Don't Leave A Job Interview Before Asking One Of These Questions (2024)

Don't Leave A Job Interview Before Asking One Of These Questions (1)

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No matter how prepared you are, a job interview is a nerve-wracking experience. You have to answer a torrent of questions on the spot and sell yourself to a hiring manager — sometimes even a room full of strangers. And when it comes time for you to do the asking, will you be ready?

These days, it’s pretty standard for an interviewer to conclude by asking if you have any questions about the job. And what you ask can make or break your chances.


We talked to recruiters, hiring managers and people who landed jobs for the best questions to ask if you want to impress the interviewer and glean important information about your potential new gig.

1. What made you choose my resume for an interview?

“As someone who has been hiring interns and junior staff for the past 10 years, the most memorable question I had a candidate ask me was this one. It flipped the script on me because I was so used to asking ‘Why should we hire you?’ Instead, I had to tell her what I liked about her experience and application, which is absolutely great insight to receive during the interview process. It’s like getting free career advice.” ― Laura Meditz, vice president of Poston Communications

2. What are the biggest challenges faced by your company/department today?

“I like asking this question to get a real sense of what they feel is most needed in their business. It could be a specific skill, improved processes or just additional resources to handle workload. Answers to this question will help you understand what your job will entail and give you the opportunity to explain how you could tackle your employer’s biggest challenge. On the other hand, if their biggest struggle doesn’t match your skills or expectations, it could be a useful red flag before accepting a new job.” ― Daniel Buchuk, director of communications at Bringg

3. What makes you different from your competitors?

When I applied for my current job, I asked questions about the company’s competitors and how they differentiated themselves. This is a good question to ask because companies want to see that you are diligent enough to do your homework in advance of the meeting and have a genuine interest in the field you are moving into.” ― Casey Hill, blogger at Musings of Entrepreneurship


4. Can you give me an example of how you live out the company values?

“I like to find out what values the company promotes on their career page — passion, integrity, accountability, etc. — and I’ll ask the interviewer how they live one or more of those values, especially as a manager. If the interviewer is dumbfounded, it typically shows that the values are nothing more than empty messaging. If they can answer the question, it shows the company believes in and instills its values in employees and the interviewer is probably a thoughtful manager.” ― Jennifer Bewley of Get Uncuffed

5. What is your training program like?

“I have found that reputable companies will answer this question by saying that the training period is as long as a new employee needs. Training that is rushed or fast-tracked to meet a quota or deadline isn’t an effective way to find reputable and reliable employees. Any new job comes with a learning curve; a good company will offer thorough training and help employees to obtain all the skills they need to be successful in the company.” ― Carlee Linden, writer for Best Company

6. What recent diversity hiring and promotion efforts are you most excited about?

“As a woman of color who is also very keen on advancing in her career, I often ask questions that would give me an insight into the company’s diversity efforts. I also almost always follow this question by requesting a tour of the office. You’d be surprised what you can glean just by walking around. It gives me an insight into whether their response is canned or truly embodied by the organization.” ― Stella Odogwu, founder and CEO of Intelle Coaching Solutions

7. What do you enjoy most about working here?

“First off, if the interviewer can’t answer this question, there should be sirens going off in your head that this might not be the greatest place to work. That said, most of the time, it allows an opportunity to get personal with the interviewer and allow them to talk about themselves for a change. This mutual exchange results in a stronger bond while allowing you to learn more about some of the great things the company has to offer.” ― Alex Benjamin, professional recruiter and owner of resume writing service Recruiter Written

8. What are the most successful team members doing differently from the average team member?

“If there is one thing that interviewees could do that would help them stand out from other candidates, it would be to be bold, speak with confidence and ask questions that hint you are a high performer who is looking to succeed with the company. This question shows drive to outperform mediocracy while also learning more about the expectations of the work required to achieve excellence in the position.” ― Emily LaRusch, CEO and founder of Back Office Betties


9. How will you know whether you hired the right person three months from now?

“I love this question because as a job seeker, it gives you a clear idea of the hiring manager’s goals, expectations and objectives for you if you are hired. It also gives you a chance to pause and consider if the answer sounds like things you will enjoy. It can add a bit more clarity to the job and the results the company is hoping to achieve by filling this position.” ― Helen Godfrey, owner of career counseling service the Authentic Path

10. How would your co-workers describe your management style?

“It’s important to ask about your potential manager’s leadership style but not just what they think about themselves. Asking what their peers and direct reports would say of their management style is key ― even better if they’re open to you talking to one of their direct reports about their leadership. A manager can make or break a job, so getting more context around the people you’ll be working with most closely will help in decision making.” ― Julia Missaggia, human resources director at CMI/Compas

11. Can you show me around before we wrap up?

“This question allows applicants to differentiate themselves at the end of their interviews by creating a unique experience with the interviewer that won’t be shared among other candidates. In fact, I can still recall my interview many years back with a candidate who asked me this very question. It breaks hiring managers out of their routines and forces them to leave the interview room and interact more naturally with the candidate.” ― Peter Yang, co-founder of ResumeGo

A few more tips to nail your interview:

Stick to open-ended questions. Even though job interviews can feel like interrogations, they’re supposed to be conversations between you and the interviewer. To keep the conversation flowing, avoid questions that can be answered with a simple “yes” or “no.”

