be this far along in the interview process.
But discovering the revolving door of leadership going on stopped him in his tracks. And it should have. That kind of turnover is a sure sign that something’s up, probably starting at the top of the organization.
This client didn’t ask during the early interview stages why the position was open. But he should have.
It’s a completely fair question and, even if it’s not answered in-depth, you can almost always tell by the “squirm factor” of the interviewer if there’s more to the story or not.
He did get the offer, by the way. And ultimately declined. Today, he heads up sales for a smaller firm with amazing, supportive, and inclusive leaders. And the organization’s turnover? It’s almost non-existent.
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2. What Is the Turnover Rate on the Team (or, at This Organization)?
Speaking of turnover. It’s fair for you to ask about this. If you ask it in a confident and non-accusatory manner, it’s also going to demonstrate that you are one who makes decisions strategically, and with care. And any good employer will respect that about you.
If, when you ask, you learn that turnover is uncomfortably or unusually high, you should then ask (again, in a way that doesn’t make the interviewer feel like you’re attacking), “To what do you attribute this number?” and “Does the organization have any plans or strategies in place to help alleviate this?”
High turnover, even in industries that commonly have a decent amount of churn, could point to issues with management, a super stressful work environment, a lack of employee recognition, crappy raises, or all of the above.
3. Do Team Members Typically Go Out for Lunch, or Do They Eat at Their Desks?
This isn’t a weird question, and you can ask it in a way that comes across as you trying to get a feel for how friendly and connected your team is (or isn’t), or how relaxed the environment is (or isn’t).
But, assuming the interviewer is upfront with his or her answer, here’s what else you’ll be able to ascertain: Are these people overworked to the point that they can’t keep up without working through lunch hours? (And, will your future manager expect you to follow suit?)
Teams whose members never take breaks are typically tired unhappy teams. Sleuth this one out, especially if you’re not one who enjoys being chained to your desk for several hours straight every day.
4. How Is the Company Doing (From a Financial Perspective)?
Oh, if I had a dollar for every client I’ve worked with who lost his or her job abruptly (sometimes, very soon after accepting the offer) as a result of crumbling profits, loss of a big client, or a sudden bankruptcy—that the new hire had no idea about before coming on board.
Guys, it’s absolutely OK (and important) to ask for a proverbial peek into the books as you progress through the interview process—even if the company is privately held (or a mom-and-pop shop).
In fact, it’s especially important to ask if the company’s financial information isn’t readily available via a Google search.
The last thing you want is to unwittingly be the “Hail Mary hire,” whose presence is the make-it-or-break-it, last-ditch effort to dig out of a perilous situation.
Certainly, you may decide that it’s a challenge (and risk) worth taking on. But maybe not.
No matter what, getting a feel for the financial health of a company is so important to have before you dive in
5. After This Conversation, Do You Have Any Hesitations About My Qualifications?
This is such a scary question for most people because they’re fearful that the answer might be yes.
But it’s an important question to ask because, if there are any hesitations on the part of the interviewer, you pretty much have no better shot at clarifying or allaying their concerns than while you’re still sitting in the interview.
If you’re terrified about asking this question, consider this: If something about you is giving the interviewer pause, and you don’t ask about it, he or she is going to make hiring decisions with this or these concerns factored in.
Given this, you almost always have much more to gain than lose by asking.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some answers to frequently asked questions in this discussion.
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