At the end of every interview, the hiring manager will say, “Do you have any questions for me?” This is your moment to shine.
Some candidates will say no, thinking that asking a question might send a signal that you don’t understand the position. Others just don’t prepare for this moment and can’t think of anything to ask. Most candidates will be prepared with some questions to ask–but are they the right ones? Asking good questions is a great way to set you apart from other candidates.
Gearing up for a big interview? You’re in luck. We’ve put together a guide on the best questions to ask if you want to impress a recruiter or hiring manager. When you sit down to prepare for your interview, consider these five questions and how you can make them more specific for the job you are applying to.
1. I did a little research and saw that you've been at this company for XX years. How has your role evolved? And how has the company evolved in your time here?
A perfect opening question, this gives you a chance to build a rapport with the interviewer. Not only does it show your interest in what a career path looks like at the company, but it also shows that you are interested in their career path. Plus, both you and the interviewer just listened to you talk about yourself for an hour–why not give them the chance to tell you a little bit about their career?
Before your interview, look up the interviewer's profile on LinkedIn or read their bio on the company page. Then, you can ask about their previous work history or education–anything that shows you’ve done your research and are generally interested in hearing about their career will help set you apart.
2. In thinking about the top-line company objectives, what contributions does this role make to the larger company goals?
This is an important question to ask because, when it comes down to it, hiring managers want to know that you understand the goals and values of the company–and that you believe in them too. By asking this question, you show that you are aligned with the company’s goals and want to know how your job fits into those goals.
To prep for this kind of question, make sure you know a bit about the company's goals by reading recent articles, press releases, and company social media statements. If you do, when you go to ask this question in your interview, you can name a specific goal or value the company has and ask how your role contributes to it.
3. What have been the biggest challenges for this role?
One of the most important things to remember about job interviews is that you are interviewing the company just as much as they are interviewing you. The goal? To find a good fit for your life. By posing this question in the interview, you showcase that you’re not afraid to take on challenges, even if you know the hardest aspects upfront. This will also give you an opportunity to explain how you could take on those challenges or what your strategy in the position might look like. A question that opens more opportunities for you to talk about your strong skills is always a good question to ask.
An easy way to prepare for this goal is to read through the company’s reviews on Glassdoor. Look for people who have previously worked at the company and see if they mention their hardships faced while in their position. Again, this is where your research will come in handy.
4. What do you think are the most important qualities for someone in this role to have in order to succeed?
You just explained what your best qualities are in the interview, so now you can hopefully find out that you align with the hiring managers idea of the most qualified person for the job. If you hear anything that you think you didn’t mention, this also gives you the chance to highlight the fact that you have those qualities. This is a great "catch-all" question to ask to ensure fit.
5. How do you measure success for this role?
It's imperative to ask about how you are going to be measured if you get the job. Do they measure success based on sales numbers? Conversion rates? Customer happiness? What will they expect of you in your first 60 days and what will they be comparing your successes to? This also helps the hiring manager understand that you are very interested in this position and would be joining the company ready to work.
Though these are just five questions you can ask a hiring manager or recruiter, there are many other great questions you can ask. As you prepare for an interview, think about these five questions and see if they help you think of any more you can come up with. But remember, if you’re going to craft an informed question to ask during your interview, make sure you’ve done your research ahead of time!