Don’t ask questions with obvious answers. You shouldn’t ask questions just for the sake of asking; interviewers will see right through you. Do your research ahead of time and avoid asking for basic information that could easily be found on the company website.


Be respectful of everyone’s time. The interviewer likely has many other job interviews to conduct on top of meetings and regular job duties. Pick two or three important questions to ask rather than barraging them with all 11. Even better, try to weave in your questions throughout the conversation instead of waiting until the end of the interview.

CORRECTION: A previous version of this story incorrectly attributed a quote to Carly Kuper. Julia Missaggia at CMI/Compas was the source of the quote.

Don't Leave A Job Interview Before Asking One Of These Questions (2024)


Do interviewers care if you don't ask questions? ›

If you don't have questions, this could potentially send the message that you may not be that interested in the position or show a lack of confidence,” she says. So when the tables are turned and you're invited to ask questions, do it.

What is the STAR method in interviews? ›

The STAR method is a structured manner of responding to a behavioral-based interview question by discussing the specific situation, task, action, and result of the situation you are describing.

Is it bad not to ask questions at the end of an interview? ›

Failure to ask to ask questions in your interview is as elementary a mistake as there is in a job search. While you might have done a great job with the rest of the interview, ending on a down note like this normally does not lead to an offer of employment.

Should you always ask questions at the end of an interview? ›

At the end of nearly every job interview, you'll likely be asked if you have any questions. At this stage, it's a good idea to ask a few questions to learn more about the company and help you decide if the role would be a good fit.

Do employers like when you ask questions? ›

One of the final things you'll be asked is, 'Do you have any questions for me?' To have a chance of securing the job, always say yes. Having a list of questions to ask an interviewer makes you look interested, enthusiastic and engaged - all qualities that the employer will be looking for.

Do interviewers want you to ask questions? ›

Interviews work best when they're a conversation, so don't be afraid to pose questions when it makes sense throughout the conversation. Ask questions you really want to know the answers to. Don't only ask questions you think will impress your interviewer.

What are some common mistakes to avoid during an interview? ›

Common job interview mistakes
  • Arriving late or too early.
  • Inappropriate attire.
  • Using your cellphone.
  • Not doing company research.
  • Losing your focus.
  • Unsure of resume facts.
  • Talking too much.
  • Speaking poorly of previous employers.
Jun 9, 2023

What to say when a interviewer asks Tell me about yourself? ›

What to include
  • Begin to show interviewers why you're the best candidate for this job, in terms of hard skills and experience as well as soft skills.
  • Give an overview of your professional history, current role, and where you'd like to go in the future.

How do you know the interview went well? ›

How to know if an interview went well
  • Your conversation used the allotted amount of time. ...
  • You met other team members. ...
  • They tried to sell you on the role. ...
  • They asked for your preferred start date. ...
  • Your interviewers responded positively. ...
  • They gave you a follow-up date. ...
  • They asked about other positions. ...
  • You have a good feeling.
Nov 16, 2022

Do employers interview best candidate first? ›

Some hiring managers may choose to interview the strongest candidates first. This can be advantageous for a number of reasons. By interviewing the top candidate early, employers can gauge other candidates' performances against the benchmark set by the best candidate.

What happens if you ask for too much in an interview? ›

Ask for too much and you'll appear ignorant (not knowing what a general range for this job type is) and arrogant (thinking it's okay to ask for a lot more money than the experience and skills you have). Ask for too little, and you will sell yourself short, and lose money.

How do you end an interview? ›

Thank everyone for their time

Be sure to thank everyone present during their interview for their time and consideration at the close of the interview. Your thank you can be a simple "Thank you for taking the time to meet with me today, and I look forward to hearing from you soon."

What do you say at the end of an interview? ›

7. Finish with a polite conclusion
  • "I am grateful for interviewing with you today. You have given me a clear overview of the position. ...
  • "Thank you for making time to interview me for the open role. I am thrilled about the prospect of working in this position and being a part of a highly reputable team."
Mar 10, 2023

How do you know if hiring manager wants you? ›

Here are several signs that indicate you may get the job after the interview:
  • You notice positive body language. ...
  • You hear "when" and not "if" ...
  • The conversation turns casual. ...
  • They introduce you to other team members. ...
  • They indicate they like what they hear. ...
  • They discuss perks. ...
  • They ask about salary expectations.
Jul 27, 2023

Is it OK to not ask questions? ›

Research has found that people who don't ask questions in attempts of looking smart are actually viewed as less smart to other people. Put more directly, when you ask thoughtful and genuinely interested questions, people don't think you're dumb. Rather, they think you're really smart!

What does it mean if the interviewer doesn t ask you questions? ›

When they have not probed you much,it indicates that you are not their forst choice. Allowing you to ask questions is often a tactic to check if you know anything about the company through your own efforts before appearing for the interview, and whether you are keen on getting the job.

What do interviewers not want to hear? ›

"I want to hire positive people, and it's an immediate red flag if someone is too critical during an interview." Complaining about past gigs or bosses is by far one of the worst things you can do in an interview. Several of our experts listed this as their No. 1 pet peeve.

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