Questions candidates can ask interviewers

Every week, we work with clients to prepare for interviews. While the focus typically rests on answering questions, today we’re sharing how best to use your time when the interviewer asks if you have questions for them.  Which questions for your interviewer will help you stand out?

While questions like “how much time off will I get” or “how much will you pay me” might be top of mind, these are not your most strategic route. These logistical questions matter, but asking questions in your interview is a special opportunity to learn on a deeper level, while demonstrating your interest, suitability, and general mindset when it comes to the role. Here are two types of questions to try instead:

Get Strategic. Think questions like “I noticed there’s been some consolidation in the industry; is this changing how Company X operates, and if so, how?”

Why they work: by demonstrating that you bring a strategic, big-picture perspective, and that you are aware of major developments surrounding the company / industry.

Watch out for: being too vague. Don’t ask for the company’s 5-year plan if it’s posted on their homepage.

Bonus points: reference something that was covered recently in the media.

Get Tactical. Think questions like “what are the team’s priorities this quarter?” or “if I were to take on this role, what would be my first major project?”

Why they work: these show you’re serious about the role, and curious how you can contribute.

Watch out for: getting too specific. You don’t need to know how the filing system works – save that for your onboarding.

Bonus points: keep it conversational. These questions have the potential to steer you into practical and authentic work talk, generating a feeling that you’re already part of the team.

These types of questions engage your interviewer and reflect your genuine enthusiasm in ways the logistical questions simply can’t. Good luck on your next interview, and if we can help, reach out.

By Allison Lockett